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Jury awards $9.5 million to victims of devastating boat crash

Much like car accidents, boating accidents can result in injuries and even fatalities when they take place. Few people wear seat belts on boats, and although flotation devices are present, they often aren't required for those over 18 when a boat is not in motion.

Getting into a boating accident can be devastating. For instance, this accident reported on July 29 resulted in the death of one person and the critical injury of two others.

What happened? The victims were with two others on a 15-foot Key West powerboat in May 2009 when their boat was hit by a 31-foot Boston Whaler that was coming in from sea trials in the Atlantic Ocean.

After the collision, two women were critically injured, a 26-year-old woman and a 29-year-old woman, were trapped on the boat. The boat was circling without a driver. The driver and another passenger had been thrown into the water. Another person, a 24-year-old man, suffered a skull fracture and internal injuries. He was discovered 10 feet under the water's surface. He drowned.

The two women had to be transported to Jersey Shore Medical Center after the crash. The 26-year-old woman had several serious injuries including permanent nerve damage to her foot, a collapsed lung, a broken rib, a concussion, a fractured pelvis and others. The older woman suffered a shattered pelvis, concussion, and torn spleen, which had to be removed.

A short, three-week liability trial found that the driver of the Whaler was liable for the injuries to the other parties. Recently, a two-week trial over the damages for the case ended. It was found that the women should receive $3.9 and $5.1 million respectively. The 29-year-old woman also received an additional $500,000 for future medical expenses; it's believed she will need to have a hip replaced in the future.

Like in this case, if you are involved in an accident, you should anticipate future needs. If you will have future medical costs, this should be included in your negotiations or trial.

Source: NorthJersey.com, "Jury awards $9.5M to Mahwah sisters who were injured in boating accident," Allison Pries, The Record, July 29, 2016

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