Boating Accidents

Injured In A Boating Accident in New York or New Jersey?

The New York City metropolitan area sees thousands of people using boats, jet skis, and other watercraft on a regular basis. Altogether, the state of New York has more than 23,000 registered boat owners while New Jersey is home to more than 13,000.

Many people enter the numerous bodies of water across our state all summer long for both travel and recreation. Although most of the time, people are able to enjoy the water without any issues, sudden and unexpected accidents happen in the blink of an eye.

When the fun in the sun on the family boat turns from good to bad because of the carelessness of other New York and New Jersey boaters, you need somewhere to turn to get your questions answered. Fortunately, you can trust the New York/New Jersey boating accident lawyers at Metro Law.

With over 30 years of successful personal injury litigation from our Newark, New Jersey, and New York offices, our attorneys know the ins and outs of handling boating accident claims and are dedicated to serving every client with compassion, respect, and understanding. Let us help you through this difficult time.

Types of Watercraft

Boating accidents involving objects and other boats are some of the most commonly reported incidents in New York and New Jersey. These types of accidents that continue to impact the lives of people across the area frequently involve a wide variety of watercraft. In order to better understand watercraft accidents and how they occur, it is important to know the many types of vessels that can be involved in a sudden crash.

Some of the most common watercraft involved in crashes in our area include:

  • All-purpose fishing boats
  • Aluminum fishing boats
  • High performance boats
  • Sailboats
  • Powerboats
  • Bass boats
  • Sportfishing Cabin cruisers
  • Bay boats
  • Cuddy cabins
  • Jet boats
  • Jet skis
  • Canoes
  • Ski boats
  • Center consoles
  • Inflatable boats
  • Yachts
  • Dinghies
  • Pontoon boats
  • Fish and ski
  • Walkarounds Trawlers
  • Deck boats
  • yachts
  • Bowriders

Depending on the type of vessel, a boat accident can turn into a mass casual event instantly. These tragic accidents often result in severe injuries and the loss of life for a lot of people. No two accidents involving watercraft are alike, and it is important to understand the cause of a boat accident, the types of accidents that take place, and how an accident can impact you.


Whether your boating accident was caused by another boat operator’s inexperience, drunkenness, or just blatant carelessness, you may have a valid claim. This is particularly true if the accident injured you or someone on your watercraft, and if you were in no way at fault. Among the most frequent causes of boat accidents are:

  • Careless or reckless operation
  • Operator inattention
  • Operator inexperience
  • Improper lookout
  • Overloading watercraft
  • Violating navigation rules
  • Excessive speed
  • Equipment failure
  • Hazardous waters
  • Hazardous weather
  • Alcohol use

Additionally, the three most common types of New York and New Jersey boat accidents are collisions with other vessels, collisions with fixed objects such as a pier, and passengers falling overboard. Other common types of accidents are skier mishaps and capsizing.

Types of Boating Accidents

New Jersey is in close proximity to the Atlantic Ocean. This makes New Jersey an excellent place for residents and travelers to enjoy the open water. There are also a variety of inland water opportunities as well. Some of the most common locations of boat accidents include:

  • Harbors
  • Ports
  • Canals
  • Ponds
  • Lakes
  • Creeks
  • Rivers

It is all-too-sad but true that at any time, a fun day on the water can suddenly turn into a tragedy. Whether you’re going out with friends and family or hiring a boat operator to take you out onto the ocean, it is crucial that safety is a top priority for everyone involved in the activity.

Given the drastic increase in the number of people out on the water, there is now a much greater risk of being involved in an accident while using a watercraft. In New York and New Jersey, we continuously see a variety of accidents involving many kinds of boats. Some of the most common types of accidents include:

  • Explosions and fires
  • Slip and fall accidents on or near boats
  • Boats capsizing
  • Airboat collisions
  • Water ski accidents
  • Accidents caused by impaired operators
  • Drowning accidents
  • Fuel fires
  • Wake damages
  • Striking objects below the water
  • Propeller accidents
  • Crashing into objects in the water
  • Collisions with other boats
  • Falling off a boat
  • Accidents involving kayaks or canoes

These and other types of watercraft accidents present unique challenges for victims. Unlike accidents involving cars and other vehicles, boat crashes can take place far from shore. Victims who are harmed in boat accidents face the additional challenges presented by water and sea life. Should you suffer injuries as a result of a boat accident, you must reach out to a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. You may have legal options available to help you move forward.

Injuries from Boat Accidents

Reports from the United States Coast Guard show that more than 2,600 people are injured each year in boat accidents across the United States. We see many accidents take place right along the New Jersey shoreline.

Victims who are involved in boat accidents often sustain severe injuries. The type of injury usually depends on how victims incur them.

