Spending time on the open water is a favorite pastime for many New Jersey residents. And with summer winding down, the state’s waterways are packed with boaters taking advantage of the season’s warm weather. However, a spate of watercraft accidents in lakes across the state illustrates just how dangerous this outdoor activity can be. According to recent media reports, NJ boating accidents have resulted in serious injuries for five people, and claimed the life of a 10-year-old boy.
Similar to a personal injury lawsuit filed against a negligent motorist, if a watercraft operator acted recklessly or with negligence that resulted in wrongful death or harm, victims may be entitled to compensation through the courts.
In the wake of any type of watercraft accident, a thorough investigation is necessary to establish liability. When choosing a New Jersey boating accident lawyer, it’s imperative to seek experience, and a firm with a successful track record litigating personal injury actions. Eisbrouch Marsh has more than 25 years of experience handling civil actions of this nature, and offer their expertise, compassion and results-oriented advocacy when you need it most.
New Jersey boating accidents under investigation
This June, the New Jersey Herald reported on the death of a 10 year-old Arlington boy on Lake Hopatcong. According to officials, the child suffered severe head trauma after he was struck by a pontoon boat when he fell overboard. Initial investigations state that Christopher D’Amico, the boy’s father, rented the 20-foot pontoon boat for the day. Despite being airlifted for immediate medical attention, the child was pronounced dead just hours later. The incident is still under investigation by the State Police.
More recently, a sport fishing boat operated by Township Council President Robert Kusznikow, who is a licensed boat captain in New Jersey, ran aground as it was cruising Manahawkin Bay. Thirteen passengers were aboard at the time of the incident, and four of them suffered injuries that were classified as non life-threatening. An investigation is still underway as to the cause of the accident.
In a separate boating accident, two Sparta residents were injured when their pontoon boat was struck by an 18-foot Nautilus. The incident happened on Lake Mohawk when 23 year-old Alex Majors allegedly hit the floating pontoon boat before fleeing the scene. The victims – one of whom almost drowned in the accident – both suffered concussions and were transported to Morristown Medical Center for medical attention. Majors was later arrested and charged with leaving the scene of a watercraft accident, endangering an injured victim and “serious bodily injury and assault by vessel.”
Authorities from the NJ New Jersey State Police Marine Services Bureau are still investigating the cause of the accident and say it is unknown if alcohol played a role.
Liability issues in NJ watercraft accidents
In order to operate a power vessel of personal watercraft (wave runner or Jet Ski) in New Jersey, operators are required to have a current NJ boat safety certificate. But even experienced boaters who act carelessly, are impaired by alcohol or drugs, or otherwise fail to follow safety protocols may be held liable in the event their actions result in injury or death.
A boating accident lawsuit may be warranted in cases where operators failed to have proper safety gear aboard, failed to have proper training and certification, were driving at excessive speeds in restricted areas, or failed to obey local regulations regarding watercraft safety and operation.
Contact Eisbrouch Marsh today
If you or a loved one has been injured in a boating accident in New Jersey or New York, the attorneys at Eisbrouch Marsh are here to help. For a free case assessment and discussion about your rights to compensation, please call 201-781-1937 to speak with a veteran NJ personal injury lawyer today.
- App.com, Cops: Stafford councilman at helm in boat accident http://www.app.com/story/news/local/southern-ocean-county/stafford/2015/07/15/stafford-councilman-helm-boat-accident/30197283/
- CBS New York, 4 Injured In New Jersey Boating Accident http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2015/07/11/new-jersey-boating-accident-injures-4/
- NJ.com, Sparta man arrested in Lake Mohawk hit-and-run boating accident http://www.nj.com/morris/index.ssf/2015/06/sparta_man_arrested_in_hit-and-run_boating_acciden.html
- New Jersey Herald, Mt. Arlington boy dies following boating accident on Lake Hopatcong http://www.njherald.com/story/29401866/2015/06/24/mt-arlington-boy-dies-following-boating-accident-on-lake-hopatcong