One of the best things about living in Waterbury is its closeness to the water. Whether you like sailing on the Sound, waterskiing on the lakes, or fishing on the Naugatuck river, there are ample opportunities for boating nearby.

Unfortunately, many recreational boaters do not take safety as seriously as they should, and accidents occur. A boating accident can cause severe injuries and substantial disruption to your life. If someone else’s carelessness or recklessness caused the accident, they owe you compensation for the harm they caused.

A Waterbury boat accident lawyer at D’Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC can help you seek justice after your accident. Our personal injury attorneys have years of experience representing people who suffered injuries when a great day on the water turned bad because of someone else’s irresponsible conduct.

Boat Safety Laws in Connecticut

Recreational boaters in the area have a relatively short season to use their vessels and may only take their boats out on the weekends. They don’t have much opportunity to hone their skills. State law requires all boaters to get a boating certificate, which requires completing a safety course and passing a written test. There is no skills test required.

Other laws govern boaters, and many are similar to the laws that apply to people driving cars. Navigable waterways have posted speed limits that boaters must obey. Operating a boat with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher is illegal. Navigation markers indicate where boaters should travel. Operators must watch out for other vessels and swimmers, just as drivers must be alert for other vehicles, cyclists, and pedestrians.

When an operator does not obey safety laws and another person suffers an injury because of the operator’s conduct, the operator is negligent. A Waterbury boat accident attorney can find evidence of negligence and use it to hold a boater responsible for your injuries.

Why Boating Accidents Are So Dangerous

Statistically, it is more dangerous to be in a car than on a boat. Still, even a minor boat accident can produce injuries that might significantly impact your work and lifestyle.

Injuries from boating accidents often have more serious repercussions than the same injury might have if it happened under other circumstances. There are several reasons for this:

  • First aid might be delayed;
  • Help may not arrive immediately;
  • Conditions on the boat could lead to infection;
  • It can be difficult to escape a dangerous condition in a confined space like a boat.

Being thrown into the water while injured can cause drowning or near-drowning, which is not a risk in most other types of accidents.

After a boat accident, the most important thing to do is get medical care immediately. You should do this even if you don’t think you were badly hurt. The stress of an accident can mask symptoms, and some injuries don’t produce symptoms right away. Seeing a doctor as soon as you can protects your health. It also helps your lawyer prove your injuries and establish that you received them in the boat accident.

Managing a Boat Accident Claim

A negligent boater is responsible for the injuries you receive in an accident, just as a negligent driver is responsible if you are hurt in a car accident. However, boat accident claims often have complications that do not arise in car accident claims.

The most important distinction is that boat owners can register their watercraft without showing proof of insurance. A boat owner’s homeowner’s policy might provide liability coverage, but it might not. If not, the boat’s owner or operator might be personally responsible, but if they don’t have substantial assets, you might have trouble collecting reimbursement for your losses.

A Waterbury lawyer can evaluate the circumstances and determine whether another party might have liability for the boat accident. For example, the manufacturer could be responsible if a mechanical problem leads to an accident. If someone was drinking in a restaurant or bar and then caused a boating accident, the establishment that served them might be liable. In some circumstances, a marina, or other party could have responsibility.

Explore Your Options After a Boat Accident With a Waterbury Attorney

When someone else’s actions cause you to suffer an injury, they should pay your losses. However, obtaining the money you deserve can be challenging.

Talk over your situation with a Waterbury boat accident lawyer. They can explain your rights and options and support you however you decide to proceed. Schedule your free remote or in-person consultation with a compassionate attorney at D’Amico and Pettinicchi, LLC today.