Consultation With a Knowledgeable Boating Accident Lawyer In New York

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Boating is a popular activity off the shores of New York. In the summer months, it is common to see hundreds of boaters out on local waterways enjoying the beautiful weather. Like any recreational activity, boating does come with risks. If a person is negligent or irresponsible, catastrophic accidents and injuries can occur. 

If you are involved in an accident on the water, you will want to be represented by a New York boating accident lawyer. You may be entitled to compensation for any damages or injuries you suffered as a result of someone else’s negligence on the water. 

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Contact our experienced boating accident lawyers today to learn about your rights and what compensation you may be entitled to.

Types Of Boating Accident Claims We Handle

The personal injury attorneys at Moshes Law, P.C. have experience handling many types of personal injury lawsuits, including boating accidents. Most commonly, an injury occurs on a vessel when someone is negligent. Some common types of negligence include:

  • A collision with another boat or object
  • Operating a vessel at excessive speeds
  • Failure to have proper safety equipment
  • Failure to have working lights or equipment
  • Exceeding the boat’s capacity for weight or passengers
  • Operating a vessel in dangerous weather

Recklessness is another way that injuries can occur on a boat. A person is considered to be reckless if they willfully disregard basic safety. For example, operating a vessel while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is reckless behavior.

Jet Ski Accident Claims

According to the United State Coast Guard, every year there are between 600 and 700 reported Jet Ski accidents. Personal watercraft are the second most common type of vessel involved in recreational boating accidents.

Operating a personal watercraft safely can be more difficult than operating a boat because they are smaller, faster, and cannot be steered without propulsion. This creates a potentially negligent and dangerous situation for someone who has not received proper training for operating Jet Skis.

Jet Ski accidents are unfortunately very common and can result in severe injuries for the victim. If you are injured on a Jet Ski or other type of personal watercraft, you may be entitled to compensation.

Our Process in Boating and Jet Ski Accident Cases

Boating and Jet Ski accident cases can be very complex and can involve a lot of components. Your boat accident lawyer should have a comprehensive understanding of New York state’s boating laws and experience with lawsuits that result from boating accidents. Our process in building a successful case includes collecting documentation, conducting an investigation, and carrying out negotiations.


Documentation is essential to building a personal injury case. Important documents that we will collect include:

  • Accident Reports: Reports that were taken by law enforcement at the scene of the accident can help build a case for negligence.
  • Insurance Documents: Most boat owners carry an insurance policy on their vessel much like a car. We will seek out any relevant claims made to the insurance company due to the accident.
  • Medical Records: This includes detailed reports of injuries suffered, expenses already incurred, future treatment plans, and future medical expenses.
  • Work/Income Records: We will need documentation of lost wages as a result of the accident plus a calculation of future lost wages. This is especially important if the injuries are permanent, or a death occurred. 


After collecting important documents, further investigation into the accident will help a New York boat accident lawyer prepare the case for negotiation and settlement, or a possible trial.

Investigation includes:

  • Contacting and interviewing other parties who witnessed the accident 
  • Investigating the person who was operating the vessel for a history of negligent or reckless driving behavior
  • Interviewing law enforcement who responded to the scene of the accident for professional opinions on the potential causes of the accident
  • Visiting the scene of the accident to take pictures and collect any evidence
  • Reviewing medical records
  • Consulting with expert witnesses to recreate the accident

A thorough investigation allows an attorney to build a solid case to help ensure that the client is fully compensated for injuries and damages suffered.


Negotiation is the final step in the process of handling boating accident cases. Our experienced boat accident attorneys will engage in negotiations with the other party’s counsel and insurance company on the client’s behalf.

In the event that a fair settlement is not agreed upon, the case will proceed to a trial. The documentation and investigation processes will become critical for trial preparation and presenting the judge with a solid case.

Main Causes of Boat Accidents

There are several common causes of boating accidents, however most of these causes include either negligent or reckless behavior on the part of the boat operator.

Drunk Boating

Operating a vessel while intoxicated is not only reckless behavior, but it is also against the law. Boating under the influence is the leading cause of fatal boating accidents. A boat operator who is under the influence of alcohol can face criminal charges and be held liable for any injuries that occur if there is an accident.

It is very common that if a boating accident occurs, the vessel operators are given a field sobriety test that includes a breathalyzer test. The results of these tests will be used as evidence to prove negligence or recklessness on the part of the boat operator. 

Operating A Boat Too Fast

Accidents can often occur when someone is operating a boat too fast. Experienced boaters know that they must adjust their speed based on the current conditions, like wind, weather, and wave height. Certain areas also have speed regulations due to shallow water or other obstructions.

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If a boat hits a large wave while going too fast, it is very likely that the operator will lose control of the boat. This can result in people on board falling on the deck, the boat striking another boat or fixed object, or even a passenger falling overboard.

Reckless Operation

Reckless operation occurs when the boat operator is acting in a way that willfully disregards basic safety. Both operating a boat under the influence of drugs or alcohol or operating a boat too fast fall under the category of reckless operation.

Operating a vessel in poor weather conditions, racing other boats, and any other behavior that puts passengers on board purposefully at risk can be considered reckless operation of a vessel.

