Cape May County Boat Accident Lawyer
Thousands of people enjoy recreational activities on the waterways around Cape May County every day, and for the most part, their days pass by without incident. Unfortunately, when accidents do occur on the water, the consequences for the people involved can be dire, especially if negligence by one or more individuals contributed to the incident.
If you got hurt while operating or riding on a watercraft because someone else acted recklessly or carelessly, speak with a Cape May County boat accident lawyer about pursuing civil compensation. A qualified personal injury attorney from our team could explain your legal rights in this kind of situation, help determine who is at fault for your injuries, and seek compensation on your behalf for every loss you suffered.
How Can Negligence Lead to Accidents on the Water?
Just like motor vehicle drivers, boat operators take on a duty of reasonable care to protect everyone around them from foreseeable harm. In fact, operators of water vessels over 12 feet in length must follow all the Navigation Rules established by the U.S. Coast Guard and enforced by the New Jersey State Police, as well as keep a printed copy of those rules onboard their vessel at all times.
Accordingly, any time someone causes a collision or other type of accident on the water by violating one of these rules, they may be considered negligent and therefore at fault for the incident. Even if an accident stems from inattention or simple human error rather than an overt breach of federal or state boating safety regulations, it may still be possible to hold the responsible party liable for the results of their carelessness.
However, proving liability to a civil court or private insurance company often requires a great deal of evidence, including eyewitness testimony, photos and videos of the accident scene, debris from the collision, and even footage from nearby surveillance or onboard cameras if available. A knowledgeable Cape May County attorney could provide crucial assistance collecting and effectively presenting evidence of fault for a boating accident.
Limitations on Boat Crash Lawsuits in Cape May County
Defendants in boat collision cases may allege that the plaintiff bears some degree of fault for their own injuries, which may ultimately result in a proportional reduction of their damage award. Furthermore, New Jersey Revised Statutes §2A:15-5.1 states that any plaintiff who bears more than 50 percent liability for an accident is ineligible to recover any compensation whatsoever.
It should also be noted that N.J.R.S. §2A:14-2 sets a filing deadline of two years after the discovery of compensable injuries on civil claims for boat accidents. If a prospective plaintiff in Cape May County fails to get their case started within this time period, they risk being barred from recovery for that particular incident.
Talk to a Cape May County Boat Accident Attorney Today
Boat accidents in seaside areas like Cape May County are unfortunately common and often lead to serious injuries and even drownings. If you or a loved one got hurt in this sort of incident and you believe someone else’s negligence is to blame, you may be able to file a lawsuit against that individual to cover all your compensable losses.
To maximize your chances of success in a civil case, retain an experienced Cape May County boat accident lawyer who has successfully handled cases like yours before. Call today to set up a consultation.