Navigating Negligent Accidents on the Water
Life out on the water can be all fun for the whole family, but when safety precautions are not taken then that fun can change to danger very fast. The New York Boat Injury Guide was created by the Buffalo Personal Injury Attorneys at Andrews, Bernstein, Maranto & Nicotra, PLLC to help residents that have been seriously injured by the negligence of another on a boat. We offer free consultations!
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Boating is supposed to be a relaxing luxury past-time, but that can be quickly changed by an accident. The injuries you may have sustained from a boating accident can be substantial and make you worried about what your next step can be. If you are worried about how you are going to manage things financially, you should hire an experienced boating accident attorney.
About Boating Accidents:
Because summer is so short in New York, all boat owners savor every second of the warm weather, cruising, and jetting across the waterways. Summer weekends can be quite busy around the lake. While lakeside activities can be fun for adults and children alike, when proper safety precautions are not taken by everyone on the water, accidents can result that can cause passengers and others to suffer serious injuries.
The most common types of boat accidents are collisions with other vessels, collisions with fixed objects such as a pier, and passengers falling overboard. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the most common causes of boat accidents include:
- Alcohol use
- Careless or reckless operation
- Excessive speed
- Hazardous waters
- Operator Inexperience
Frequent injuries resulting from watercraft accidents are:
- Broken bones
- Head injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
Boats do not provide the same level of protection as land vehicles do, so whereas whiplash and cervical deceleration are typical of car accidents because of the use of seat belts, watercraft accidents tend to result in impact injuries.
If you are injured in a boating accident, you must seek medical treatment immediately for any injuries, take photos of all your bruises and wounds, compile a short journal entry of details about the incident, and write down the names of all witnesses. Your attorney will assess the information that you provide to determine the party at fault and identify the injuries that resulted from the accident. General negligence may be subject to a three-year statute of limitations, but the most important elements in personal injury cases are often established through early investigation while the evidence is still fresh and accessible.
Buffalo’s leading personal injury law firm, Andrews, Bernstein, Maranto & Nicotra PLLC, is proud to serve the needs of boating accident victims in Buffalo and Western New York. If you or a loved one has been injured in a boating accident, contact our Buffalo boat accident lawyers today for a free consultation. Our boating accident lawyers can seek compensation on your behalf for any injury that occurs on the waterways of Western New York and the surrounding areas.
What You Should Know About Boat Accident Injury Cases:
Common Causes of Boating Injuries and Fatalities
There are several factors that go into the cause of these incidents. Very few of them are accidents. People choose to speed or consume alcohol or operate their vehicle outside of their own comfort level or experience level. The accidents we see often involve somebody who is driving recklessly or has been out drinking either on the boat or at a local bar or restaurant and then boating. Unfortunately, all these factors together tend to create hazard out there.
Involved in a Boating Accident
What is important to know is that a lot of the same rules that apply to drivers of automobiles apply to drivers of boats. There is a special license and classes you’re required to take. Depending on the size of the boat, they may be required to have a Skipper license. The rules regarding alcohol usage and following the safety rules apply to boaters as well as autos.
Depending on how somebody is hurt and how the accident happens, if they crash into a barrier, bottom out, or hit a watercraft then all of those things come into play. The operator of each of those crafts has a responsibility to either yield to the other. The injuries can be much more serious sometimes because there are no seat belts in a boat. You’re sitting in an open bow or just along one of the sides, so when an impact does occur, the occupants tend to fly all over. They can be inured from striking things in the boat, or the boat itself. There are a lot of closed head traumas and blunt force traumas that need to be addressed immediately. It’s often hard to get out to that crash site immediately, so the delay in response of First Responders can also affect the severity of the injuries and potentially fatalities.
What Should I Do if I was Injured on a Boat?
First, is to seek medical treatment immediately for anything that is bothering you, photo document any bruises or damages or injuries, and try and put together a short journal entry or write down witness names or information that might help your attorney do the investigation because every case involves two parts.
- Number one: what was the fault or the negligence?
- Number two: what are the injuries?
If you do have this circumstance happen to you, you should call an attorney who is qualified immediately to do both the investigation and the injury assessment for you.
How Much Time Do I Have to Bring a Watercraft Accident Claim Forward?
New York State does not differentiate among claims depending upon what the injured party may have been riding or driving when it comes to the statute of limitations. General negligence is still subject to a three-year statute of limitations. However, even though you have that much time to sue, the most important elements of a case are often established through early investigation – including interviews and the sharing of facts about the incident with your attorney. It’s also important to get the proper medical care promptly. If you are injured in a boating accident due to somebody else’s carelessness or negligence, certainly the owner of that boat or the operator of that boat is legally responsible for your injuries.
If you have been seriously injured in a boating accident in Buffalo, New York, or another town in Erie County, it is important to seek legal representation as soon as possible. Contact our personal injury law office for a free consultation. Our team of skilled boating accident attorneys will fight to get the compensation that you deserve.
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