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Boat Accident Lawyer

Luxurious yacht speedboat riding on a sea

Recreational boating is a popular activity on Long Island and around the state. New Yorkers and visitors alike take part in fishing, swimming, water skiing, and jet skiing without contemplating the risk of injury that can occur in a boating accident. Sadly, there are hundreds of boating accidents in the state each year and most are avoidable.

If you have been injured in a boat accident, choose a team you can trust. The lawyers at Edelman Krasin & Jaye are dedicated to fighting for the rights of boating injury victims.

What is the cause of most boating accidents?

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, leading causes include:

  • Operator errors including inattention or inexperience
  • Excessive speed
  • Machinery failure
  • Alcohol

Operators and passengers alike underestimate the potential for serious injury on a boat, leading to risky behavior which includes (and is amplified by) consumption of alcohol or drugs. The effects of alcohol play a significant role in fatal and non-fatal boating accidents alike.

Under which conditions do most boating accidents occur?

  • Unsurprisingly, the number of accidents rises when there are more boats on the waterways.
  • Boat accidents peak in June, July, and August, and on a Saturday or Sunday.
  • The most common type of boat accident is a collision with another boat while cruising.
  • At peak recreational boating times, operators and passengers need to stay alert and pay attention to other vessels.

Boating accident statistics

In 2015, more than 2,600 people were injured in boating accidents. Nearly 200 of those took place in New York, leading to 16 fatalities. Nine of those accidents, and three injuries, were in Long Island Sound.

Boating accident death stats

The alarming truth is most boating fatalities are preventable. Drowning is the leading cause of boating deaths in New York and across the country, causing more than three quarters of boating fatalities. Eighty-five percent of the victims do not wear a life jacket or personal flotation device (PFD).

State law requires each pleasure boat operated upon New York waters to carry at least one approved life jacket or PFD for each person aboard the craft – in serviceable condition, easy to reach, and appropriately sized for the wearer.

If you are a boat owner or operator, inspect your PFDs to ensure you comply with the law. If you are a passenger on someone else’s vessel, make sure there are ample and usable PFDs for you and your family before you set sail.

Types of boat accidents

There are many types of recreational boats on New York’s waterways and they can lead to different types of injuries and legal issues.

Jet ski accident

These personal watercrafts are a lot of fun but they attract inexperienced, and often inebriated, riders. A jet ski crash can lead to serious injuries including broken bones, amputations, and drownings, because the riders are rather unprotected.

Sailboat accident

Sailboats are regarded as safe so serious accidents are viewed as inexplicable. But near-drownings are surprisingly common and boaters should be aware of the risk.

Yacht crash

Yacht crewmembers and passengers alike may be injured aboard a vessel or in a crash. Injuries can include broken bones, lacerations, hypothermia, or drowning due to slip and falls, propeller strikes, or falling overboard.

Fishing boat accident

Improper loading of fishing vessels can lead to capsizing, a leading cause of drowning deaths. Fishermen are also less likely to wear PFDs, increasing the likelihood of injury.

Boat propeller accident

A victim is not in the path of a propeller until after another accidental event such as a fall overboard, a capsizing, or a collision. Propeller accidents can lead to lacerations, amputations, and death.

Speed boat crash

Very little training is required to legally operate a boat in New York – far less than driving car. Yet insurance premiums for speedboats are higher than for other boats because they are at greater risk of injuring others or damaging property.

Liability after a boat accident

Liability for a boat collision or a fatal boat accident is not always clear-cut. Fault may lie with:

  • A negligent operator
  • Someone who recklessly entrusted the keys to a drunk operator
  • The boat’s owner or a tour organizer
  • An entity responsible for maintenance
  • A manufacturer or supplier of a faulty product
  • Another boater

A boating accident attorney at Edelman Krasin & Jaye can spot potential liability issues and hold those responsible accountable.

What is the value of my boat accident injury claim?

A boating accident can be minor or serious and an injury claim will generally correspond to the severity. Some of the factors to take into consideration include whether the victim suffered:

  • Loss of life
  • Amputation or loss of bodily function
  • Medical bills
  • Rehabilitative services
  • Lost income

The claim may also be impacted by the liable party’s actions. For example, if an owner knowingly allowed a noticeably intoxicated person to operate the boat, this may be reflected in the claim.

Can you drink alcohol and operate a boat?

Quite simply: do not do it. Under New York law, no one is allowed to operate a boat while impaired or intoxicated by alcohol or drugs. Boating while intoxicated can lead to hefty fines, suspension of operator privileges, or even imprisonment.

Boating accident lawyer Long Island

No one who steps onto a recreational boat expects to walk away with an injury but it happens in New York hundreds of times each year. The effects can take a toll physically, emotionally, and financially.

If you have been injured in a boating accident, speak with a boat accident attorney at Edelman Krasin & Jaye. Our personal injury lawyers are among the most talented in New York and we are ready to evaluate your case and get started on a plan. Call today for a free case review.

Boat crash resources

  1. New York State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, Safe Boating Lawful Operations, http://nysparks.com/recreation/boating/safe-boating/lawful-operations.aspx
  2. U.S. Coast Guard Newsroom, US Coast Guard Releases 2015 Recreational Boating Statistics Report, http://www.uscgnews.com/go/doc/4007/2821930/US-Coast-Guard-releases-2015-Recreational-Boating-Statistics-Report
  3. Sail Magazine, Sailing Accidents: Lessons Learned, http://www.sailmagazine.com/cruising/lifestyle/sailing-accidents-lessons-learned/