In New York, the summer season is a short window of time that allows for certain outdoor activities – like boating.
Unfortunately, boating can present a risk to your health and even your life. NBC New York has reported five deaths in the waters around Long Island this summer already, for instance. So it’s no surprise boating safety enforcement is cracking down on boating for the rest of the season.
Hopefully, the measures shared below will help to keep you safe on the water, but if an accident does occur what are your options? Here’s what you need to know if you’re injured in a New York boating accident and want to sue.
Common Causes of Boat Accidents
The United States Coast Guard compiles statistics for boating accidents each year. In 2018, there were over 2,500 injuries caused by boats across the United States with 633 deaths. Many of these injuries and deaths related to boats are a result of negligence.
The most common ways that negligence causes boating accidents are:
Just like when operating a vehicle on the road, operating a boat when distracted can cause accidents. There are many things that can distract the operator, from conversations with passengers to dealing with wild and unruly riders. Inattention may also be due using alcohol while operating a boat or some other intoxicating substance.
If the operator of the boat isn’t experienced, then it can cause boat accidents as well. They may not understand how to operate the boat in certain water or weather conditions or how to use the navigation systems on board.
If the operator doesn’t keep a close watch on their surroundings in the water, then they may not spot other boats or watercraft, or people in the water swimming, wakeboarding, tubing, or water skiing.
This is a major contributing factor to many boating accidents in motorized boats. When traveling in a boat at excessive speeds, hitting rocks in the water or waves can cause problems in operating the boat safely. Also, colliding with other boats at excessive speeds is another common type of boating accident.
According to the Coast Guard’s statistics, over 15 percent of recreational boating deaths involve alcohol use. In New York, you cannot operate a motor vehicle while intoxicator, nor can you operate a motorized boat when under the influence of either alcohol or drugs. If someone does operate a boat while intoxicated, then they could be legally liable for injuries and deaths that can result.
If You Want to Pursue Damages
If you’re injured seriously in any kind of boating accident and left in physical pain, facing financial problems, or unable to work, then you have the right to pursue compensation, and there are things you can do to recover damages.
You must hold the person responsible for the negligence that caused your injuries legally accountable and you do this by filing a personal injury claim. Pursuing a personal injury claim can result in being awarded certain damages, such as:
- Medical bills, both current and future
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
If a loved one died as the result of negligence on a boat, then you can also file a wrongful death claim to recover compensation for things such as funeral expenses, loss of support, medical bills, and other losses.
In New York, you have a three-year statute of limitations to file a claim for general negligence, but you should not delay in starting a personal injury case.