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Summertime Boating Accidents


Many New Yorkers find it enjoyable to spend time on the water during the summer months. Unfortunately, boating accidents are not uncommon. According to New York Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, 31 fatal boating accidents and 127 injuries were reported in New York in 2020.

Tragically, many boating accidents could have been prevented by exercising reasonable care while operating a watercraft. If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a boating accident due to another’s negligence, recklessness, or carelessness, you may be entitled to compensation by filing a personal injury lawsuit.

Causes of Boating Accidents

Whether you’re on a lake, in the bay, or on the ocean, a boat operator must exercise reasonable safety precautions. If a vessel is not operated correctly — or well maintained — it can create dangerous situations that place those on the boat in peril of sustaining severe injuries. While inattentiveness is a common cause of boating accidents, operating a boat while intoxicated can also lead to a substantial risk of harm. In fact, from 2005 to 2020, the use of alcohol and drugs was found to have contributed to 21.6% of all boating fatalities.                   

Other causes of boating accidents can include:  

  • Speeding or reckless operation
  • Machinery malfunctions
  • Distraction
  • Operator inexperience
  • Failure to keep a lookout
  • Collisions with other boats
  • Violating navigational rules

There may be several parties who could be liable for your injuries based upon how the accident occurred. While a boat operator cannot be blamed for waves, weather, or hazardous waters, they may be liable for negligence if they failed to exercise due care. Additionally, a manufacturer may be held accountable if a defective engine or piece of equipment caused the accident. If you chartered a boat, the vessel’s owner might be held responsible if the accident resulted from their failure to inspect the vessel for dangerous conditions.

Boating Accident Injuries

Depending on the facts and circumstances of the case, numerous types of injuries can arise due to a boating accident. In addition to drowning, other boating accident injuries can include spinal cord damage, hypothermia, paralysis, traumatic brain injury, broken bones, amputation, soft tissue injuries, and fatality.  

Boating accident injuries may require extensive medical treatment — they can also have a significant physical, emotional, and financial impact on a victim and their family. If you’ve been hurt due to a boat operator’s negligence, you may be able to recover monetary compensation in a personal injury action.

Recoverable economic damages in a boating accident can include your medical bills, time lost from work, and out-of-pocket expenses incurred in connection with the accident. You may also be able to recover non-economic damages for the pain and suffering you experienced due to your injuries. If you lost a loved one in a boating accident, you may be entitled to recover compensation in a wrongful death action.   

Contact a Skilled New York City Personal Injury Attorney

A boating accident can have devastating consequences. If you were injured in a boating accident caused by someone else’s negligence, it’s essential to contact a personal injury attorney who can protect your legal rights and inform you of your remedies. The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. has more than 30 years of experience representing accident victims and helping them obtain the compensation they deserve.

The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. has convenient office locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx, as well as mobile locations serving Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx, Staten Island, Westchester, Rockland County, Nassau County, and Suffolk County. Contact us today for a consultation.