Other Reasons for Collisions Between Boats

The top ten most common reasons for collisions between boats are:

  1. The boat operator is not paying attention.
  2. Failure to use a lookout to help the operator watch for hazards.
  3. Inexperienced boaters.
  4. Excessive speed.
  5. Operating a vessel under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  6. Mechanical failure.
  7. Violating rules of waterways and navigation.
  8. Operating a boat in hazardous waters.
  9. Operating a boat in inclement weather.
  10.  Losing control of a boat when hitting a wave.

When more than one boat is involved in an accident, like in the event of a collision, a personal injury claim will become even more complicated because there will be additional insurance companies involved and more than one party who is potentially at fault for the accident.

When can a New York Boating Accident Lawyer Pursue Compensation?

To have a valid personal injury claim after suffering an injury in a boating accident, a case needs to meet certain legal criteria. The four elements for a personal injury claim are as follows:

  1. Legal Duty- The person who was negligent and caused the accident must owe a legal duty to the victim who was injured. In the case of most boat accidents, the person operating the vessel has an obligation to act reasonably and keep both the passengers on board and the public safe from harm.  
  2. Breach of Legal Duty- The person who owes a duty must breach that duty. If a person operating a boat acts recklessly or negligently, they are breaching their duty to keep others safe.  
  3. Causation- To have a valid negligence case, the injury in question must have been caused by the negligent person and their actions. 
  4. Damages- To file a lawsuit, the victim must have suffered actual damage. Damages can be both economic and non-economic ranging from hospital bills, property damage, or pain and suffering.

If these four elements are met and the boating accident attorney can prove that there was negligence, a lawsuit can be filed, and the victim can seek compensation for damages suffered.

What Compensation Can You Get If Injured in A Boat Accident? 

Boating accident injuries can vary greatly in severity from a slip and fall on deck to spinal cord injuries, or even death. The severity of the injury suffered will determine the compensation that a person is entitled to following an accident. 

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The most common injuries seen in boating accident victims include:

  • Fractures
  • Broken bones
  • Lacerations
  • Concussion
  • Head injury
  • Neck injury
  • Back injury
  • Spinal cord injury

In the most severe cases, drowning or death from another cause. 

Medical Bills

When faced with a severe injury, medical bills can really start to add up. If surgery or other expensive procedures are necessary, it is not uncommon to see medical bills totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars. In a personal injury lawsuit, medical bills are one of the most important expenses to recover.

It is important to keep accurate, organized documentation of all medical bills and procedures so you know exactly how much you will need to be compensated.


Medical bills don’t just stop after the initial injury is treated. Often, there is a long-term treatment plan that includes follow up visits and rehabilitation. You will need to be sure that you are compensated enough to cover all future expenses you may incur due to the injury.

Present And Future Lost Wages and Income

Depending on the type and severity of the injury, it is not uncommon to not be able to work while recovering. In a personal injury lawsuit, the victim is entitled to recover wages lost during the recovery process and any future wages they may lose due to the injury. This can be as simple as having to take off work for a doctor appointment, or as severe as never being able to work again.


Unfortunately, some boating accidents can result in a permanent disability for the victim. Spinal cord and head injuries, common boating injuries, can cause paralysis leaving a victim permanently disabled.

In the event of a disability, the victim is entitled to compensation for medical bills, any future care necessary to treat the disability, lost wages both past and future, and compensation for loss of enjoyment of life.

Pain And Suffering

It is hard to put a dollar amount on the pain and suffering that is endured when a person suffers an injury, but this is also included in compensation for a lawsuit. Pain and suffering can encompass both physical and emotional injuries. Some examples of physical injuries are prolonged back aches and any other discomfort the victim may face in the future. Emotional injuries can be suffering from anxiety or insomnia after an accident.

Emotional Anguish

Emotional anguish is very similar to the emotional side of pain and suffering. When someone is involved in a violent accident, like a boating accident, they can suffer from emotional wounds long after the physical wounds heal.

Someone who endures a catastrophic injury may become depressed due to not being able to participate in activities they once loved. They may have anxiety or in more severe cases, PTSD. Many people who suffer from emotional anguish can feel fear, anger, shock, and even embarrassment. These are all very normal and common emotions to face following an injury in an accident.

Why You Should Hire Us for Your Boating Accident Case

If you suffer injuries in a boating accident, you may not be fairly compensated by the at fault party and their insurance company. Ensuring that your rights are protected and that you recover the damages you are entitled to will take time, knowledge of the law, and persistence.

The boating accident lawyers at Moshes Law, P.C. will make sure that you are properly represented and guide you through the legal process of filing a lawsuit and seeking compensation.


A boating accident lawyer in New York will have expert knowledge about state laws and maritime law. When you are fighting a personal injury case and trying to prove negligence, little details matter so you need an attorney with experience and a proven track record.

Contact A Boat Accident Lawyer In New York

In New York, most personal injury cases have a three-year statute of limitations.

This means that if you have not filed a lawsuit within three years of the date of the accident, you forfeit your right to recover damages. If you have been injured in a boating accident, do not hesitate to contact an experienced New York boating accident lawyer.

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