New York is known for a lot of things – and one of them is copious amounts of beautiful bodies of water on which to boat.
While this is a great feature of the state, it also opens the door for various boating accidents to occur, especially in the summertime when people want to be out on the water enjoying the sun. Many different types of accidents can occur that lead to a variety of injuries – injuries that can bring with them large medical bills. They can also greatly impact your quality of life.
Here’s what you need to know about boating injuries in New York and what you can do if injured to claim damages and help to pay for the expenses that can result.
What Causes Boat Accidents?
Just as with other forms of transportation, like motorcycles or cars, boating accidents occur each year and lead to serious injuries and even fatalities. There are many reasons boating accidents can occur, including negligence on the part of others. Some of the most common causes of boating accidents include:
Lack of Attention
Sometimes the operator of the boat is simply inattentive, much like some drivers are distracted while on the road, leading to an accident. When you’re out on a boat for recreation, this danger seems to increase, as novice boat operators can become easily distracted and get into accidents.
The term improper lookout refers to the idea of the operator of the boat failing to be attentive to their surroundings. Sometimes the person driving the boat can be their own lookout – sometimes they have another person do that job. Either way, it’s important to watch for other people and boats in the water. Be aware at all times.
Remember, people are not required to own a boat or gain hours of experience driving one to go out on the water. Operators who are inexperienced can miss important things that help to keep everyone safe, including the weather or the conditions on the water.
Perhaps one of the biggest contributors to boat accidents is alcohol. It is illegal in New York to operate a boat while intoxicated, just as it is to drive a car on the road. If a person operates a boat while drunk, then that increases risks for everyone.
Now that you understand why boat accidents are likely to happen, it’s important to understand what types of injuries they can incur. Some of the most common types of injuries associated with boats include:
- Broken bones
- Brain injuries
- Neck injuries
- Internal injuries
- Back injuries
Each of these types of injuries can be serious and have a big impact on your life.
You can pursue damages if you are involved in a boating accident that leaves you with injuries, financial problems, and the inability to work as you recover. If someone else was responsible for your injuries through their negligent behavior, then you may be able to seek damages for:
- Medical bills – both past, present, and future
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
In each instance, you need a skilled attorney to help you pursue these damages and ensure that you get the best representation of your case in court. An attorney can also help with wrongful death claims in the event that the boat accident caused the death of a loved one.