New Jersey Boat Accident Lawyer

New Jersey is home to thousands of lakes, ponds, and rivers, as well as nearly 130 miles of Atlantic coastline, so it’s little wonder that boating is a common recreational pastime. Unfortunately, wherever there are boats, there are boat accidents – more than a hundred a year on average, in fact.

If you were injured in a boat accident in New Jersey and someone else was at fault, you could be entitled to financial compensation through a boating accident injury claim. To learn more about your legal options, contact the attorneys at Pellettieri Rabstein & Altman for a free initial consultation with a New Jersey boat accident lawyer.

How Our New Jersey Boating Accident Lawyers Can Help You

young people sailing

At Pellettieri Rabstein & Altman, we have been serving injured people throughout New Jersey since our founding in 1929. During that time, we have worked relentlessly to deliver for our clients, and we’re proud of the history of favorable case results we’ve secured on their behalf. That is just one of the reasons four out of every five clients are referred to us by family, friends, co-workers, and even other lawyers.

If you were injured in a New Jersey boating accident, our attorneys are prepared to start working on your case immediately. Let us fight to get you the compensation you deserve so you can concentrate on your health and recovery.

How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?

At Pellettieri Rabstein & Altman, we do not charge you any fees upfront to start work on your personal injury case. We will review your case for free, with no obligation to you. If we believe you have a claim for compensation, we will do all the legal legwork with no out-of-pocket cost to you. When we recover compensation for you, our fee then comes as a percentage of that. If we don’t win, you don’t pay us. It’s that simple.

From our clients

I would recommend Richard Isolde to my family and friends, and he was accommodating in handling our case. He was always available by text, phone calls, and email. Most significantly, he helped us get what we deserved. Richard Isolde is always there for his clients and does whatever he can to get the job done.


Richard Isolde worked very hard on my case, making the impossible possible.
He was able to get the full amount up to the policy limit and then get punitive damages in addition. I understand that is a rare accomplishment. I am grateful for that and I congratulate him. Your firm was recommended to me by a friend and I will pay it forward by recommending him as well as PRA.


I used Mr. (SQ) Lee for a personal injury matter and could not have been any more pleased with his services. He understood my injury and helped me every step of the way. He was courteous and kind and I always felt better after speaking with him. His assistant, Sherrill, was also wonderful and together they made a great team! I would absolutely recommend them, and the firm, to anyone.


New Jersey Boating Laws

people on boat moving in water

Generally speaking, all powered vessels and boats longer than 12 feet must be titled and registered with the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (NJMVC). Once an operator obtains a Certificate of Number (registration) for their vessel, they must keep the certificate on board the vessel anytime they are operating it. Only the following types of vessels are exempt from the statewide title and registration requirements:

  • Lifeboats, tenders, or dinghies used only for direct transportation to shore
  • Vessels that are 12 feet in length or shorter
  • Non-powered vessels operated exclusively on small bodies of water on private property
  • Non-powered vessels such as canoes, kayaks, inflatable boats, surfboards, rowing sculls, and racing shells
  • Documented vessels that are only here temporarily from other states or countries
man on wetbike

The specific regulations regarding equipping and operating a marine vessel vary considerably depending on the size and type of watercraft in question. For instance, the requirements for navigation lights and top speeds are different for powered boats than they are for sailboats. However, specific rules apply to operators of all types of marine vessels, such as:

  • Operating any vessel under the influence of alcohol, narcotics, hallucinogens, or any habit-forming drug is prohibited.
  • Allowing other individuals who are under the influence of intoxicants to operate your vessel is illegal.
  • Operating a vessel in a “reckless or careless manner” that endangers others or interferes with their right to free and proper use of the water is prohibited.
  • Operating a vessel capable of producing noise in excess of 90 decibels is prohibited on New Jersey state waters.

Common Types of Boats and Watercraft Involved in Accidents

Some of the watercraft most often involved in accidents include:

Pontoon boats

Flat boats with buoyant pontoons that can hold large groups

Speed boats

Sleek boats with powerful engines that can move very quickly

Fishing boats

Durable vessels built primarily for fishing in salt or freshwater

Dinghy boats

Lightweight boats powered by sails, oars, or small engines

Deck boats

Boats with wide hulls and open decks for groups of passengers


Vessels that use sails to catch the wind and propel them forward

Racing shells and skulls

Long, narrow boats designed for racing


Floating homes with sleeping arrangements and other amenities

Trawler boats

Long-range boats with hulls and engines designed for efficiency

Motor yachts

Leisure vessels with luxurious amenities


Sleek, casual recreational boats that carry four to eight people

Ski boats

Boats with powerful engines designed for towing water skiers at speed


Small vessels attached to larger vessels for use in emergencies

Personal watercraft

Powered vessels for single riders, also called jet skis

Causes of Boating Accidents and Types of Injuries in New Jersey

According to recent recreational boating statistics published by the U.S. Coast Guard, the top causes of boating accidents nationwide include:

