Atlantic City Boating Accident Attorney
Atlantic City is not known as a boater’s paradise, but boating is a major part of the city’s culture. From cruises and an annual boat show to fishing trips and several marinas, people who enjoy the water have plenty of options to rent, buy, fuel, or fix a watercraft and take it out. You can navigate an infinite network of canals, waterways, and rivers, from the Atlantic Coast on the East to Reeds Bay on the North and Great Egg Harbor Bay on the south. By simply navigating your vessel in the wrong place at the wrong time, you easily become an unsafe boater’s accident victim. Negligent boaters speed, drink excessively and operate their boats while distracted. Just like on the road, these actions increase the potential for accidents, damage, and injuries. Some boating accidents are the waterborne equivalent of a fender bender. Others cause such drastic damage and severe injuries that they affect you indefinitely. Be sure to contact an Atlantic City boating accident lawyer for help.
The Levin Firm in Atlantic City
At The Levin Firm, our attorneys have always fought to protect our injured clients’ legal rights in Atlantic City. To provide comprehensive legal services for our injured boating clients, we’ve stayed up-to-date on state boating laws and Maritime and Admiralty laws and regulations. Our boating accident attorneys recognize and understand key boating accident legal issues.
We have developed our cases by conducting comprehensive investigations. Our initial groundwork has allowed us to identify all negligent parties and place them on notice of our client’s claims. We’ve evaluated the evidence and worked to build strong cases against responsible parties. We’ve established working relationships with liability insurers. When possible, we’ve attempted to resolve cases without litigation. When necessary, we have filed in state or federal court to recover damages for our injured clients.
Our Atlantic City boating accident attorneys have worked with injured people as they’ve recovered from serious boat accidents. We’ve seen how severe and catastrophic injuries prevented them from earning a living and enjoying a full life. We’ve dedicated our practice to recovering the damages that helped our clients recover and maintain their lives and lifestyles.
Atlantic City Boating Accident FAQs
We understand Atlantic City’s seductive boating excitement. As boating accident attorneys, we also understand what happens when negligent boaters navigate the waterways. Every boat accident doesn’t end up with injured victims, but many do. If you enjoy boating like we do, no one expects you to stay out of the water. We created our Atlantic City boating accident injury FAQ because we believe it’s important to know the facts just in case an accident occurs.
What are the state requirements for operating a boat in Atlantic City?
New Jersey requires those operating most powered watercraft, including Jet Skis, to have a New Jersey Boat Safety Certificate and license. Drivers must be 16 years old. They must also register and title their boats.
All boats in New Jersey must contain one wearable floatation device per passenger, even canoes and rowboats. Many vessels must also contain throwable floatation devices for those who fall overboard, fire extinguishers, navigation lights, backfire flame arrestors, and a host of other safety equipment.
Unlicensed pilots or those in unregistered boats who cause injuries may find themselves facing additional liability. Boat operators may have acted negligently and subjected themselves to legal action if they failed to provide the required safety equipment that could have prevented or mitigated an accident or injuries.
Call us. If we feel you have a good case, we’ll investigate to find out whether the boat operator had the required licensing, registration, training, and equipment onboard—and work to hold him accountable if not.
How many boating accidents with injuries occur each year in New Jersey?
As many as 122 people were in reported boat accidents a recent year, killing as many as eight.
What is a reportable boating accident in Atlantic City?
Boaters must comply with several reporting requirements. Federal Code, 33 CFR §173; Subpart C—Casualty and Accident Reporting, requires boaters to report certain accidents to the Coast Guard.
New Jersey requires a report when an accident causes:
- A fatality or disappearance
- An injury that needs more than first aid medical treatment
- A total of $2,000 damage to a boat and/or other property
What injuries do Atlantic City boating accident victims sustain?
The majority of boating accident victims deal with abrasions, contusions, and other minor injuries.
The most recent annual statistics documented these more significant non-fatal injuries.
- Head injuries
- Internal injuries
- Back injuries
- Spinal injuries
Who usually gets hurt in Atlantic City boating accidents?
In a recent year, vessel accidents passengers sustained injuries more frequently:
- Passengers, 56 percent
- Vessel operators, 43 percent
- Swimmers, 1 percent
What are the typical Atlantic City boating accident victim characteristics?
