Boating is a very popular activity, particularly during the warm summer months. It’s the perfect time to enjoy New York’s lakes, rivers and open waters. What many people do not realize is that boats can be just as dangerous as cars, motorcycles, trucks, ATVs and other motor vehicles.
4,604 occurred nationwide
175 On New York waters
More than $1.5 million dollars in damage was also sustained.
Causes of New York Boating Accidents
The USCG reports that the majority of boating accidents in 2014 (937 out of 4,064) occurred as a result of one recreational boat colliding with another one. Flooding, collision with a fixed object, grounding, skier mishap and capsizing were also types of boating accidents in which a substantial number of serious or fatal injuries were sustained.
In boating accidents where a fatality occurred, the USCG noted alcohol use as the primary contributing factor. In fact, alcohol use was officially listed as the leading factor in 21 percent of the total 610 boating fatalities in 2014. Alcohol was a contributing factor in 13 boating accidents, seven boating-related fatalities and seven boating injuries along New York waters that year.
Statemaster.com reports indicate fatal NY boating accidents with alcohol as a key contributing factor occur at a rate of 0.467 per one million people. Other common causes of boating accidents in New York are:
- Operator inattention:
- Improper lookout
- Operator inexperience
- Force of wave or wake
- Hazardous waters
- Mechanical failure
- Failure to obey the “rules of the road”
Injuries From New York Boating Accidents
The type of water vessel, point of impact, speed at which the vessel was traveling, as well as many other factors will determine the injuries a boating accident victim may sustain. Some of the injuries commonly seen in boating accidents include:
- Lacerations and cuts
- Bruises and scrapes
- Broken bones
- Sprains and strains
- Brain damage from submersion
- Internal injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
If you or a family member has been involved in a boat crash, it is very important you report it at once. Failure to do so is a crime. Most boat crashes must be reported to the state agency regulating boats or to the U.S. Coast Guard. According to the NY Parks, Recreation, and Historical Preservation Department, whether there is only property damage or whether there is also personal injury, boaters are required to exchange information. If one party is not able to be located after the accident, the incident must then be reported or the boaters will face severe charges. It is also important to notify your insurance company when a boat accident occurs. This is a requirement in instances when a state or federal report is filed.
Beyond reporting, recreational watercraft accidents are governed by a number of city, county and state laws. Most boat operators have a legal obligation to operate their vessels responsibly. If they do not, the boat operator could face criminal charges, as well as civil consequences. In some instances, boat owners can also be held liable for an accident even when someone else was driving the boat at the time the accident occurred.
Why You Need Binghamton’s Personal Injury Lawyer Scott Gottlieb
Victims of boating accidents caused by negligence may be eligible to sue for compensation in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a boating accident, speaking with a Binghamton and New York boating attorney will help you understand the legal options available to you.
With years of legal experience, a record of success, and one of the highest possible ratings from Martindale-Hubbell®, an attorney from Scott Gottlieb Law is the advocate you want on your side helping you negotiate a just settlement with insurance companies.
To determine whether you may be eligible to seek compensation following a boating accident, or to find out more about the legal services we offer, call our firm and schedule your free consultation today.