Ferries in New York serve many purposes. Tourists take the ferry to navigate the rivers and enjoy a great photo opportunity. Commuters from New Jersey and surrounding areas depend on ferries to get to work on time. In fact, these days so many people want to take the ferry that the city has had to make an effort to increase the size of ferry boats and add more routes.
How many people?
Over 3 million people rode the New York ferries in 2017, which is 34% more people than New York expected. These high numbers aren’t just important for commuters who need to plan their routes accordingly, either – safety is becoming an ever-growing concern, and accidents do happen.
A few years ago, dozens of passengers were injured on a ferry heading from New Jersey to Manhattan. The ride was smooth sailing until it crashed into a barge as it was reaching its destination. Passengers were thrown into the air and knocked out. In total, over 80 passengers were injured. Investigators eventually linked the crash to captain’s errors.
Ferry injuries can range from a bump on the head to fatalities. If you have been injured by a New York ferry, you may be entitled to compensation. However, the time available for receiving that compensation may be running out.
First Steps to Take After a New York Ferry Injury
Ferry injuries are similar to other personal injury cases in many ways. It is most important that you visit a medical professional and get treatment for your injuries as soon as possible. Not only will this ensure that your medical bills are kept to a minimum, it will also give you a record of what injuries the ferry accident caused and how much compensation you may get.
Before you file a suit, it is important to figure out who you are filing the suit against. When you are dealing with a New York ferry accident, you could be suing one of two types of parties.
Filing against Public Entities
The first is a public entity. New York ferries that are operated by the New York Department of Transportation are a government entity. If you want to file a lawsuit against a government entity, you have to follow specific rules. The most notable of these rules is the statute of limitations.
This is the period of time that a victim can bring up a criminal or civil lawsuit. The clock starts ticking once an injury occurs or is discovered. Each state has different statutes of limitation regarding personal injury lawsuits.
In the case where a New York government entity is the defendant, the statute of limitations is especially tight. You only have 90 days to file a lawsuit after an injury that involves a ferry owned and operated by the New York Department of Transportation.
The lawsuit will have to be filed in the New York Court of Claims. If those 90 days have passed, don’t panic. Reach out to a New York personal injury lawyer to learn more about alternative options for receiving compensation. You may be able to direct your lawsuit toward a private entity and buy yourself more time.
Filing against Private Entities
Not all ferries in New York are run by the New York Department of Transportation. If you were injured on a ferry that was owned by a private company, you don’t have to worry about the extra limitations of suing the New York government. If you are filing a claim against a private entity, the statute of limitations is extended to three years.
Other Steps to Take When Filing a Lawsuit After A Ferry Accident
Once you and your lawyer have determined the defendant and how much time you have to file a lawsuit, it’s time to build your case. Ferry accidents are serious and can rack up tens of thousands of dollars – or more. Because of this, ferry companies and the New York government are going to fight back hard.
The following steps can help you win your case and get the compensation that you are entitled to receive:
- Gathering thorough records of your financial damages, including loss of income and medical treatment
- Listening to eyewitness accounts of the ferry accident, including survivors and other victims
- Collecting results of investigations after the ferry accident
Each case is different. Don’t let the time between now and your injuries prevent you from filing a lawsuit and getting the compensation you deserve after a New York ferry injury.