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Involved in a Boating Accident in Norwalk, CT? Injury? We Can Help

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Many Connecticut residents take advantage of our prime location on the Long Island Sound to have fun on the open water. As harmless as most boating outings are, it is important to recognize that accidents are not uncommon and can quickly turn a fun time into a devastating or life-threatening one. Boating accidents are not restricted to personally owned boats; accidents can also include ferries, cruise ships, oil tankers, fishing boats, and barges.

Many Connecticut residents take advantage of our prime location on the Long Island Sound to have fun on the open water. As harmless as most boating outings are, it is important to recognize that accidents are not uncommon and can quickly turn a fun time into a devastating or life-threatening one. Boating accidents are not restricted to personally owned boats; accidents can also include ferries, cruise ships, oil tankers, fishing boats, and barges.

In Connecticut, there were 231 boating accidents reported from 2015 to 2019. Last year, there were 4,168 boating accidents that involved 613 deaths and 2,559 injuries in the U.S., according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

Seventy-nine percent of the fatalities were caused by drowning – and 86% of people who drowned were not wearing a life jacket.

Just recently, in September 2020, seven people were injured in a boating accident, including four children, in the Housatonic River in Milford. Rescue crews needed to enter the water to access the vessel and evaluate the injured boaters, according to Patch.com. In 2019, The CT Post reported that a fisherman was killed in a boating accident in the Long Island Sound after the vessel capsized.

If you and/or a loved one has been injured in a boating accident in Norwalk caused by negligence on behalf of another party involved, our experienced personal injury attorneys at Lemberg Law are equipped to get you the compensation you deserve. We understand that boating accidents can happen suddenly and unexpectedly, resulting in serious impacts on your health and finances; which is why you may need help as soon as possible.

Navigating boat insurance providers or the boat manufacturer that may be at fault for your injury can be a scary and frustrating experience, but it doesn’t have to be. For 13 years, Lemberg Law has made legal representation a pain-free and easily accessible process. We have successfully recovered more than $50 million in damages for more than 25,000 clients across the nation. Our track record speaks for itself.

You may be compensated for damages or losses associated with a boating accident, which can include but are not limited to:

  • Medical expense reimbursements
  • Diminished quality of live
  • Home healthcare
  • Payment of lost wages
  • Compensation for future medical costs
  • Payment for future earnings
  • Damages for pain and suffering

Call one of our Boating Aссіdеnt Attоrnеуs Tоdау tо Prоtесt Your Lеgаl Rіghtѕ

If you wеrе a vісtіm оf a boat ассіdеnt thаt caused you injury, уоu mау be еntіtlеd tо соmреnѕаtіоn. Call 203-883-4592 NOW

Common Injuries from Boating Accidents

Whether the accident involved a jet ski or a small fishing vessel, boating accidents can be far more devastating than a regular car accident and can result in serious injuries to the operator, passengers, and surrounding boats. For example, one can get a serious laceration after getting struck by a propeller, or one can get run over by a boat after falling overboard. Common injuries of boating accidents can include:

  • Drowning
  • Brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Disfigurement
  • Lacerations
  • Whiplash
  • Electrocution
  • Death

Leading Causes of Boating Accidents

Determining the cause of a boating accident is crucial, as it will define who is responsible for the damages you may receive. The classification of the vessel type involved, as well as the nature of the accident, are vital when proceeding legal action against those responsible for your injuries. Whether you are the boat operator, a passenger, or a boat employee, you may have a claim. Common causes of boating accidents include:

  • Alcohol use: Alcohol use can affect the judgement, vision, balance, and coordination of boat operators, boat employees, and passengers. In 2019, alcohol use was the fifth leading contributing factor in fatal boating accidents. Alcohol use was the leading factor of 23% of deaths where the primary cause was known.
  • Operator inattention: Factors that may contribute to operator inattention include conversations with passengers, intoxicating substances, towing sports, and nearby watercraft. Operator attention was the leading cause of boating accidents in the U.S. in 2019, accounting for 546 accidents that resulted in 36 deaths and 296 injuries.
  • Improper lookout: If possible, a lookout should be designated to watch out for threats or hazards that the boating operator might miss. Improper lookout was the second leading factor of boating accidents in the U.S. in 2019, accounting for 506 accidents, 26 deaths, and 425 injuries.
  • Operator inexperience: It is crucial that boat operators understand the basics of boating and how to safety operate the vessel. Boat operators should be well versed in navigation rules, admiralty law, and the procedure in emergency situations. A boat operator should inform crew members or passengers what to do in case of an emergency.
  • Excessive speed: Boats don’t have breaks, so when a vessel is moving at excessive speeds, it can be difficult to stop or maneuver around other boats, a person in the water, or other water hazards. Speeding on rough water or high waves can be extremely dangerous as well and can even cause passengers to be thrown overboard.

 

Accidents are not confined to collisions between two vessels. While this scenario is statistically proven to account for a majority of all boating accidents, there are several other possibilities while out on the water. These may include:

  • Sinking or capsizing
  • Contact with other vessels, both moving and non-moving
  • Accidental contact with the shore or other land mass
  • Fires or other explosions
  • Falling off the boat
  • Slip-and-fall
  • Weather-related injuries

Are You Water Ready?

