Summer brings many of the joys of enjoying the outdoors and recreational activities such as hiking, swimming, and boating. Unfortunately, it often gives rise to tragic accidents associated with those activities, particularly when it comes to boating. According to a report by the New York State Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP), there were 22 reported boating fatalities in 2017 which was the same as 2016.
An analysis recently conducted by the New York Daily News revealed that there were 15 fatal boating accidents in upstate New York in 2017. Many of these fatalities involved people not wearing Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs), commonly referred to as “life-vests.” Drugs and/or alcohol were reported to also be a factor in a number of the deaths.
Persons injured or killed as a result of the negligence of a boat operator have a recourse through the New York civil justice system. Boat operators in New York are not required to maintain insurance, but still may be held liable for injuries caused due their negligence similar to operators of motor vehicles. Usually, responsible boat owners will maintain insurance for injuries caused by their negligence as well as property damage and other items unique to boating. From an attorney’s perspective, an inquiry must be made immediately as to whether the boat owner/operator has applicable insurance and/or the assets available for a meaningful recovery.