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Nothing says summer in New York like cruising on your boat on beautiful lakes, rivers, and beaches. If you plan to enjoy some time out on the water, it is essential to keep safety in mind and understand what to do if you are involved in a boating accident. Below, we discuss the steps to take after a boating accident.

What To Do After a Boating Accident 

  1. Stop the vessel immediately.
  2. Do not move your boat out of the waterway unless you impede the traffic of other water vessels.
  3. Assess your injuries, your passengers’ injuries, and those of the other boat’s occupants.
  4. Call authorities using your boat’s emergency radio.
  5. Do not leave the area until instructed to do so by law enforcement.
  6. Exchange contact and insurance information with the other boat operator.
  7. Take pictures and document any property damage to your vessel or the objects around you. 
  8. Get a written report from law enforcement officials who respond. 
  9. Return to shore.

Seek Medical Attention 

If you have been injured in a boating accident, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Photograph your injuries and write down your recollection of the accident for future reference. Be sure to get a written report from the doctor noting the extent of your injuries and discuss a treatment plan. 

Report the Accident to the State   

New York law requires boating accidents to be reported to the office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation. Accidents that result in serious injury, death, or someone’s disappearance must be reported within 48 hours. Other accidents that caused more than $1,000 in damage should be reported within five days of the accident. Law enforcement might file the report for you if they were called to the accident scene.

File a Personal Injury Claim 

If you were injured in a boating accident due to the negligence of another party, you might be able to receive compensation for your injuries or property damage. Contact a personal injury firm like the Buffalo Injury Law Firm to discuss your case. A claim must be filed within three years of the accident. However, it is wise to file your claim shortly after your accident for your best chance of securing documents, evidence, and witness testimonies regarding your case.

Seeking Damages for Your Injuries 

Your attorney will help you seek damages for expenses incurred because of your injury. It is important to note that boat insurance is not required in New York and is not subject to New York’s “no-fault” insurance laws. However, some damages may be covered by other forms of insurance, such as the negligent party’s healthcare or homeowners insurance. If the negligent party does not have suitable coverage, you will need to file a claim to recover damages. These damages could include medical expenses such as ER and ambulance fees or the cost of future medical care if you suffered a permanent disability. You could also claim damages for lost wages if your injury impacted your ability to work. If a negligent boat operator caused damage to your property exceeding $1,000, you could also seek damages for your property repairs. 

Recovery After a Boating Accident

The Buffalo Injury Law Firm is familiar with New York’s maritime and personal injury laws and will help you regarding your boat accident case. Whether you were injured cruising on Lake Erie or enjoying a ride down the Buffalo River, let the Buffalo Injury Law Firm help you recover from your boating accident. Call our office at 716-646-8412 for a free case evaluation.

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