Articles Posted in Sports Injuries

New Hampshire has a wealth of beautiful lakes and coastline, making the state a popular location for boaters and tourists. Boating is a fun and exciting leisure activity, but without proper education and training, the activity can have disastrous consequences. New Hampshire boating accidents can result in injuries to the boat’s drivers, passengers, and those enjoying water sports. Negligent New Hampshire boat drivers may face severe criminal and civil consequences, including jail time, fines, and personal injury claims.

New Hampshire boaters must have a state boating license or certificate; however, if they do not, they must complete a classroom course and pass a supervised exam. Additionally, New Hampshire law prohibits boaters from operating their boats under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If a boater’s blood alcohol level (BAC) is .08 or higher, they may face a criminal Boating Under the Influence (BUI) charge in addition to civil liability for injuries they caused. Boating injuries may be the result of other boating accidents, as well. Some common situations that may result in injuries are when a boat hits a wave, another boat’s wake, or a submerged object. The boat itself may be dangerous if it has defective equipment or slippery surfaces. Further, individuals may suffer more severe injuries when a boat does not have adequate safety equipment on board.

A recent news report illustrates the deadly consequences a boating accident can have. Recently, two New Hampshire men died in a boating accident on Lake Winnipesaukee. New Hampshire emergency personnel arrived at the scene after receiving reports that a boat was adrift. Reports indicate that there was a female passenger aboard the boat suffering from severe injuries, and the boat’s operator, who was pronounced dead at the scene. While responding to the scene, helicopters and divers found a deceased man on a submerged boat. Witnesses indicated that two vessels collided with each other. Details are few, and police report that they are still investigating the cause of the accident and determining which boats were involved.

Recently, a state appellate court issued a written opinion in a New Hampshire personal injury case involving a horseback riding accident in which a minor was seriously injured. The case required the court to determine if the defendant, an expert equestrian who gave the young girl lessons, could be liable for her injuries. Ultimately, the court concluded that under RSA 508:19, the state’s equine immunity statute, the defendant was entitled to immunity.

According to the court’s opinion, the plaintiff was a thirteen-year-old girl who had been taking horseback riding lessons from the defendant for two years. In addition to her scheduled lessons, about once a week, the plaintiff would go on a “free ride,” during which she would be unsupervised. It was during one of these free rides that the plaintiff fell off a horse while trying to dismount, and was seriously injured.

The girl, through her father, pursued a claim against the defendant. She claimed that the defendant’s negligence in allowing her to ride the horse unsupervised resulted in her injuries. In response, the defendant argued that she was entitled to immunity under RSA 508:19, the equine immunity statute. That statute provides that “an equine activity sponsor, an equine professional, or any other person engaged in an equine activity, shall not be liable for an injury or the death of a participant resulting from the inherent risks of equine activities.” The plaintiff’s position was that her injuries were caused by risks that were not inherent to horseback riding.

Contact Information