What if I Am Injured in a Boating Accident in New York?
Many New Yorkers like to escape the hustle and bustle of the city for the cool waters of the Atlantic ocean in the summer. Boating is a popular activity for adults and children alike. Whether people are taking a dip in the water, tubing, or water skiing, boats can provide hours of fun. As with operating any type of machinery or vehicle, the potential for accidents exists, and injuries can occur in a variety of situations. In 2016, the United States Coast Guard reported 4,463 accidents that involved 701 deaths, 2,903 injuries, and approximately $49 million in damage to property as a result of recreational boating accidents. Even if safety precautions are taken, boating accident injuries can be serious and even life-threatening.
Common Causes of Boating Accidents
According to the United States Coast Guard, a number of different factors can lead to boat accident injuries. Some of the most common factors include:
- BUI (Boating Under the Influence): Impairment by alcohol and/or drugs causes over one-third of all accidents involving a boat. Just as in a car, a driver’s reaction time is greatly reduced from having these substances in his or her system.
- Severe Weather Conditions: Heavy rain and powerful wind can make it difficult for boaters to see and thus properly navigate to avoid collisions with other watercraft.
- Carbon Monoxide: Boat engines produce carbon monoxide, which is toxic. Boaters and passengers may be exposed to high levels of the gas, and in severe cases, this can lead to wrongful death.
- Operator Error: When novice boaters encounter unfamiliar or dangerous conditions, they often panic and make errors in judgment.
Types of Boating Accident Injuries
Injuries suffered in a boat accident can range from minor bumps and bruises to severe head trauma. Some of the most common injuries include the following:
- Drowning: An individual can be pulled under the water or suffer brain trauma before falling into the water, and he or she may be unable to swim to the surface. Even if someone knows how to swim, he or she may choose not to wear a life jacket, which could easily prevent drowning.
- Brain/Head Trauma: Brain damage can occur from lack of oxygen when a person is submerged underwater or exposed to carbon monoxide. Head trauma can also occur due to impact from being thrown against a wall during a collision with another boat.
- Spinal Cord Injuries: Injuries such as paralysis can be the result of severe impact or from spinal compression. Compression can occur when a boat bounces up and down on the water due to rough water and waves.
- Lacerations: A person swimming or diving into the water can be struck by a boat’s propeller blades, causing severe lacerations that could even lead to amputation of an arm or leg.
- Whiplash: A sudden impact in a boat can force a passenger’s head and body forward and backward violently. Whiplash injuries that take place on a boat can be very similar to those that occur in a car accident.
- Electrocution: Improper maintenance of electrical systems and appliances can cause electrocution or electrical burns. Standing water on a boat also increases the risk of electrocution.
Contact a New York Personal Injury Attorney
Summertime is ideal for heading to the shore with family or friends. Boating can be a fun excursion for people of all ages, but with it comes certain risks. As with other motor vehicles, operating a watercraft should be done responsibly and safely. Accidents can occur due to a number of factors, and these can result in serious injuries. If you are injured while boating, you may be entitled to compensation from the negligent party or parties who were responsible for the accident. The skilled law firm of Goldberg Sager & Associates can help establish liability for your injuries and work with you to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. Call an experienced Brooklyn boating accident lawyer today at 718-514-9516 for a free consultation.