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Queens Boat Accident

While both recreational boats and commercial boats are involved in serious accidents, most accidents involve recreational watercraft. Recreational boats include cruisers, motorboats, sailboats, and water scooters. There are a wide range of injuries that boat accident victims can suffer including a spinal cord injury, broken bones, bruises, contusions, a head injury or a brain injury. In the same way that a victim of a car accident may seek damages from the negligent person through a personal injury claim, the law allows victims of boat accidents to seek damages as well. Depending on where the boat accident takes place, the law that will be applied to a boat accident is either maritime law or New York law. In addition, there is another set of laws that will apply if an employee is injured while working on navigable waters. Because of the legal complexities often associated with a boat accident, if you were injured in a boat accident it is recommended that you call an experienced Queens boat accident attorney who will aggressively work to protect your legal rights.

Causes of boat accidents

Because New York is surround by water, the waterways have a lot of commercial and recreational traffic. Commercial traffic includes the Staten Island Ferry, numerous water taxis and cruise lines. Common recreational watercraft includes various types of large and small private boats and jet skis. With both commercial and recreational watercraft, serious accidents occur, typically caused by:

  • Reckless driving. Just like with driving a car, there are rules which operators of boats must follow in other to avoid putting the operator and other boaters at risk. Reckless driving includes operating the boat while intoxicated, speeding, and driver distraction.
  • Operator inexperience. The problem of operator inexperience is particular acute with recreational watercraft where operating a small boat appears to be easy and fun, but actually requires skill and experience.
  • Operator inattention. It is not unusual for a boat operator to turn his or her attention away from steering the boat for extended periods of time. Unfortunately, such inattention could cause the operator to fail to react timely to the approach of another watercraft or to some other event that ends up leading to a boat accident.
  • Mechanical failure. Whether the boat is not properly maintained or has a manufacturer defect, mechanical failure can lead to serious problems such as a boat being stranded, fires and explosions.
  • Poor weather conditions. Operating a boat in poor weather conditions such as when there is poor visibility, rain, wind, or choppy water is extremely dangerous. There have been countless accidents where boats have crashed, capsized or where passengers have been thrown overboard during bad weather.

Boats are do not only carry passengers, boats are also the workplace for thousands of employees. This means that people who work on boats are injure in accidents just like workers at any other type of workplace.

Holding the negligent party accountable

Just like car accidents, slip and fall accidents, and construction accidents, an accident that occurs while boating can lead to serious injuries. Serious injuries can mean substantial medical bills and missed work. While there are special laws that apply to certain boating accidents, the law does allow injured victims to seeking compensation from the person or the company whose negligence resulted in the victim's injuries. The type of compensation that may be awarded includes economic losses such as medical expenses and lost wages, as well as non-economic losses such as pain and suffering.

  • Medical expenses. The medical expenses for which you can demand compensation include emergency room fees, bills from your hospital stay, the fees from the various doctors who treat you, expenses related to lab tests, MRIs and medication, expenses related to rehabilitation and therapy, and the expenses related to any specialized medical equipment you may need.
  • Lost wages. The lost wages that are compensable include the regular paychecks that you miss because you are unable to work because of your injuries. You can also demand compensation for the value of sick days and vacation days that you used while recovering. If you missed out on receiving a bonus, promotion, or other benefits of your job that you were on track to receive, you can demand compensation for the value of those missed benefits of working. If the severity of your injuries means that you are not able to return to work, you can then sue for the value of the loss of future earning capacity.

Other losses for which you can demand compensation include pain and suffering and loss of consortium. If your loved one was killed in a boat accident then a wrongful lawsuit can be filed on the deceased's behalf by his or her personal representative.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

Boat accident cases are extremely complicated and may involve state, federal as well as international law. To make sure that your case is properly handled and that your legal rights are protected it is critical that those who represent you understand the details of the laws applicable boat accident cases. Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates to discuss the details of your case. Our staff is experienced in handling claims from people injured on a variety of watercraft including fishing boats, water skis, cruise ships, jet skis, commuter ferries, and sailboats. Contact us at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.

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