- Didn’t wear a personal flotation device: 56 percent of injured victims; 88 percent of fatally injured victims
- Didn’t know how to swim: 31 percent of injured victims, 43 percent of fatally injured victims
- Injured victim alcohol/drug use: 5 percent
- Fatally injured victim alcohol/drug use: 32 percent
- Ejected from the boat: 202 injured victims, 33 Fatally injured
- Gender of fatally injured victims: Male, 91 percent; Female, 9 percent
- Age of fatally injured victims: Ages 51+, 43 percent; ages 22 to 35, 22 percent; ages 36 to 50, 25 percent; Ages 17 to 21, 5 percent; Under age 17, 6 percent
How many Atlantic City boating accident fatalities occur nationwide?
The recent boating fatality data shows that more than 4,400 accidents killed as many as 626 people in one year.
What boat accidents cause injuries and fatalities in Atlantic City?
Many factors cause or contribute to boat accidents. Just as with motor vehicle accidents, operators crash because of distraction, inattention, lack of experience, speed, and alcohol and drug consumption.
These are the types of accidents that occurred most frequently.
- Two vessels colliding
- Propellor-inflicted injury
- Electrical shock due to improper grounding
- Drowning/falling overboard
- Water skiing mishaps
- Colliding with an object
- Slip and fall on a boat
How do I prove the other boater was responsible for my Atlantic City boating accident?
To recover damages for your injuries, you must prove that the other operator was negligent in causing your accident.
Boating negligence often involves these and other actions:
- Distracted or inattentive operation
- Alcohol or drug use
- Excessive speed
- Failure to operate a boat based on weather and water conditions
- Hitting you while you are swimming or in the water
- Crossing another boat’s wake
- Failure to control a boat after hitting a wave or a submerged object
If you sustained injuries, your accident is reportable. The appropriate authorities investigate all reportable accidents. While the report will document the facts about what happened, a boating liability insurer has the final call as to paying you or not. Insurers conduct their own investigations and make their own decisions about liability.
How much time do I have to file a claim for my Atlantic City boating accident injuries?
Your statute of limitations depends on whether state or federal Admiralty (Maritime) law applies. If your boat accident occurred in navigable waters as defined by U.S. Code, Title 33, Chapter §329.4 (such as the Atlantic Ocean), Admiralty laws apply. If it occurred in waters controlled locally, such as on inland waters, state law applies.
For most state cases, the statute of limitations is two years. For most Admiralty injury cases, the statute of limitation is three years. If you fail to settle your claim or file a suit before your statute of limitations passes, you lose your legal right to file a claim for damages.
Will I have to file a lawsuit to recover damages after an Atlantic City boating accident?
When you present your claim for damages, you have no guarantees that the other party’s insurance carrier will pay you. Insurance companies’ claim departments conduct their own independent investigations. Protecting their insured is usually their primary goal. It’s always possible that they will review all the evidence and deny liability for your claim. Once an insurance company decides that their insured isn’t responsible for your injuries, a lawsuit is often the only option.
What happens if the other driver doesn’t have insurance coverage to pay my claim?
In New Jersey, boaters liability insurance isn’t mandatory. If an operator collides with your boat, there’s always a possibility that they won’t have coverage to pay your damages. Some homeowners’ policies provide liability coverage for their insured’s boating activities under their Section II Liability coverage. If the negligent boater has homeowners liability coverage, engine power, boat use, and boat size restrictions often apply.
If you have Uninsured Boater coverage on your policy, your insurance company may pay your damages. Uninsured Boater coverage usually pays you and your family members’ damages from an accident with a negligent, uninsured boater.
UB coverage excludes certain circumstances.
- It excludes claims where the responsible party’s insurance company denied liability.
- It doesn’t pay underinsured claims where the other party has insurance but not enough to pay all of your damages.
- It doesn’t pay damages caused by a US government vessel.
- It doesn’t pay if the negligent boater has any other applicable coverage.
Uninsured boater coverage pays only those damages for which an uninsured boater is legally liable. If you have UB coverage, your own insurer assumes the role of the other person’s liability carrier. They pay claims the liability carrier would have paid had the negligent boater purchased liability coverage.
Do I need an Atlantic City boating accident attorney?
Yes. When you’re injured in a boating accident, an Atlantic City personal injury lawyer can represent your legal interests. At The Levin Firm, we provide the legal assistance our clients need to deal with negligent boaters and their insurers.
Boating accidents are often more complicated than other types of claims. The circumstances usually involve boating traditions and laws. Federal Maritime and Admiralty codes provide an added layer of complexity. Proving liability is often difficult. If you must eventually file a lawsuit, you’ll likely need an attorney who is admitted to present your case in a federal court.
To learn more about your legal options, call The Levin Firm at (215) 825-5183 or leave a message on our Contact Page.
The Levin Firm | Atlantic City Office
2 Convention Blvd, Atlantic City, NJ 08401