There are usually three ways that victims are injured in boat accidents. These include:

  • Victims falling off boats
  • Victims involved in crashes with other boats or objects
  • Capsizing accidents

Some of the most common injuries suffered by victims of boat accidents include:

  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Accidental amputations
  • Burn injuries
  • Broken bones/compound fractures
  • Head injuries
  • Nerve and tissue damage
  • Internal organ damage
  • Permanent disfigurement
  • Respiratory problems
  • Severe bleeding/hemorrhaging
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Drowning injuries
  • Death

Victims who become trapped underwater are at risk of suffering anoxic brain injuries. The lack of oxygen to the brain can cause irreversible brain damage for victims that can continue to impact their health and wellbeing indefinitely.

Boating Accidents: What You Should Know

  • As with a vehicle accident, it’s helpful to keep documentation relating to your boating accident in a convenient location. Items that may be helpful to your claim include the boating accident report, receipts from boat repair work and medical care, and photographs of the damage to your boat, the accident scene, and the injuries you and any other passengers suffered.
  • Also, if you haven’t already done so, try to get the names and contact information of anyone who may have witnessed the accident. Contacting these people as your claim develops may be helpful because witnesses can attest to the carelessness of the other boater.
  • Another note of importance is to be careful speaking to insurance adjusters. Often, an adjuster with the other boater’s insurance provider will contact the other party to get a statement or have him or her sign a release.
  • If someone contacts you for something similar, know that you don’t have to talk to the adjuster nor do you have to sign a release. In fact, it’s best to contact an attorney before doing either to be sure that you don’t sign away any rights or hurt your claim.

When looking for a lawyer, look for someone who is experienced in handling boat accident claims and who works on a contingency basis (which means he or she gets paid only after getting you compensation for your damage and injuries).

Recreational Boat Accident vs. Commercial Boat Accident

Depending on the type of accident you were in, there are various parties who may assume liability for your resulting injuries and damages. Liable parties will be determined by whether you were involved in a recreational boating accident or a commercial boating accident. Understanding the differences will help you understand the legal options available for you.

Accidents on Recreational Boats: When traveling on recreational boats, the operator has a duty to provide care and ensure the safety of all passengers on board. Federal regulations further require that owners of recreational boats carry mandatory safety equipment, like vests. Boats must also be in compliance with local, state, and federal laws.

Wave runners, jet skis, and other personal watercraft devices can elevate the chances of injuries. These watercraft are designed to operate at high speeds and to be easy to maneuver. However, it is crucial that operators are experienced and know how to use them correctly. Negligent operators can crash into objects, swimmers, and other watercraft.

Accident on Commercial Boats: Some common types of commercial watercraft include:

  • Vessels
  • Yachts
  • Dive boats
  • Fishing boats
  • Ferry

Commercial boat operators are generally held responsible for the safety of each customer and passenger on board. When passengers are injured while onboard, they may be able to file a legal claim against various parties. Some liable parties include:

  • The boat company
  • The captain of the boat
  • Any other third-party

If you suffered an injury while working on a commercial watercraft, you may be able to file a legal claim under New Jersey workers’ compensation laws. In some instances, the Federal Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Benefits may be available to help you cover the costs you face.

Regardless of the type of accident you were involved in, if a defective part or malfunctioning vessel is the cause of your crash, you may be able to file a legal claim against a negligent manufacturer, retailer, or another party. Our New Jersey boat accident lawyers at Metro Law can review the circumstances surrounding your accident and help you seek financial compensation from all liable parties.

Recoverable Damages from a Boat Accident

When victims are injured in boat accidents, they are often forced to undergo extensive medical care. Dealing with painful injuries is only part of the battle. The mental and emotional consequences can be unbearable for both victims and their families. To make matters even worse, victims often face towering financial consequences that can be extremely challenging to deal with.

It is important to know that victims have legal options that can help them obtain financial compensation. Being awarded full compensation can greatly help cover the variety of damages that you face after an accident.

Some of the damages that victims harmed in boat accidents can recover compensation for include:

  • Lost wages
  • Lost earnings
  • Loss of benefits
  • Repairs to the vessel/replacement
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Long-term care costs
  • Immediate medical expenses
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of quality of life

Victims who are harmed in boat accidents must take legal action within the state’s statute of limitations. When accidents take place in the state of New York, victims have a period of three years to file legal actions against at-fault parties. In New Jersey, the statute of limitations provides a period of two years for victims to file a legal claim. The statute of limitations begins to toll on the day the accident occurred.

Seeking the guidance of a skilled and aggressive legal team can improve your chances of maximizing your recoveries for compensation following your accident. Our seasoned legal team will help you to review the circumstances surrounding your accident and develop the strongest case possible to fight for the justice you are owed.

Metro Law Will Fight For You

Every year, hundreds of people across the United States lose their lives in boating accidents. Thousands more are left with serious injuries that negatively impact their abilities to work, live, and simply enjoy various activities.

Accidents involving watercraft can take place for a variety of reasons. If negligence played a role in your boat accident, it is crucial that you reach out to a fearless legal personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to explore legal options available to help you move forward.

Our team at Metro Law knows the laws that relate to your New York or New Jersey boat accident and understand you’re likely facing many challenges as a result of your accident. That’s why we take every step necessary to make your relationship with us convenient and reassuring. Call us today at 973-344-6587 or contact us online.