New York State requires all boaters to complete a boating safety course and earn a certificate before piloting a boat. However, this law only went into effect in 1996. Boaters born before May 1 of that year are exempt from this law, meaning most adult boaters in New York waters did not have to undergo any safety training. When you add in a high number of boaters under the influence of alcohol and high speed, high-performance boats, the dangers increase exponentially.
If another careless or reckless boater caused your injuries, a boating accident lawyer in Patchogue, Long Island could help. He or she may help you recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, boat repair, pain and suffering, and other damages. Call Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C. today at 631-600-0000 to schedule a complimentary claim evaluation.
Who Is Liable for My Boating Accident Injuries?
In most cases, the negligent boat operator is liable for any injuries sustained in a boating accident. Boat owners, when they operate their vessel on public waterways, accept the responsibility to not expose passengers and others on the water to unreasonable dangers. They must follow all applicable boating laws, as well as maintain their craft properly. If they break one of these laws or otherwise fail to act carefully and reasonably, they could cause someone else to suffer serious or even deadly injuries.
Occasionally, other parties may be partially or fully liable for injuries that occur. This is most common when the operator does not own the boat. Often, rental companies are at least partially liable for injuries. If the crash occurs because of a defective part, the part or boat manufacturer may be responsible.
When we investigate your boating accident, we can determine what caused your accident, and this will allow us to identify all potentially liable parties. Once we know who is legally responsible, we can file a claim against them to recover compensation to pay your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses.
Is There Insurance to Pay for My Boat Accident Injuries?
Most typical boat owners have liability insurance for their boats under their homeowner’s insurance policy. In some cases, there are limits on these policies that do not cover high-performance boats, commercial boats, or other unusual situations. However, boaters can add the majority of fishing and recreational vessels to their homeowner’s policy.
If the boat operator who caused your accident has this type of coverage, we can often file a claim and negotiate a fair payout that covers your medical bills, pain and suffering, and other losses. The process is similar if they carry separate liability coverage for their boat.
If the boater does not carry any liability insurance, we can pursue a personal injury lawsuit against them. This is rarely the best option because most people who have assets to cover your damages out-of-pocket usually invest in liability coverage.If you carry an uninsured boaters protection policy, we may help you file a claim to recover compensation through this coverage instead.
When we evaluate your claim, we can help you understand your options and develop a plan to pursue compensation based on the facts of your accident.
What Types of Damages Are Available in a Boating Accident Claim?
Before we file a third party liability claim, we collect evidence of your losses and estimate a value for your claim. We request compensation to pay for economic and noneconomic damages. This often includes:
- Medical expenses, including hospitalization, doctor’s visits, and therapies
- Prescription medications
- Ongoing care costs, if applicable
- Lost wages and future lost income
- Other related expenses and out-of-pocket costs
- Property damage to your boat or other items
- Pain and suffering damages
What Causes Boating Accidents?
Operator error is the leading cause of boating accidents in New York State. This encompasses a wide variety mistakes the operator may make, almost all of which qualify as negligence. Drunk, untrained, and distracted boaters act in careless and reckless ways, making poor decisions and causing accidents. Some of the most common reasons boating accidents occur include:
- Distractions cause boaters to collide with other boats, swimmers, and other objects
- High powered, high-speed boats operating at excessive speeds in areas where swimmers, sailboats, fishing boats, and other smaller vessels are present
- The drugs or alcohol impaired the boater’s judgment
Occasionally, a boating accident occurs because of negligence on the part of other parties. This may include the boat manufacturer, a parts manufacturer, or even a boat rental company. We can help you determine if defective parts, poor maintenance, improper repairs, or other issues with the craft itself caused your accident, and who might be liable for the injuries you sustained.
How Can I Talk to a Boating Accident Lawyer in Patchogue, Long Island?
If you suffered injuries in a boating crash, Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C. can help you hold the liable parties responsible. Call our office on Long Island today at 631-600-0000. We offer free consultations and handle most boating accident claims on a contingency basis.