Boating Accidents in the Summer: What You Need to Know

By David Hammond

As the weather warms up and summer arrives, many people in Syracuse and Central New York take to the water for recreational boating. While boating can be a fun and relaxing activity, it also comes with inherent risks. Boating accidents can lead to serious injuries, property damage, and fatalities.

Common Causes of Boating Accidents

Boating accidents can happen for various reasons. Some of the more common causes include:

  • Operator inexperience or lack of proper training
  • Distracted or inattentive operation
  • Boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs (BUI)
  • Excessive speed or reckless operation
  • Failure to follow navigation rules or posted signs
  • Mechanical failures or improper maintenance
  • Hazardous weather conditions or rough waters
  • Collisions with other boats, fixed objects, or swimmers

Being aware of these common causes can help you take steps to prevent accidents and stay safe on the water.

Boating Safety Tips

To minimize the risk of boating accidents and injuries, follow these safety tips:

  • Complete a boating safety course and obtain proper licensing
  • Wear a life jacket at all times while on the water
  • Familiarize yourself with your boat’s operation and safety features
  • Check weather conditions before your outing and plan accordingly
  • Follow all navigation rules and posted signs
  • Maintain a safe speed and watch for others on the water
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs while operating a boat
  • Ensure your boat is properly maintained and equipped with necessary safety gear
  • Be cautious around other boats, swimmers, and fixed objects

By prioritizing safety and following these guidelines, you improve your odds of having a fun and incident-free boating experience.

Legal Rights and Responsibilities in Boating Accidents

If you’re involved in a boating accident, it’s important to understand your legal rights and responsibilities. New York boaters have certain duties and obligations, including:

  • Duty to Render Assistance – If you’re involved in an accident, you must stop and render assistance to anyone who is injured or in danger, as long as it’s safe to do so.
  • Duty to Report Accidents – If an accident results in death, disappearance, injury, or property damage exceeding $1,000, you must file a written report of the accident with New York State Parks within five days.
  • Duty to Maintain Proper Lookout – Boaters must maintain a proper lookout at all times to avoid collisions and accidents.
  • Duty to Operate Safely – Boaters must operate their vessels in a safe and responsible manner, following all applicable laws and regulations.

If another boater’s negligence causes an accident that injures you or damages your property, you may have a valid legal claim against them. This may include compensation for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and other losses.

How CDH Law PLLC Can Help

If you or a loved one has been involved in a boating accident in Syracuse or Central New York, the experienced personal injury attorneys at Carden Dotzler Hammond, PLLC, are here to help. We understand the complex legal issues surrounding boating accidents and can guide you through the process of seeking compensation for your losses.

Our attorneys will:

  • Thoroughly investigate your accident to determine liability
  • Gather evidence, including witness statements, accident reports, and medical records
  • Consult with experts to assess the full extent of your losses
  • Negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf
  • Fight for your rights in court, if necessary

We are committed to helping you recover the compensation you deserve and holding negligent boaters accountable for their actions.

Don’t Navigate the Aftermath of a Boating Accident Alone

Boating accidents can be traumatic and life-altering experiences. If you’ve been injured due to another boater’s negligence, don’t try to navigate the legal process alone. Contact Carden Dotzler Hammond, PLLC, today for a free consultation with one of our compassionate and skilled personal injury attorneys. We’ll listen to your story, answer your questions, and fight for the justice and compensation you deserve. Let us help you get back on course after a boating accident.

About the Author
David is a former military prosecutor and defense lawyer with over a decade of experience fighting for service members and their families. He served nine years and two combat tours as an active duty US Army officer, then joined the Reserves and settled down in Syracuse to be near family. Now representing people across Central New York charged with serious felonies, misdemeanors, DWIs, and traffic offenses, he puts the same level of commitment into his civilian law practice. If you have any questions regarding this article, you can contact David here.