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What To Expect After a Boating Accident

Have you been injured on the water and have questions? Learn what to expect after a boating accident here, then call our Buffalo attorneys.

1) Boating Accidents

What To Expect After a Boating AccidentEspecially this time of year, you have to be aware of safety on the water. Sometimes we get calls from clients who are involved in either boating accidents or watercraft accidents. 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 you’re required and classes to take. Depending on the size of the boat, they may be required to have a Skipper license. Either way, the rules regarding alcohol usage and following the safety rules apply to boaters as well as autos.

Depending on how somebody is hurt, how the accident happens – if they crash into a barrier, or bottom out, or hit a watercraft, or one of those little Ski-Doos that are on the water – all of those things come into play because the operator of each of those crafts still has a responsibility to either yield to the other depending on where they’re located in the water. The injuries can actually be much more serious sometimes because there are no seat belts in a boat. You’re sitting in an open bow, traditionally, 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, 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, like if you were in a roadway, so the delay in response of First Responders can also affect the severity of the injuries.

2) Statute of Limitations for Watercraft Accidents

  • Because New York State’s statute of limitations is not affected by what the injured party may have been riding or driving, boating injuries are considered general negligence and subject to a three-year statute of limitations.
  • Regardless of the time allowed to bring suit, the case’s most important elements are often established through early investigation, which includes interviews and fact sharing with your attorney.

3) Injuries that Can Occur on a Boat

As a Buffalo Boat Accident Lawyer I am often asked about injuries that occur during watercraft injuries. During a boating accident we can often see bumps and bruises along with traumatic head injuries because people can be tossed around very easily.  As a Buffalo Boat Accident Lawyer I advise clients that a boating injury can be much more serious than a car accident.

4) Boating Accident Liability

We get calls from people that have boating accident injuries and some of their first questions are, “Who is responsible?”, “Who’s liable?”, “Who shares fault for it?” Typically, what we look to see is who the boat owner is and who the boat operator is. Both of those people have direct responsibility for any accidents that occur due to the negligence of the operator.

Also, if the boat was rented and the rental company did not properly vet who will be driving it; give proper instructions, proper warnings, and that played a part, then they would also share liability. Really, the analysis that we do initially is to look for any and all players or people that might have some fault in the actual happening of the accident.


If you have been injured in a boat accident, here is what to expect after a boating accident. The Personal Injury Lawyers at Andrews, Bernstein, Maranto & Nicotra, PLLC fight for the rights of persons who are injured or disabled. We approach each case on an individual basis and personally assist each client with their unique needs. We are involved in every step of the legal process, and ensure that each case receives the time and effort necessary for success.

Attorney Richard Nicotra is a partner with Andrews, Bernstein, Maranto & Nicotra, PLLC and has achieved the rating of superb on Avvo.

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