Boating is a favorite summer activity. The New York City area is close to many waterways, bays, and harbors. In recent years these recreation areas have become increasingly crowded. Novice and experienced boaters alike are at greater risk of accident and injury.
Boating presents unique dangers.
Boating deaths are not as common as fatalities caused by car accidents. Car accidents are more fatal by a ratio of almost two to one. That said, there are far more motorists than boaters. Accidents that occur on waterways present unique challenges that aren't relevant in auto accidents.
Location plays a big part in accessing medical care. If you are injured in a boating accident you are more likely to be further from adequate medical facilities than a motorist. The open nature of boats, and boaters' disdain of PFDs (personal flotation devices), present dangers unique to boating. Boat passengers routinely ignore PFD regulations in favor of the perfect tan.
It's no longer common for anyone driving or riding in a car not to be restrained by a seatbelt. For boaters, however, a restraint is a two-edged sword. While it can protect you from being thrown from the boat in an accident, being belted to the boat could pose a drowning hazard. This environmental hazard is non-existent for motorists if their vehicle stays on the road.
Who is at fault?
When an accident occurs on the water, who is responsible? Follow the same protocol as you would with a car accident. Document the accident thoroughly with cell phones.
Call the appropriate authorities if you or your boat is involved in a reportable accident. Qualifying accidents involve over $1,000 in property damage, injuries that cannot be remedied by basic first aid, or involve disappearance.
Accident liability depends on the type of accident. Variables associated with assigning accident liability include who owned the boat, who was piloting it at the time of the accident, boat rental companies if applicable, and the actions of passengers. Contact us for help if you have been injured in a boating accident.