Taking all of the necessary precautions before operating a boat is a crucial component in reducing the likelihood of being involved in an accident. Before and while operating a boat, you should:

  • Take a safety course: Take an official, accredited boating safety course. In 2019, 70% of deaths occurred on boats where the operator did not receive boating safety instruction, meanwhile, only 20% of deaths occurred on vessels where the operator had received a nationally-approved boating safety education certificate, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.
  • Get your boat checked: Machinery failure is another top cause of boating accidents. Before you head out on the water, do a safety check on the vessel. Make sure to maintain the boat frequently and fix any problems that may arise.
  • Wear a life jacket: It is a fact that wearing a life jacket can save your life and the lives of your passengers. One of the most common reasons why people drown is because they are not wearing a life jacket. Make sure you have the correct number and type of life jackets aboard your vessel. Inspect the life jackets on a regular basis to ensure they are in good condition.
  • Monitor Weather: If you are facing poor weather conditions, such as a severe storm, hurricane, or thunderstorm, don’t take your boat on the water. Storms can cause rough seas and life-threatening storm surge, which can result in serious injuries or even death.
  • Pay attention and watch your speed: Operator inattention and excessive speed account for a large number of boating accidents, and they continue to be a top cause year after year. Give full attention to operating your boat. Slow down. If you are speeding, it may be harder to quickly shift gears and maneuver around other boats, passengers, or other obstructions in the water.

FAQs about Boating Accidents

 What should I do if I am involved in a boating accident in Norwalk?

First and foremost, you should check to see if you or anyone else is seriously injured and call for help. If anyone has fallen overboard, you should assist the victim back onto the boat if possible. Check to see if anyone aboard other vessels involved in the accident require medical assistance. You should be wearing a life jacket on at all times. The Coast Guard should be contacted immediately. Let them know that an accident occurred, where the accident is located, and what medical assistance is needed.

After making sure everyone is okay and out of any immediate danger, it is important that you obtain essential information about the vessel or any other witnesses to the accident. You should get the full name, addresses, phone numbers, registration or identification numbers, insurance company names, and the insurance policy numbers of everyone involved in the accident. Try to get as much information as possible to show that you are not liable for the accident, such as photographs of the scene and testimonies from witnesses.

Is there anything I should not say?

You should not apologize to anyone or accept blame for the accident, as this can be misinterpreted by the insurance companies and used against you. You also do not have to give a statement to the other insurance company right away. It might be best to consult with a lawyer before even talking with your own insurance company or accepting any type of initial settlement.

Should I see a doctor after the accident, even if I do not think I’m seriously injured?

You should absolutely visit a doctor after being in any type of accident. While you may feel like the injuries are minor or not there, you could have injuries that may become serious if not treated. It’s better to take precautions when dealing with your health. Seeing a doctor will also create medical documents that can serve as evidence if you do decide to peruse legal action.

Do I need to report the accident to the U.S. Coast Guard?

Under federal law, you will need to file a boating accident report to the U.S. Coast Guard if:

  • A person dies
  • A person is injured and requires medical treatment beyond first aid
  • A person disappears from the vessel under circumstances that indicate death or injury
  • Damage to vessels and other property totals $2,000 (lower amounts in some states and territories)
  • The boat is destroyed

What is my reporting timeline? Where can I submit a form?

You must report the accident within 48 hours if a person: dies within 24 hours, is injured and requires medical treatment beyond first aid, or disappears from the vessel under circumstances that indicate death or injury. You must report the accident within 10 days of the occurrence or death if earlier reporting is not required. You can access the boating accident report here.

How much compensation am I entitled to?

No two claims are the same. How much you may receive in damages depends on a variety of factors, such as the sum cost of your injuries and boat repairs. The effects of an injury also vary from person to person. Once our lawyers get all of the necessary information from you, we will evaluate your case tailored to your needs. We provide personalized representation to our clients and make sure to keep them informed about any updates in their case.

How much time to do I have to file a claim?

If you were hurt by a vehicle that is owned or operated by a district or government entity, in many states, there is only a brief period—sometimes less than 60 days—in which a claimant can sue a government body who may be responsible for an accident.

If you are pursuing a personal injury claim that is not against a government body, under Connecticut law, you must file a personal injury or property damage claim within two years of the date of the accident. If someone suffers a wrongful death, the two-year limit starts on the date of the victim’s death from their injuries.

You should reach out to an attorney sooner, rather than later, in order to have plenty of time to build a strong case. Our attorneys are knowledgeable about the entire process, including state, local, and national transportation laws.

Who are we? We are Lemberg Law, a Consumer Law Firm with an excellent reputation for compassionate and aggressive lawyering

Lemberg Law has a reputation backed by 13 years of service and $50 million in recovery for 25,000 clients nationwide. We know personal injury law. You have rights, and you deserve the best representation available. All you need to do is send us your information for a free case evaluation, or call our Helpline today. We’re knowledgeable; we’re friendly; and we’re here to help. There is no charge unless we win.

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