New York City Personal Injury Law Blog

Personal Injury Resulting from a Boat Accident: What’s are some Legal Avenues?

Posted on Jan 10, 2016 in Boating Accidents, Personal Injury, Personal Injury FAQs

New York is known for providing recreational boating activities to its state residents and tourists. There is also a large commercial boating industry in and around NYC. There are waterways everywhere and of course the Atlantic Ocean is only a couple miles away.

Unfortunately, this pleasurable or professional activity can also cause havoc in the lives of boat riders if an accident takes place! If you are the recent victim of a boat accident, you should immediately consult an attorney in New York, only if you are fit enough to consult.

If the accident was caused due to operator's negligence, you have the option to sue the boating company

If the accident was caused due to operator’s negligence, you have the option to sue the boating company

According to US Coast Guard’s 2007 statistics, a total of 5,191 boating accidents resulted in 685 casualties and 3,673 injury cases. The large majority of these boat accidents were caused by somebody’s negligence. Usually in such situations, the injured victims have a right to pursue a personal injury lawsuit to retrieve financial compensation for incurred and future medical expenses, lost earnings, property damages, and pain and suffering. In case of deaths, the legal situation will be graver and may even lead to criminal proceedings.

Why do boat accidents happen?

As the US Coast Guard observes, most of the boat accidents occur due to one of the three following reasons:

  • Operator’s misjudgment
  • Boating equipment malfunction
  • The climatic conditions

Common Types of Boating Accidents

According to accident reports provided by US Coast Guard, the common types of boat accidents include:

  • Collision with a vessel or a stationary object
  • Collision with a moving object such as a sea creature or a swimmer
  • Mishaps during a skiing or a diving expedition
  • A boat passenger falling and drowning
  • Fire on the boat
  • Sinking or flooding incidents
  • Capsizing in a swamp
  • Carbon-monoxide poisoning

In each of the above cases, human negligence can be identified.

The Legal Procedure for Filing Personal Injury Claims

The victims of boat accidents have the legal right to claim compensation for physical injuries, mental suffering, and property damages. The legal process followed may be something similar to:

  1. Filing a Boating Accident Report (BAR) with the police station that has jurisdiction over the area of accident within 48 hours of the accident.
  2. Assessing the total value of medical expenses, mental suffering, lost earnings, and damaged properties as a result of the boat accident.
  3. Gathering names and contact information of eyewitnesses who can serve as witnesses during trial.
  4. Building a case of negligence or lack of responsible action resulting in the accident through eyewitness accounts, police reports, and available photographs.
  5. Contacting the insurance company to discuss possible settlements.
  6. Taking the matter to court to prove negligence and get compensation from the negligent party. During a court case, the plaintiff’s attorney must prove:
  • Negligence resulted in the boating accident
  • The plaintiff was injured and harmed during the accident
  • The negligent party is liable for providing compensation to the plaintiff.

Usually, eyewitness testimony is considered the best “evidence of negligence” during a boat accident. However, circumstantial evidence such as police records confirming operator error is equally powerful in establishing a case of negligence.

A Law Firm that Cares about its Clients

If you or someone you know has been injured in a boat accident in New York State, then please contact RMFW Law at 212 697 9280 for a free consultation. If you are unable to visit the law office due to your injuries, the attorneys from RMFW Law will visit you at the hospital or at your home.

We know this arena. We know how to win cases. We are not paid until you are paid. We will not settle until you are OK with the amount or if the end of the road has been reached. We will keep you informed every step of the way.

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