On January 14, a bill cleared the New Jersey state Senate that would toughen the punishment for leaving the scene of a boating accident that results in a serious or fatal injury. According to the Brick Patch, under the current law, aside from being illegal, there is no set penalty for leaving the scene of a boating accident in New Jersey, and it is possible for boaters to face a fine of as little as $25 for this offense.
“Jail time is a necessary punishment for offenders who knowingly leave the scene of the accident,” Senator James Holzapfel, who sponsored the bill, said in a statement. “We want our residents to put safety first when heading out onto the water and understand that they are responsible for their craft and searching for other injured parties.”
Holzapfel sponsored the proposed law in the aftermath of a fatal boating accident in Brick, New Jersey that claimed the life of an Essex Fells resident. In the case, a 29-year-old Brick man was accused of reckless boating in causing an accident, the scene of which he fled. The man eventually faced vehicular homicide charges but was found not guilty in April 2013.
If the legislation clears the state General Assembly and is signed into law by Governor Chris Christie, a person who leaves the scene of a boating accident that results in serious bodily injury could face a third degree criminal charge, which is punishable by three to five years incarceration and a $150,000 fine. If the victim dies as a result of the wreck, the charge would be upgraded to second degree, which could mean five to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Have You Been Injured in a Recreational Boating Accident?
If you have been injured in a recreational boating accident, our maritime attorneys can help you fight for compensation. As nationwide maritime trial lawyer Carolyn Latti explains in the video above, many times recreational boats are covered by insurance through the owner’s homeowner policy and/or an “umbrella” policy over and above their home’s coverage.
At a time like this, you deserve representation that is dedicated to getting you the compensation you need to support your family and pay medical expenses after the accident. With over 50 years of experience, we have the knowledge, skills and resources to successfully guide you through the legal process of bringing those responsible for your pain and suffering to justice. Call our office today to discuss your options.
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