Member of:
Justia Lawyer Rating
American Association for Justice
Union Plus

Suffolk County Boat Accident

A boat accident can be a devastating experience, causing trauma and severe injuries. While these accidents can happen on any type of water vessel, they are most frequently seen with pleasure craft. This would include things like sail boats, open or closed cabin motor boats, and jet skis. An accident can also happen during a water sport activity, particularly waterskiing, fishing or diving. Commercial boats such as cruise ships, ferries, fishing boats, and barges can also be involved in accidents. Many boat accidents occur because someone was negligent. Because boats are generally unstable and in some cases deep water is involved, when accidents do occur victims often suffer serious injuries such as a head injury, neck injury, back injury, spinal injury or a broken bones. There are several factors that will determine what law will apply in case of an accident. For example, different rules will apply based on whether the victim was an employee or passenger, whether the vessel was docked or not, and on what body of water the vessel was at the time of the accident. Because of the legal complexities often associated with a boat accident, it is recommended that you call an experienced Suffolk County boat accident lawyer from our office who will aggressively work to protect your legal rights.

Causes of boat accidents

Boat accidents often include capsizing, passengers falling overboard, collision with another boat or structure, fire, and sinking or flooding. Other types of boat accidents occur when a boat comes in contact with someone in the water. For example, in a recent case a 12-year-old boy was seriously injured when a boat's propeller struck his leg causing deep lacerations. He also suffered a broken pelvis and a dislocated hip. Most boat accidents are avoidable as they are often caused by negligence. Common reasons for boat accidents are operator inattention, operator inexperience, improper lookout, machinery failure, and excessive speed. As a result of such negligence victims suffer serious injuries and in some cases victims die. In fatal boat accidents the top contributing factor is alcohol use.


In 2001 Robert Sweeney was working as a dive tender aboard the CB Bergen, a work barge owned by Reinauer, in connection with a pier demolition job for the City of New York at the Department of Sanitation Marine Transfer Station. While throwing a line to the marine diver he was assisting, Sweeney slipped and fell forward, injuring his left knee and hand. Sweeney filed a claim against the City of New York, asserting that he slipped because the deck of the vessel was slippery from either rain that fell that day, hydraulic fluid or diesel oil that spilled on the deck, and water that had accumulated in the area from the tool retrieval line he had thrown to the diver. Sweeney v. City of NY, 782 N.Y.S.2d 537 (N.Y. Sup. Ct., 2004)

Pursuing a claim

Boat accident injuries can be quite serious. Common injuries include severe head from falling on a boat and hitting boating equipment. Brain injuries can occur from lack of oxygen in cases where the victim submerged for a long period. Depending on the type of accident and the watercraft involved, there are many other injuries that victims can suffer.

In cases where the injury was caused by another person's negligence, with the help of an experienced boat accident attorney in Suffolk County, the victim can seek payment of damages. In order to succeed you must prove the defendant's reckless or negligent actions caused the accident, that you suffered an injury, and that you suffered losses such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Evidence of your losses includes medical bills and receipts, doctors' statements, pay stubs, and statements from your employer.

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 it is critical that those who represent you are experienced handling boat accident cases. Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates to discuss the details of your case. Our boat accident attorneys serving Suffolk County are 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.

Client Reviews
Great attorney helped out my family at a very hard time for us. His compassion and professionalism were greatly appreciated. Can't thank him and his staff enough for all the support and legal guidance ! Brad
Everyone was great, they created solutions to what I thought were insurmountable problems. The lawyers were prepared and clearly experienced. Thomas B.
Unbelievably easy and professional experience. Great communication and got the job done. Would highly recommend to anyone needing representation. Emily K.
Mr. Bilkis is courteous, and professional. I have had the pleasure of knowing him for many years. He is knowledgeable and hard working. Hire Stephen Bilkis for your all of your legal needs. He will fight for you and your family. Shawn S.