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What to do after a boating accident on the Hudson River

It’s summer, which is an amazing time for boating, jet-skiing, and swimming in the Hudson Valley. However, according to a recent report by the New York Times, boating accidents have skyrocketed in 2020 and 2021. The jump in boating injuries and fatalities is attributed to an unprecedented number of inexperienced boaters who recently bought new boats, wake boats, and jet-skis. Boating and swimming accidents and injuries often result in serious damages and expenses: ranging from medical bills, wrongful death, lost wages, loss of enjoyment of life and more. As Hudson Valley personal injury lawyers, our firm knows what it takes to recover the maximum possible compensation for a boating personal injury case.

Locally, there was only one boating accident in 2019 in Ulster County, which increased to seven in 2020. There were close to 20 serious boating accidents reported to the Coast Guard up and down the Hudson River in 2020, mostly near cities like Kingston, Poughkeepsie and Newburgh. According to the New York Times Report, it’s possible that accidents will increase by as much as 20% in 2021.

Causes of Boating Accidents

  • Operating a boat under the influence
  • An inexperienced driver
  • Drunken passengers
  • Traveling at unsafe speeds
  • No lookout
  • Distracted or reckless handling
  • Failure to watch for collisions

Types of Boating Accidents

Some of the common types of boating accidents include sinking/capsizing, colliding with another vessel, hitting a swimmer, water skier or non-boat, and colliding with a dock or buoy. These accidents can cause a wide range of injuries, especially drowning, as getting thrown from the boat or knocked unconscious can lead to a dangerous situation.

What to do After a Boating Accident

  1. Check on the status of all passengers
  2. Call for help; dialing 911 will summon the nearest emergency boat services. If you don’t have cell service, use your marine radio, and as a last resort, use your distress signals, flares and flags.
  3. Once you’re out of immediate danger, gather evidence. Who was involved in the accident? How can you contact them? Who witnessed the accident? Take photos of the damage. Was anyone taking a video on their phone as the accident happened? 
  4. If the damages exceed $1,000, or if the accident resulted in an injury or death, you must report the accident to the New York State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Department within five days, or face a fine.
  5. If you are the owner of one of the vehicles involved in the accident, you must contact your insurance provider. You don’t have to discuss or admit any fault with your insurance provider; if there are injuries involved, you should consult a personal injury lawyer first.

To get a free consultation with Mainetti & Mainetti, P.C at either of our personal injury law office locations in Kingston, NY or Poughkeepsie, give us a call at 845-600-0000.