Residents living in the Mid-Hudson Valley region are accustom to spending
time on recreational water craft, boats, cruise liners, and ferries. It
is just a part of living life along the Hudson River. Of course, just
as with driving or riding in a car,
boating accidents occur routinely while operating or riding on a boat or other type of water craft.
Experienced Kingston boating accident attorneys have handled numerous cases in which innocent people were injured in boating
accidents. These types of accidents are unique in that victims are not
on safe ground when the accident occurs. Most of those injured in a boating
accident are merely guests on the boat; they are not the driver or operator
of the boat. Thus, this limits theircomparative negligence to nothing, unless they contributed to the accident such as grabbing at
the wheel or distracting the driver—which is very rare. A person
may survive the collision, but then find himself or herself stranded in
the water facing a threat of drowning or even hypothermia if the water
is cold enough.
Experienced attorneys also know the statistics about
boating accidents. We are also aware about their common causes, the unique aspects surrounding
cruise and ferry boat accidents, as well as how the Jones Act applies
to employees who were injured on boats.
Statistics on Boating Accidents:
Since the 21st century began, the United States has seen an increase of
the amount of registered recreational boats. There are now around 13 million
of these vessels in American waters. Also in any given year, there can
be around 5 thousand reported
boating accidents. Within those accidents reported, six to seven hundred people drown. Several
thousand people are injured. And property damage far surpasses the 30
million dollar mark.
Out of all boating deaths, around 70% can be attributed to drowning. Nine
out of ten of those drowning victims were not wearing life vests at the
time of the accident. Additionally, just over 30% of all fatalities involved
the presence of alcohol.
The other most common causes of boating accident fatalities are, trauma,
hypothermia, carbon monoxide poisoning, and those falling into the other
or unknown categories.
Boating Accident Causes:
Boating accidents can be broken down into several different types; even
though there are many ways that accidents occur. there are still just
several common denominators.
The most common accident types involve collisions between one vessel and
another vessel; vessels colliding with fixed objects; passengers falling
overboard; capsizing; and water skier accidents. While these are the types
of accidents, there are also common contributing factors.
At the top of the list is careless operation of the watercraft. A close
second is inattentiveness, followed by inexperienced boat pilots. Of course,
just as with cars, excessive speed contributes to boating accidents. Hazardous
conditions also contribute to boating accidents.
These top five causes of boating accidents are followed by alcohol use,
the behavior of passengers, watercraft mechanical failures, and violations
of boating regulations.
Ferry and Cruise Boat Accidents in New York: For Business or Pleasure,
You Have Rights
The ferry and cruise liner industry in New York is heavily regulated. This
is because accidents have happened in the past, New York waterways are
congested, and boat operators must be given direction on how to keep passengers
safe and be able to perform
basic rescue maneuvers should an accident occur.
Passengers injured while on ferries or cruise ships have rights; the craft
must have life vests, escape slides, and rescue boats. Fire fighting gear
must also be present on the craft. These items not only need to be present;
they must also be adequate for the task and maintained in proper working order.
Of course, ferry and cruise ship staff must be properly trained and experienced
in accordance with their given responsibilities; some positions require
state licensure. You should also know that anti-terrorism regulations
also affect how ferry and cruise companies operate their craft and companies.
The Jones Act: What is it and Does it Help You?
Almost a hundred years ago, in 1920, the United States Congress passed theJones Act. It is officially called the
Merchant Marine Act. This Act applies to the employees who work on boats, ships, or vessels.
This applies to crew members working on the high seas off of the U.S.
coast as well as river ship crew members.
The Jones Act protects crew members and lays out liability for vessel owners
and operators when seamen are injured or killed on the job. If negligence
contributed to the injury, the Jones Act applies.
Experienced Kingston boating accident attorneys understand that this is
a federal law. This means that litigation under this Act will occur in
federal courts. Seamen injured while on the job will need attorneys who
are licensed to practice law in federal courts. Moreover, the attorney
must be familiar with the unique procedural requirements that govern federal