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Understanding your rights after a boating injury

On Behalf of | May 21, 2024 | Personal Injury |

There are plenty of places to go boating in Pennsylvania and New York. When the weekend comes, you can see multiple people hauling their boats to the Allegheny Reservoir, Chautauqua Lake or Lake Erie.

If you’re one of those people who enjoy long hours on the water, you are probably familiar with the risks involved. While you hope you are never in a boating accident, it’s crucial to understand your rights if you are injured.

Common causes of boating accidents

Boating offers a unique blend of adventure and relaxation on the water. However, boating accidents are very common. In 2022, there were over 4,000 accidents, with 658 fatalities and 2,222 injuries. New York State is in the top ten list of states with the highest number of recreational boating accidents, with 143 accidents and 20 deaths.

The most common causes of boating accidents include:

  • Operator inattention due to engaging with passengers, looking at a phone or simply daydreaming
  • Inexperienced operators who are unfamiliar with handling a vessel or are unaware of local boating regulations
  • Excessive speeding, which reduces the operator’s reaction time
  • Operating a boat under the influence of alcohol
  • Adverse weather conditions
  • Equipment failure
  • Lack of a designated lookout to monitor for risks, such as swimmers and other vessels

If you are ever injured in a boating accident, taking the right steps immediately and the days following can be crucial for your health:

  • Seek immediate medical attention. Even if your injuries seem minor, you may be in shock or have internal injuries.
  • Report the accident to the authorities.
  • If possible, document the scene. Take pictures or videos of the accident scene, including the boats involved and visible injuries.
  • Keep detailed records of all medical bills, expenses and lost wages.

Boating accidents can seriously affect your physical health, emotional well-being, and financial stability. Therefore, it’s crucial to get legal guidance tailored to your specific situation and help ensure that your rights are protected.