You don’t normally associate boating accidents with New York City. Usually, when you think of accidents in the Big Apple, pedestrian or auto accidents come to mind. However, there are more than 22,000 boats registered in the Five Burroughs of New York City. Most are privately owned pleasure craft but there are also a large number of commercial boats as well (cargo ships, ferries, and tour boats).
In 2011, there were a total of 226 boating accidents on New York waterways. According to official statistics from the U.S. Coast Guard, those accidents resulted in 178 injuries and 26 fatalities. Many of those killed in these tragic accidents were children.
Causes of Boating Accidents
The three major causes of boating accidents include collisions, capsizing, and passengers falling overboard. While collisions may be the most dramatic of these accidents, most don’t occur between watercraft. Indeed, most boating collisions happen when an out-of-control boat strikes a pier, breakwater, submerged obstacle, or other immovable object.
Alcohol use is a major contributing factor in many of these accidents. In fact, over 7% of all boating accidents in New York were alcohol-related. Seven of the deaths reported in 2011 were also either caused by intoxicated pilots or victims who had consumed too much.
Experience May Not Save You
Even seasoned sailors aren’t immune from the danger. Last year a July 4th celebration turned tragic after a boat (being piloted by a 26-year veteran) capsized killing three young children as it returned from an Independence Day celebration.
Earlier this year, a commercial commuter ferry slammed into a pier in lower Manhattan with over 300 passengers on board. The professional pilot somehow lost control. Eye witnesses say the collision, which injured dozens of individuals, sounded like a bomb.
That January accident is far from the first ferry accident in New York. In 2010 over 40 people were injured when a Staten Island ferry collided with the pier. Seven years before that, 11 passengers were killed on that same ferry after the pilot lost consciousness.
Recovering from Boating Accidents
While it may be impossible to completely protect yourself and your loved ones from boating accidents, you can make the recovery process easier by seeking financial compensation from the responsible parties. Pilots, charter companies, and corporations may all bear part of the responsibility for both fatal and non-fatal boating accidents.
A success settlement or boating accident lawsuit award can help alleviate the pain of hospital bills, lost paychecks, and even long term care. If a loved one was injured in such an accident and later succumbed to his or her injuries, surviving family members can sue for pain and suffering as well as wrongful death. Contact a the law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel today at (800) 734-9338 or (212) 385-1122 to discuss your case and learn how the law is on your side.