Pursuing Compensation For Boating And Watercraft Accidents
The Long Island Sound, the Connecticut River and other area water bodies offer a broad range of recreational activities, from swimming to boating to enjoying Jet Skis and other personal watercraft. Unfortunately, careless behavior by a few can ruin a fun outing for others. In some cases, this negligence can turn tragic.
We might know what to do following a car accident, but most people are caught off guard regarding legalities following a boating accident. This is unfortunate because the stakes can be high. Serious injuries and death by drowning are frequent results of boating accidents.
Turn To Gillis Law Firm For Help With Your Boat Accident Claim
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a boat accident, we can help. Gillis Law Firm has been meeting the needs of boat accident victims in New Haven and the surrounding areas of Connecticut since 1978. We have handled numerous boat accident cases and can provide immediate legal assistance following boat accidents involving:
- Boating while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Boating at night
- Careless use of Jet Skis
- Failure to observe boating regulations
In addition, we work with workers injured on boats and ships while on the job, as well as boat passengers injured due to the negligence of fellow passengers.
Send our firm an email, or call 866-603-9810 to arrange a free initial consultation with an experienced accident attorney. We have a “no recovery, no fee” policy — you pay nothing unless we win compensation for you.
In handling boating injury cases, we take all of the circumstances into account to determine if our clients’ injuries were caused by speeding, reckless boating or other forms of negligence. Our thorough approach has helped us establish a proven record of success in personal injury law. We will work hard to hold negligent parties accountable and ensure that you receive full and fair compensation.
About Connecticut Boating Regulations
Boating regulations are in place to protect the safety of people in the boat and outside of the boat. When boat operators neglect boating regulations, it puts lives at risk. Under Connecticut law, boats must be equipped with the following:
- Sound-producing devices
- Visual distress signals
- Coast Guard-approved fire extinguishers
- A wearable life jacket for each person aboard a vessel
Failure to follow these regulations can create hazardous conditions for boat operators, passengers and people outside of the boat. Our New Haven boat accident lawyers have extensive experience handling boat and personal watercraft accident claims, and can provide you with the strong legal representation you need.
The Careless Use Of Jet Skis Can Have Serious Consequences
Jet Skis and other personal watercraft are popular for their speed and maneuverability, and are often operated close to shore. Operators of Jet Skis are responsible for operating their watercraft in a responsible manner, especially in areas where swimmers are present.
Accidents caused by the careless use of Jet Skis can result in severe and catastrophic injuries, including injuries to the head, neck and spinal cord. All too often, Jet Ski accidents result in fatal drowning injuries. When a Jet Ski operator causes an injury in the water, accident victims have the right to pursue compensation for their medical bills, wage loss, pain and suffering, and other hardships.
Boating At Night
Connecticut boaters must operate their watercraft in a manner that is safe for the existing conditions and circumstances. This means applying additional care when operating a boat at night. Unfortunately, not all boaters are mindful of the dangers of boating at night. This negligence can result in serious and life-threatening boating accident injuries.
Safely boating at night requires functioning lights and signals, including sidelights, sternlight and masthead light. The absence of these lights can make it difficult for a boat operator to identify hazards in the water and on shore. Lack of proper lighting also makes a boat difficult to see by others. Unfortunately, boating at night sometimes goes hand-in-hand with boating while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Speeding And Reckless Operation
Speeding while operating a boat is a dangerous practice that can put lives at risk. Generally, if there is not a speed limit posted, boaters must operate the boat in a manner that does not cause danger to others. The boat operator must travel at a speed that allows him or her to stop in time to avoid collisions with other boats, swimmers, docks and marinas. When passing near swimmers, boat operators must be careful not to create dangerous wakes.
The operator of the boat must also be mindful of existing conditions and circumstances. For instance, in bad weather or limited visibility, it may be necessary to operate the boat differently than if the weather is calm. When a boat operator fails to take his or her responsibilities seriously, and this negligence injures you or a loved one, our attorneys can help you hold him or her accountable.
Boating Under The Influence
Operating a boat requires the same focus and sobriety as driving a car. For that reason, under Connecticut law people may not operate boats or other watercraft with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) that is .08 or above. Doing so is not only a criminal act, but an act of negligence that can cost others their lives.
Intoxicated boaters can cause serious injuries and even fatal drowning accidents. According to the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, boating under the influence accounts for about one in five fatal boating accidents every year. If you have lost a loved one in a fatal boating accident caused by negligence, you have rights.
Fatal Boating Accidents
Under Connecticut wrongful death laws, surviving family members of boating accident victims may pursue compensation for:
- Loss of income
- Loss of companionship
- Conscious pain and suffering of the deceased
- Final medical bills
- Funeral and burial expenses
We prepare every case for the possibility of trial. Negligent boaters and their insurance companies often try to limit or deny wrongful death compensation for families of boating fatality victims. Our thorough, aggressive approach sends a clear message: Treat our clients fairly or be in for a legal battle.
Navigating Federal Maritime Law To Protect Your Rights
Personal injury cases resulting from boating accidents occurring in Long Island Sound as well as rivers and inland lakes are subject to federal maritime laws. We can immediately manage your full legal case while bringing decades of experience to the protection of your rights. For more information regarding our practice and your rights following a boating accident, contact our firm.
Consult Experienced Boating Accident Attorneys
What can you do when a careless boat owner or Jet Ski operator injures you or a loved one? Legal action is possible, and you can start that process by scheduling a free case evaluation with our experienced attorneys. Our lawyers are here to stand up for your rights. Contact us via email, or by telephone at 866-603-9810.