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Q: Can I recover damages for injuries in a boating accident?

Although boaters are subject to a different set of laws than automobile drivers, there are similarities in the rules and expectations of both types of vehicle operators. When there is a boating accident, it’s crucial to have an experienced boating accident attorney on the case as soon as possible in order to maximize your chance of being compensated for your injuries or losses. The post-accident investigation is critically important. Among other things, an attorney can help ensure you get proper medical treatment, prevent you from making damaging statements, obtain eyewitness’ statements before they forget important details, and safeguard evidence before it disappears. The outcome of the investigation will determine not only what criminal charges may be assessed, but also whether an injured party will be able to pursue a civil personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit to recover monetary damages from the person and/or third party who caused the accident. To recover for damages such as medical bills, lost wages, and in some cases pain and suffering, you must prove your injuries resulted from the negligent or reckless actions of another. One final evening cruise on the lake for a California family visiting relatives in Lake George turned deadly when a 21-foot powerboat reportedly hit and went right over the family’s 28-foot boat–and then just kept going. A nine-year old girl was killed instantly and her mother was injured in the hit-run boat accident. The powerboat was operated by a 24-year old man who was out boating with four friends. The group did not stop to render aid or exchange information, but rather continued on and docked the boat, disembarked, and went home without reporting the incident. The group reportedly attended the raucous Log Bay Day annual party earlier in the day where dozens of young revelers were arrested for drunken boating and other similar offenses. The four passengers were charged with offenses related to filing false statements and hindering prosecution, but the operator was charged with a felony, leaving the scene of an accident and not reporting it, as well as other charges. The crash was also reportedly caught on video which has been sealed. According to preliminary toxicology reports three drugs were found in the operator’s system, one of which was allegedly illegal. Upgraded criminal charges– as well as a personal injury suit from the injured mother and a wrongful death suit by the child’s parents–are possible outcomes as the investigation continues. If you or a loved one has been injured in a boating accident, or any other accident that was not your fault, the New York City personal injury law firm of Jaroslawicz & Jaros can help. Our extensive experience in boating accident cases includes an $800,000 Staten Island Ferry crash verdict. Contact us here or at (800) 269-2780.