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Boating Accident Lawyers in Buffalo

In New York, if you are involved in a boating accident and you believe that the accident was caused by another party’s negligence, you may be able to file a lawsuit to recover damages for any injuries or losses you have sustained.  To win a boating accident lawsuit in New York, you will need to prove that the other party had a duty to exercise reasonable care, that they breached that duty, and that this breach caused your injuries. Boating laws and regulations vary by state, and New York has specific laws and regulations that apply to boating accidents.  For example, New York requires all boats to be registered with the state and to have certain safety equipment on board.  It is also important to understand that there may be different laws and regulations that apply to different types of boating accidents, such as accidents involving commercial vessels or accidents that occur on navigable waters versus non-navigable waters.

What Types of Injuries Result from Boating Accidents?

Boating accidents can result in a variety of injuries, some of which can be severe or even fatal. Here are a few types of injuries that can occur in boating accidents:

  1. Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI):  can occur from a blow to the head from falling or being thrown from the boat, or from colliding with a fixed object or another boat.
  2. Spinal Cord Injury:  can occur from a fall or collision and can result in permanent paralysis.
  3. Fractures:  can occur from falling or colliding with a fixed object or another boat and can involve any bone in the body.
  4. Drowning:  can occur if a person falls into the water and is unable to get back on the boat or reach a life jacket.
  5. Burns:  can occur from fuel spills or fires on the boat.
  6. Hypothermia:  can occur if a person falls into cold water and is unable to get back on the boat or reach a life jacket.
  7. Cuts and lacerations:  can occur from contact with sharp objects or propellers on the boat.
  8. Soft tissue injuries:  can occur from falling or colliding with a fixed object or another boat, and can include sprains, strains and contusions.
  9. Loss of limbs from sharp objects or ropes/cords/wires catching a limb and tightening.

How Can I Stay Safe on a Boat?

It is important to note that boating accidents can happen quickly and unexpectedly, it is crucial to have all the safety measures in place, such as life jackets, emergency equipment, and proper training to handle the boat and the passengers.  It is advisable to take boating safety courses and swim and rescue training.

Are Boat Owners Required to Insure Their Boats?

In New York, boaters are not required to have insurance, but it is advisable to get a boating insurance policy if you are a boat owner.  If you are financing a purchase of a boat, your lender might require proof of insurance coverage.  Similarly docks and marinas may require proof of insurance in order for you to use their facility. 

Liability coverage on a boat policy can be comprised of the following:

  1. Bodily injury liability coverage:  cover the costs associated with injuries to others as the result of an accident where the boat owner is at fault, including an injury to a water skier or someone swimming near your boat or watercraft. Coverage pays expenses like medical bills, rehabilitation, and hospital stays.
  2. Property damage liability:  your insurer may pay the damages to another person’s dock, boat, or property, up to your coverage limits.
  3. Medical payments coverage: pays for injuries sustained in a boating accident, regardless of who’s at fault.  For instance, if your family member slips on the floor of your watercraft and breaks their arm, medical payments can pay their hospital bill, up to your coverage limits.  You can typically select a policy limit for medical payments coverage of $1,000 up to $25,000, depending on your carrier.

Your home insurance policy may provide liability coverage for damages and injuries while boating in certain circumstances, but you should have a separate boat insurance policy to safeguard against liability claims stemming from boat usage and/or ownership.

Can I Bring a Lawsuit if I Am Injured in a Boating Accident?

Yes, you should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney who understands the specific laws and regulations in New York and can advise you on your legal options and help you build a strong case. There are important and complex issues that need to be evaluated related to how the accident happened, who may be at fault, and what deadlines exist to bring a claim. 

The personal injury attorneys at The Coppola Firm have decades of experience representing people who have been injured. We are conveniently located in suburban Amherst, New York, with a ground floor office, close, free parking, and easy office access.  Our lawyers will come to meet you at your home, office, or hospital, or via call or videoconference to minimize your need to travel, if you like.  The lawyers at The Coppola Firm represent people across the State of New York. Speak to a Buffalo boating accident lawyer about your case today by calling (716) 839-9700 or filling out the online contact form.

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