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New York Boat Accidents

Boating is a popular activity in New York. Unfortunately accidents do happen, causing very serious injuries such as a head injury, back injury, broken bones, neck injury and paralysis. In the most tragic cases, boat accidents lead to death. While many incidents involve pleasure crafts such as power boats and jet skis, other accidents involve cargo ships and commercial vessels. The law that applies to a boating accident may be state, federal or international. Where the accident happened will determine what law applies. For a boat accident that occurred on non-navigable waters such as a lake, New York state law will apply. If the accident happened in navigable waters such as the ocean, maritime and admiralty laws will apply. If you or a loved one were injured in a boating accident, it is important that you immediately contact an experienced New York Boat Accident Lawyer who will help you get the compensation to which you are entitled.

Causes of boat accidents

Boat accidents caused by negligence occur all too often in New York. Boat operators are required to operate their boats with a high degree of care so as to not harm passengers, other operators of boats, people using personal watercraft, and swimmers. The most common reasons for boat accidents are operator inattention, operator inexperience, improper lookout, machinery failure, and excessive speed. As a result of such negligence boat collisions, capsizing and passengers falling overboard occur. Such negligence also leads to flooding, fires and explosions. The result is serious injury or death. In fatal boat accidents the top contributing factor is alcohol use.

Similarly, ferry accidents also occur as a result of negligence on the part of the ferry operator or the company that manages the ferry business. Common causes of ferry accidents include operator error, excessive speed, alcohol or drug use, poor maintenance, overloaded vessel, poor hiring practices, and failure to follow safety standards. There are several ferries that operate in New York including the Staten Island Ferry, New York Water Taxi, East River Ferry, Hudson River Ferry and ferries to the 9/11 Memorial. Many ferry services in New York are owned by private operators. Others are owned by a governmental entity. For example, the Staten Island Ferry is owned and operated by the New York Department of Transportation. There are special rules that need to be followed before you can move forward with a lawsuit against the government.

Boating injuries do not only occur on recreational watercraft and ferries. People who work on boats and ships also are sometimes injured in the course of employment. Maritime law, also referred to as admiralty law, is a distinct set of procedural and substantive rules that govern boats, ships, shipping, and other activities at sea or in any navigable waters. If you were injured while employed to work aboard a vessel as a seaman, crewmember, or commercial fisherman, you are protected by a federal maritime law called the Jones Act. 46 U.S.C. § 688. The Jones Act provides comprehensive coverage for crewmembers who are injured or die through negligence of their employer.

Common boat accident injuries

There are a variety injuries that those involved in a boat accident may suffer. Only injuries that are deemed serious are compensable. Common serious boat accident injuries include:

  • Broken bones
  • Nerve damage
  • Back injury
  • Neck injury
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Spine injury
Holding the negligent party accountable

Serious injuries from a boat accident can lead to substantial medical bills, extended recovery time, and inability to work. Through a personal injury lawsuit there are a variety of types of damages that may be available to you based on the losses you suffered. For example, seriously injured victims will undoubtedly face substantial medical expenses. These expenses include the fees your doctors charge, ambulance fees, emergency room fees, hospital fees, surgical fees, costs of prescriptions, costs of medical equipment, as well as fees associated with rehabilitation. In addition, if you miss work, the negligent party is responsible for paying you the wages and other compensation that you lost.

New York Boat Accident Lawyer

Boat accident cases are extremely complicated and may involve state, federal as well as international law. To make sure that your case is properly handled, it is critical that those who represent you are experienced handling boat accident cases. Contact Stephen Bilkis and Associates to discuss the details of your case. Our staff is experienced in handling claims from people injured on a variety of watercraft including fishing boats, water skis, cruise ships, jet skis, commuter ferries, and sailboats. Contact us at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case.

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