Boating is a popular pastime on Delaware waterways, and unfortunately leads to many tragic accidents and injuries. Often, these accidents are caused by the negligence of another person. Inexperienced, inattentive, and intoxicated boat operators are leading causes of maritime accidents in Delaware. When someone else’s negligence results in injuries or losses to you or a loved one, you have a legal right to compensation.
At Morris James, we have been helping victims of negligence get justice and compensation since our firm opened in Delaware in 1932. We have successfully challenged powerful opponents and insurance providers who have the resources and motivation to overwhelm injured victims, at a time when they are dealing with physical and emotional suffering and mounting bills. We shoulder the burden for our injured clients. We deal with the government agencies and insurance companies. We listen to each client's practical concerns and unique needs to advise them about their legal rights and best course of action.
Our personal injury lawyers can help make the journey back to physical health and financial security easier for you. If you or a loved one has been injured in a boating accident in Delaware, online or call 302.655.2599 to speak with a member of the experienced legal team at Morris James.
Boating and Jet Ski Accidents FAQs
What is the first thing you must do after a boating accident?
If you have had a boating accident, you must first take care of the health and safety of the people involved. Ensure everyone is safely on the boat if it is still afloat, or other safe place if it is not, and the boat is out of harm’s way. Signal for help, if necessary, and seek medical attention for any injuries. A medical report will also be important evidence in any legal action.
Gather details at the scene of the accident. Obtain registration numbers and insurance details for those involved, and contact details for the boat operators, passengers, and witnesses. If possible, take photos and video of the scene.
Report the boating accident to the U.S. Coast Guard and the Delaware Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police. An accident report will be evidence for any action, and is usually required by law.
Contact your insurance provider and an experienced boating accident attorney. Do not accept liability or discuss the accident with the other parties or insurers before speaking to your lawyer.
What action is required of an operator in a boating accident?
An operator involved in a boating accident must stop their vessel at the scene of the accident and offer assistance to anyone injured or in danger, unless doing so would seriously endanger their own vessel or passengers. The operator is also required to notify the U.S. Coast Guard and Delaware Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police in accordance with state and federal laws.
What types of boating accidents must be reported?
Federal law and Delaware state law require that a boating accident must be reported to the U.S. Coast Guard and Delaware Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police if:
- A person dies;
- A person is injured and requires medical treatment beyond first-aid;
- A person disappears from the boat under circumstances that indicate death or injury; or
- Damage to the boat and other property totals more than $2,000 by federal law, or $500 by Delaware state law, or there is a complete loss of the vessel.
Delaware law requires that the Delaware Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police is notified in writing of all reportable accidents within certain time limits but is also notified immediately if a person dies, disappears or is injured requiring medical attention beyond first aid.
Verdicts and Settlements
- $2.2 million settlement: a man who, while in the course and scope of his employment, lost both legs when struck on the side of the road by a truck driver
- $2.1 million settlement: Navy SEAL struck by a driver who left the roadway, causing serious injuries to his legs
- $875,000 settlement: bicyclist who injured an eye when struck by a teenage car driver
- $850,000 settlement: young lady injured her shoulder in a multi-car accident which resulted in surgery, lost earnings, and medical expenses
- $615,000 settlement: 47-year-old man struck by a car while changing a tire, resulting in a significant arm injury
- $500,000 settlement: wrongful death claim where the defendant crossed the center line, killing the mother of 5 adult children
- $445,000 settlement: 60-year-old tractor-trailer driver rear-ended by another tractor-trailer, resulting in neck and back surgeries
- $350,000 settlement: 44-year-old woman who suffered orthopedic injuries resulting in surgery as a result of a motor vehicle accident
- $297,500 settlement: policy limits wrongful death settlement arising out of a motor vehicle accident
- $250,000 settlement: 51-year-old man who suffered a neck injury requiring surgery as a result of a motor vehicle accident
- $220,000 settlement: 46-year-old female cafeteria worker, injured low back lifting a tray of juice and subsequently diagnosed with failed back syndrome
- $205,000 settlement: 32-year-old male maintenance worker sustained low back injury while moving a trash dumpster, requiring multiple surgeries
- $164,990 settlement: 49-year-old male bus driver sustained low back and knee injuries when the bus hit a deep pothole, resulting in knee replacement surgery
- $125,000 settlement: 66-year-old woman who suffered an eye injury as a result of a trip and fall at a retail store
- $90,000 jury verdict: 44-year-old man rear-ended in an automobile accident resulting in muscular injuries and an elbow nerve injury
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