New York City’s numerous waterways provide recreation and transportation for locals and tourists alike. While on the water, it’s important for boat operators to navigate carefully and make sure the boat is safe and in working order. Careless boating can cause serious injuries and life complications. When an innocent victim gets injured in a boat accident because of someone else’s negligence, it may be necessary to pursue a personal injury lawsuit in order to cover injury-related expenses.
Common Water Vehicles Involved In Accidents
New Yorkers regularly make use of several different types of water vehicles. At Lipsig Queens, we’re prepared to represent those who have been injured in all types of water accidents, including:
- Tour boats
- Cruise ships
- Jet skis
- Water taxis
Any of these vessels have the potential to be involved in serious accidents.. It’s important for all water vehicle operators to exercise caution for the sake of everyone else on the water.
Common Causes Of Boating & Water Accidents
There are several common causes of boating accidents, most of which are preventable if the operator and passengers make sure to follow accepted safety standards. Boats are powerful vehicles which need to be operated with the same degree of care as an automobile. Many of the common causes of boating accidents are also common causes of motor vehicle accidents on the road.
According to a report by the US Coast Guard, in 2015 there were a total of 4,158 accidents which involved 626 deaths and 2,613 injuries. This report identified the following as the top ten causes of recreational boating accidents:
- Operator inattention – Just like when you’re driving a car, it’s extremely important to pay attention to your surroundings while operating a boat. If you need to stop suddenly, an accident is likely since boats do not have brakes.
- Operator inexperience – Operating a boat is more difficult than it seems. In order to operate a boat in New York, you must first pass a boating safety course approved by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation. Additionally, you must carry this certificate on board.
- Improper lookout – The operator can’t handle all responsibilities on board. That’s why it’s important to assign someone else to act as a lookout. This person should keep an eye out for any swimmers, debris, and other boats which could cause an accident.
- Machinery failure – Proper maintenance is an absolutely vital part of boat ownership. Boat operators should conduct regular checkups to make sure everything is in working order.
- Excessive speed – Some motorboats have the potential to reach highway speeds, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to go that fast. Excessive speed makes it difficult to spot hazards which could cause a serious accident, such as swimmers, debris, and sandbars.
- Alcohol use – Boating under the influence is just as dangerous as driving a car under the influence. An intoxicated boat operator endangers himself, his passengers, and anyone else he may encounter on the water that day.
- Hazardous waters – Boating during turbulent weather or strong currents is never a good idea. All boat operators should make sure to check weather reports and avoid the water until the skies clear and the waves calm down.
- Navigation rules violations – Every boat owner and operator should be familiar with the official Navigation Rules. Copies can be found in any boating supply store, and vessels over 12 meters long are required to have a copy on board. This guide will help you prepare for anything you may encounter while on the water, and preparation is the best way to avoid an accident.
- Force of wave/wake – A wake is the disturbance of water during the passage of a boat’s hall. Large waves often cause serious accidents and injuries.
Boats are powerful pieces of machinery which need to be shown the proper respect. When operated improperly, they have the potential to cause serious injuries and even deaths. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a Queens boating accident and believe the operator (or the operator of another water vessel) is at fault, you should consider speaking with a lawyer about your legal options.
How Can A Lawyer Help Boat Accident Victims In Queens?
Boat accidents result in serious injuries which often require extensive medical treatment and time missed from work. Additionally, these accidents are traumatic and can cause emotional anguish along with pain and suffering. Victims often require financial assistance to deal with injury-related complications and expenses.
A personal injury lawsuit can help hold negligent parties liable for causing an accident and hurting innocent passengers. People sue others for causing car accidents every day, and accidents on the water are no different. Like car accidents, the courts will evaluate your case based on comparative negligence. This means that even if you were partly at fault for causing the accident, you can still recover compensation if your degree of fault is determined to be less than 50%.
Every Queens boating accident involves a unique set of circumstances and requires a personal evaluation. At Lipsig Queens, we’ll gladly take a look over your case in a free consultation and help you determine if you have a strong case for a lawsuit.