Throughout the region, people enjoy boating, water skiing and other recreational water activities on our many lakes and rivers, as well as the Long Island Sound and the Atlantic Ocean. People expect to have fun and do not want to worry about serious injuries while on a boat, but unfortunately, boating accidents happen far too often, resulting in serious and fatal injuries.
Nationally, the U.S. Coast Guard reports that 4,062 recreational boating accidents involving 2,620 injuries and 560 deaths occurred in one recent year. In 77 percent of these fatal boating accidents where cause of death was known, the victims died from drowning.
At Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP, our Long Island accident lawyers we represent people who have been injured or whose family members have been killed in recreational boating accidents. With our experience and legal knowledge, we work hard to pursue compensation for medical treatment, lost wages and pain and suffering for those injured in these types of New York boat accidents.
Protect your rights. Contact us today for a free consultation.
How Boating Accidents Happen
In its report on recreational boating accidents, the U.S. Coast Guard ranks the top 5 types of accidents as follows:
- Collision with a recreational vessel – 947 accidents, 619 injuries, 36 deaths.
- Flooding or swamping – 430 accidents, 144 injuries, 67 deaths.
- Collision with a fixed object – 427 accidents, 269 injuries, 56 deaths.
- Grounding – 399 accidents, 255 injuries, 15 deaths.
- Skier mishaps – 332 accidents, 352 injuries, 11 deaths.
The Coast Guard also lists the top 10 contributing factors to boating accidents as:
- Operator inattention.
- Improper lookout.
- Operator inexperience.
- Excessive speed.
- Machinery failure.
- Alcohol use.
- Violations of navigation rules.
- Force of wave or wake.
- Hazardous waters.
Alcohol consumption was named as the leading contributing factor in fatal boating accidents. Machinery and equipment failures that caused accidents included engine, shift, throttle, electrical system, fuel system, steering system and auxiliary equipment failures.
Common Injuries in Boating Accidents
Serious or fatal injuries can be sustained in boating accidents. In addition to injuries that can result from collision of any moving motor vehicles, boating accidents carry the additional danger presented by the water. Drowning is the cause of death in most recreational boating fatalities.
Victims can suffer brain damage from oxygen deprivation in near-drowning injuries, or hypothermia from remaining in the water too long. Fires or explosions on the boat can cause serious burn injuries, and occupants can suffer fractures, head, back and other injuries from falls caused by collisions.
Who May be Responsible for a Boating Accident?
As shown by the Coast Guard statistics, many boating accidents are caused by the negligence of operators. Other accidents are caused by machinery and equipment failure. To determine who may be responsible for injuries suffered in a boating accident, it is necessary to determine what caused the accident.
If you were injured because the operator of the boat was under the influence of alcohol or drugs or acted negligently in some other way that caused an accident, you may be entitled to pursue a claim for damages against that person. If the operator of another vessel caused a collision with your boat through negligence, that other operator may be responsible for your injuries.
If a defect in the boat or any of its parts caused your injuries, you may have a product liability claim against the manufacturer or vendor. If negligent maintenance of the boat caused the accident, the company or person responsible for that maintenance may be liable. A boat operator whose carelessness or negligence caused injury to a water skier may be liable for the skier’s injuries.
Hurt In a Long Island Boating Accident? Our Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyers can Help
At Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP, our seasoned Long Island personal injury lawyers have been successfully handling a range of accident and injury cases for more than a dozen years, and we have recovered millions in settlements and verdicts for our clients. Attorney Richard Jaffe is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum®.
We handle cases involving power boats, water skis, personal watercraft, yachts, sail boats and other boats in New York. Call our office or e-mail us and we will respond immediately. Our Long Island boating accident attorneys offer a free consultation, including home and hospital visits.
- U.S. Coast Guard: 2019 Recreational Boating Statistics
For a free legal consultation with a Personal Injury lawyer serving Long Island, call 516-358-6900