Connecticut has many beautiful boating locations, such as lakes, rivers and the Long Island Sound. However, it can be a dangerous activity if people are not being careful. Boaters need to take precautionary measures because U.S. Coast Guard data lists Connecticut among those states with the highest number of recreational boating fatalities. Even if you exercise caution and do the right thing, someone else might not, leading to severe injuries and losses. If this happened to you, consult with a Bridgeport boat accident lawyer to learn about your legal options. An experienced personal injury attorney like George W. Ganim, Jr. can fight for compensation commensurate with the harm you suffered.
What Are Some Factors That Lead to Boating Accidents?
Almost every boating accident involves damage to watercraft, or injury to someone onboard a vessel or in the water. Common causes of these injuries include collisions, capsizing, fires or flooding. Although every incident has its own set of circumstances, certain factors contribute to most watercraft accidents:
- Reckless behavior, such as speeding
- Inclement weather
All of these factors involve someone making the decision to drive the boat in a manner or at a time when they should not have, resulting in grave harm to someone else. A Bridgeport boat collision lawyer can help those who were harmed fight for appropriate damages for their injuries and losses.
Boating Laws in Connecticut
Many recreational activities possess some level of risk, and boating is no exception. To address the inherent dangers, Connecticut enacted safe boating rules, starting with requiring all boaters to have a safe boating certificate. To obtain a certificate, Connecticut General Statutes § 15-140e(b) requires boaters to complete an authorized training session and pass an exam administered by the Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner (the Commissioner).
What Are Some General Safety Rules?
When operating on Connecticut waterways, boaters must observe safe operating rules under CGS § 15-131 and 15-133:
- Stay alert to others on and in the water
- Refrain from unreasonable or unnecessary acts that hamper the operation of your watercraft or that of another watercraft
- Take care to avoid collisions
- Follow other vessels at a safe and proper distance
- Stay out of the way of approaching vessels
- Follow statutory passing procedures
- Do not operate a craft under the influence of drugs, alcohol or other intoxicating substances
In addition to civil liability, boaters who fail to adhere to these and other regulations may face fines and rescission of their boating certificate under CGS § 15-133(h)-(k).
Rules to Follow After an Accident
Connecticut law obligates boaters involved in an accident to take specific steps immediately after the incident. First, watercraft operators must remain on the scene and assist disabled crafts or injured parties if they can do so safely. Second, boaters must exchange pertinent vessel information. An operator’s failure to comply with these two requirements can be used as evidence of the boater’s negligence or illegal action.
Those involved in particular boating accidents are required to submit a written incident report to the Commissioner. If the damage exceeds $500, a party must submit the report within five days of the event. In cases where an individual needs medical care or passes away due to injuries sustained in the accident, operators must contact law enforcement and file a written report to the Commissioner within 48 hours. The failure to file a required report amounts to an infraction of the law, punishable by fines under CGS § 51-164m(a).
A local boating accident lawyer can help an individual recover fair compensation for the harm that results from an at-fault party’s breach of Connecticut safe boating laws.
Build Your Case with a Bridgeport Boat Accident Attorney
If you need legal representation after being harmed in an accident on the water, do not settle for just any personal injury attorney. George W. Ganim, Jr., a Bridgeport boat accident lawyer, understands the discrete set of rules and laws regulating this activity. With his knowledge and experience on your side, you can recover the compensation necessary to redress your suffering. Contact the office now to begin your road to recovery.