Operator inattention

(12.6 percent)

Operator inexperience

(11.6 percent)

Improper lookout

(11 percent)

Equipment, hull, or machinery failure

(9.8 percent)

Excessive speed

(7.9 percent)

Navigational violations

(6 percent)

Alcohol or drug use

(5.8 percent)

Inclement weather

(4.6 percent)

Hazardous waters

(4.4 percent)

Forceful waves or wake

(4.1 percent

Improper loading of passengers or gear

(3.5 percent)

sinking boat

Various types of operator negligence dominate the list. Just like motorists, watercraft operators are responsible for obeying certain rules and looking out for the safety of others. When operators neglect their responsibilities, people can sustain severe injuries, such as:

  • Amputations and loss of limb
  • Arm, elbow, wrist, and hand injuries
  • Back and shoulder injuries
  • Bruises, lacerations, and puncture wounds
  • Chest and abdominal injuries
  • Concussions
  • Dislocated or broken bones
  • Drowning or secondary drowning
  • Electric shocks or electrocution
  • Emotional and psychological injuries
  • Facial injuries and dental trauma
  • Head and neck injuries
  • Herniated discs
  • Internal bleeding
  • Leg, knee, ankle, and foot injuries
  • Partial or total paralysis
  • Permanent scarring and disfigurement
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Soft tissue strains, sprains, and tears
  • Spinal cord injuries

Who Could Be Held Liable for a Boat Accident?

If you have been injured in a New Jersey boat accident, you may be entitled to seek compensation from the people responsible. Depending on the circumstances, any of the following parties could be liable for a boat accident:

The boat operator

Boat operators could be liable if their distraction, intoxication, or other negligent behavior contributed to an accident. In most cases, operators are covered by either boater’s or homeowner’s liability insurance policies.

Boat passengers

A boat passenger could be liable if they acted in a negligent manner that contributed to the accident, such as by taking unauthorized control of the boat or pushing another passenger overboard.

The owner of the boat

A boat owner could be liable (even if they are not onboard) if they allow an inexperienced or unlicensed individual to borrow or take control of their vessel, for example.

An employee

If sailors are injured while working aboard marine vessels, they may be entitled to sue negligent employers under the Jones Act.

A boat rental company

A commercial boat rental company could be liable for boat accidents if they did not properly maintain their vessel or rented it to a customer who should not be allowed to operate a vessel, such as one who was obviously intoxicated.

The boat manufacturer

Boat manufacturers may be liable if boat accidents are caused by the failure of defectively designed or manufactured components.

Government agencies

A government agency might be liable if it failed to ensure that local waters had proper warning signs, buoys, or supervision.

Our Victories

$200+ Million

Recovered for Clients


Personal Injury Practice Areas


Attorney Average Years in Practice

Our personal injury attorneys know that behind each accident victim is a personal tragedy, a story to be told, responsibility to be taken, wrongs to be righted, and closure needed. 


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Compensation for Boating Accident Injuries in New Jersey

life jackets on a boat

If another party was at fault for the boating accident, you might be entitled to seek compensation from them or their insurance provider to cover:

  • The costs of any medical care you need for accident-related injuries
  • The value of lost wages and benefits from missed time at work
  • The projected value of losses in your lifetime earning capacity
  • The estimated costs of medical care you will likely need in the future
  • The intangible costs of your pain, suffering, and lost quality of life

Deadline for Filing a Boating Injury Lawsuit in New Jersey

person on jet ski

New Jersey has a statute of limitations on personal injury claims, which is a law that specifies the amount of time you have to take legal action. Generally speaking, you have two years from the date when the injury occurred to file an injury lawsuit in civil court.

The clock starts ticking the moment you are injured in a boat accident in New Jersey. If you wait to file your lawsuit until after the two-year deadline has expired, the court will most likely dismiss your case, and you will lose your right to demand fair compensation for your losses. Our knowledgeable attorneys can identify important legal deadlines, gather needed evidence while it is fresh and ensure your case remains on track.

Discuss Your Case with Our New Jersey Boat Accident Lawyers Now

young people in boat party

The best way to protect your legal rights and pursue a fair recovery after a boat accident in New Jersey is to work with a knowledgeable attorney. The legal team at Pellettieri Rabstein & Altman has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars in fair compensation on behalf of people like you. We are eager to put our experience and skill to work for you.

Contact us today for a free consultation with a New Jersey boat accident lawyer.


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