New Mexico Boating Accidents
Boating accidents are rare in New Mexico, but they do happen. If you have been involved in one, it is important to understand how it happened, who can be held liable and what your next steps should be. A New Mexico boating attorney can help you figure it out.
Dangerous Boating Practices
It is illegal to operate a boat in New Mexico in a way that is likely to cause an accident. This includes:
- Recklessness—This behavior can range from weaving through traffic to jumping the wake of another boat or chasing wildlife.
- Speeding—You must always maintain a speed that is safe for the conditions and avoid swamping or hitting other boats or people.
- Not maintaining proper distance—You should stay at least 150 feet away from swimmers, fishermen, and other people in the water.
The boat operator is also responsible for passengers' actions. Riding on the bow, seat backs, or gunwales is illegal, and the operator can be held liable for injuries resulting from these actions.
What to Do After an Accident
Sometimes, even if you were trying to be safe, accidents happen. The most important thing to do first is to make sure everyone is OK and help anyone who is hurt. You also need to exchange name, address and vessel information with anyone:
- Who was injured
- Whose property was damaged
Your next step is to figure out if you need to report the accident. The answer is yes if:
- Someone died.
- Someone needed medical treatment beyond first aid.
- Someone disappeared due to the accident.
- Property damage totaled more than $100.
You will need to file a written report to the New Mexico State Parks Division within 48 hours of the incident.
Locate a Local New Mexico Boating Accident Lawyer Today
Accidents can be scary, especially if you or someone you love was injured. It is important to talk with someone who can explain your rights, whether you were responsible for the accident or were injured in it. Call now to speak with a boat accident attorney in New Mexico at 877-913-7222.