New Hampshire Boating Accidents
New Hampshire's more than 1,000 lakes and ponds offer plenty of opportunity to enjoy boating. The state has relatively few boat accidents, but the U.S. Coast Guard still reported 21 injuries and almost $87,000 in damages in 2011. If you have been involved in a boating accident in that state, it is a good idea to to talk with a New Hampshire boat accidents lawyer.
Are You Liable for the Boating Accident?
As a boat operator, you are responsible for the safety of your passengers and others nearby. If something you do (or failed to do) leads to an accident, you could face both criminal and civil charges.
You could be liable if you:
- Have not taken a boating class—Under New Hampshire law, operating a motorboat over 25 horsepower without a boating education certificate is illegal.
- Were speeding—For the most part, a safe speed depends on the conditions on the water. For example, you may only move at headway speed within 150 feet of swimmers.
- Were drinking alcohol—Boaters may legally drink, but you may not drive a boat while drunk. Even if you are not drunk, alcohol use could be used as evidence that you were negligent.
Regardless of liability, you do need to report an accident in which:
- Someone was seriously injured or killed.
- Property damage was more than $2000.
Submit your report in writing to the state's Division of Safety Services.
Can You Sue for Injuries or Damages Due to a Boating Accident?
You may be able to recover medical expenses and other damages if the accident was someone else's fault. You will need to prove:
- Someone made an error, such as overloading the boat or not paying attention.
- That error caused the accident.
- The accident caused your losses.
You may be able to reach an out-of-court settlement and avoid a lawsuit.
Locate a Local Boating Accident Lawyer Today
An attorney experienced with both federal and state boating laws can help you evaluate your case. Whether you were the operator, a passenger, or an injured bystander, you need to know your rights. Call now to speak with a boat accident attorney in New Hampshire at 877-913-7222.