Boating and Ferry Accidents

Attorneys for Boat Accident Injuries

boat accident lawyer nj

According to the United States Coast Guard’s 2017 Recreational Boating Statistics Report there was a decrease in both recreational boating accidents and fatalities from 2016 to 2017. While this is good news, nearly 660 people still lost their lives and 2,600 people were injured in the U.S. while boating.  

Leading Causes of Boating Accidents

This same report identified key factors of boat crashes:

  • The top five contributing factors were operator inattention, improper lookout, operator inexperience, machinery failure and alcohol use.
  • Alcohol use was the leading cause of fatal boating accidents, accounting for 19% of all fatalities.
  • Insufficient operator skill played a large role. 81% of deaths happened in boat accidents where the pilot did not take boating safety instruction.

Human error and negligence far outweigh environmental dangers. Of the top ten contributing accident factors, six were caused by human behavior that could have been avoided.

Boat Accident Statistics

Source: U.S. Coast Guard 2017 Recreational Boating Statistics Report

These factors and the resulting consequences have lead to collisions with other vessels and stationary objects or capsizing.

Ferry and Duckboat Crashes

Ferry Accident LawyerFerry accidents are a rare occurrence. When a transport ferry is involved in an accident multiple parties are often found negligent. Cost cutting measures compromising ferry safety, overcrowding and pilot error have caused ferry accidents in the past. Perhaps the most infamous ferry crash in our area happened on October 15, 2003 when the Andrew J. Barberi Staten Island Ferry slammed into a St. George Terminal pier killing ten people and injuring 70 others. The ship’s pilot was found to have blacked out at the wheel due to use of painkillers and fatigue and New York City was sued for failing to have a backup pilot nearby in case of emergency.

The safety of tourist duck boats has frequently came into question in recent years. In July of 2018, a Missouri duck boat sank, killing 17 people including 9 members of the same family.  The boat’s captain was charged with “seaman’s manslaughter” which states that a ship’s captain or crew members may be held criminally liable if a passenger dies due to their misconduct, negligence or inattention to duty.

Boat and Ferry Accident Injury FAQs

What to Do if You Are Hurt in a Boating, Ferry or Duckboat Accident

Obtaining an attorney quickly is the best legal advice injury victims may take. Legal assistance can help victims obtain a proper investigation into the cause of the accident.

Only a thorough, trusted investigative expert should examine evidence of a boating accident. In the eyes of the court, only qualified individuals may analyze evidence and give a professional and court accepted determination as to the culpability of allegedly negligent watercraft operators. The experienced attorneys at Keefe Law Firm use court recognized expert investigators to compile evidence such as photos and witness statements.

  1. Follow similar steps as you would in a car accident.
  2. Don’t admit fault to anyone, and don’t minimize your injuries or damage to your boat.
  3. Get your boat inspected and obtain a written estimate to repair any damages.

What it costs to file a boating accident lawsuit

Injury and wrongful death boating accident lawsuits are classified as personal injury and are typically handled on a contingency basis. This means that you will not have to pay for any legal expenses up front or during the handling of your case. When your case settles, legal fees are deducted from the insurance settlement or trial award.

What Happens When a Claim is Filed?

Keefe Law Firm represents people and their families after serious boating accidents. We help them obtain compensation to help them deal with traumatic events such as:

  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Brain injury
  • Wrongful death
  • Property damages

If you or a loved one was involved in a boat or ferry accident you do not have to go it alone.

Injured In A Boat or Ferry Accident? Our Lawyers Will Provide A Free Case Evaluation

At Keefe Law Firm, we stand for our injured clients to attain nothing less than the compensation they deserve. Talk to a Keefe Law Firm lawyer today about your options.