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Boat Accidents

Top Rated Buffalo, New York Boat Accident Injury Lawyers

Jed Dietrich, Esq. and His Team of Lawyers and Paralegals at the Dietrich Law Firm P.C. Fight to Obtain the Best Result for People Injured on Boats.

When the summer heat strikes, many people in Buffalo, New York like to unwind and cool off by spending the day on the water. Boaters can have fun and enjoy spending time with friends and family on the beautiful waters near Buffalo, New York including Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, Chautauqua Lake, Rushford Lake and the Finger Lakes.

Unfortunately, boats can be dangerous—leading to injury and even death. The U.S. Coast Guard reports that in 2017, there were 167 recreational boating accidents in New York, resulting in 22 deaths and 75 people being injured.

You, and your loved ones, deserve the best personal injury lawyer in Buffalo, New York after a boating accident. Jed Dietrich, Esq., a Best Lawyer of America, and his elite and top rated team of Buffalo, New York boat accident injury lawyers have settled $150,000,000.00 on behalf of their clients. We are available 24 hours per day, 7 days a week at 716-839-3939. We will battle to obtain the best possible result for YOU!

Boat Accidents Duties Of Boaters On The Water In Buffalo, New York

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation requires that all boat operators conduct the vessel “in a prudent manner, at a safe speed, while constantly maintaining a proper lookout by all means available.”

The “Rules of the Nautical Road” exist to help keep boaters and those around them safe. Failure to be prudent, to travel at a safe speed or to maintain a proper lookout constitutes negligence and can seriously increase the risk of an accident that results in injury or even death. Negligent, careless or reckless operation of a boat can result in legal liability for any damage or injuries that result.

While on the water in Buffalo, New York, boaters should keep the following rules in mind:

  1. Speed. In New York State, a boat should generally not exceed 5 miles per hour (mph) when traveling within 100 feet of a shore, dock, pier, raft, float or anchored boat. In some waters, this distance is extended to 200 feet. Additionally, in some waters, during the day boats have a 45 mph day speed limit, which is reduced to 25 mph at night. If a speed limit is not posted, boats must be operated so as not to endanger other users of the water.
  2. Alcohol Use. Similar to driving a car, no one should operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol. A boat driver is considered to be legally intoxicated if they have a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or higher.
  3. Reckless Operation. Boats must be driven in a careful and prudent manner so as not to endanger other users of the water. This means that boaters should avoid:
    1. Traveling at high speeds, particularly in congested areas or when visibility is low;
    2. Following other boats too closely;
    3. Operating near swimmers, divers or dams;
    4. Cutting through a regatta, water event or marine parade;
    5. Overloading, or allowing too many people or too much weight in the boat; and
    6. Allowing passengers to ride on the bow, seat backs or gunwales.
  4. Meeting. When two boats are “meeting,” or approaching each other head-on, each boat should exchange one, short blast and proceed to pass the other boat on its port side, or left-hand side, leaving sufficient room in between the two boats. When two boats meet, each is required to give way.
  5. Crossing. When one boat is approaching another boat perpendicularly or at an angle, and expects to pass the other within a relatively close distance, the two boats are “crossing.” In this instance, the boat which has the other boat on its starboard side, or right-hand side, must stay out of the way, sound a short blast and alter its course of travel to the right.
  6. Overtaking. If a boat is coming up from behind another boat with the intention of moving in front of it, it is “overtaking.” The overtaking boat can pass on either side of the front boat, but must stay clear of the boat it is overtaking.
  7. Life Jackets. In general, there should be one USCG approved, wearable life jacket per person on every boat. Additionally, children under the age of 12 and anyone being towed while tubing, water skiing or wakeboarding is required to wear a life jacket.
  8. Reporting Accidents. Section 6101 of Title 46 of the U.S. Code requires that a boat driver submit a casualty/accident report to the state reporting authority in the event of a boating accident. In New York, in the event of a death or injury, the police should be immediately contacted. Additionally, a report must be submitted to the New York State Parks Department within five (5) days of the accident if:
    1. A person dies;
    2. A person is seriously injured, meaning that they require medical treatment beyond first aid;
    3. A person disappears; or
    4. The accident results in property damage exceeding $1,000.

It is best to stay informed of the rules of the water in the jurisdiction where you plan to use a boat. Although boating is enjoyable, you should always stay alert and take precautions to ensure the safety of yourself, other passengers and other users of the water.

If you, or a loved one, have suffered a serious personal injury because of someone else’s negligence while operating a boat, call Jed Dietrich, Esq. and his elite and top rated team of boat accident lawyers in Buffalo, New York NOW at 716-839-3939 so that we can help you. There are strict time constraints applicable to boat accident injury claims. Jed Dietrich, Esq. and his team will fight to obtain the best result for you.

What Causes Boat Accidents In Buffalo, New York And Beyond? Boating Accidents Factors

The U.S. Coast Guard reports that the five leading categories of factors contributing to recreational boating accidents are the operation of the vessel, loading of passengers or gear, failure of the boat or boating equipment, and the environment.

Operation of the boating vessel is the leading contributor to boating accidents, deaths and injuries—accounting for 2,480 accidents, 295 deaths and 1,727 injuries in the United States in 2017. In general, this category involves boat driver negligence, including things such as:

  1. Operator inattention;
  2. Improper lookout;
  3. Operator inexperience;
  4. Alcohol and drug use;
  5. Excessive speed;
  6. Navigation rules violation;
  7. Sharp turn;
  8. Restricted vision; and
  9. Inadequate onboard navigation lights.

The leading cause of boating accidents and injuries is operator inattention, or the failure of the boat driver to pay attention to the vessel, its occupants and/or the surrounding environment. The leading, known cause of boating deaths is alcohol use.

The negligence, carelessness or recklessness of a boat operator in Buffalo, New York can result in serious, life-changing consequences. If you, or a loved one, have suffered a serious personal injury as a result of a boating accident in Buffalo, New York; Niagara Falls, New York or Rochester, New York, contact the Dietrich Law Firm P.C., a Best Law Firm of America, for superior personal injury service. Jed Dietrich, Esq. and his top rated team of Buffalo, New York boat accident injury lawyers at the Dietrich Law Firm P.C. will fight for the best result and best compensation for your pain and suffering, medical bills and lost wages. Call us today at 716-839-3939 for a free consultation. We can be reached 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. We will come to you and there is never a fee until we WIN for you!


Call the Dietrich Law Firm P.C. immediately at 716-839-3939 so that our aggressive, tenacious and hardworking personal injury lawyers can fight to obtain the best result for your personal injury claim in Buffalo, New York. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and there is never a fee until we WIN for you!

Client Reviews
★★★★★
I am a medical doctor and have worked with many of the best lawyers in Buffalo and I can say without question that Jed Dietrich is the only lawyer I would trust with my injury case in Buffalo New York. B.O.
★★★★★
Dogged, Determined, and Dead-set on getting you the Maximum settlement for your injuries! T.F.
★★★★★
No one will work harder, smarter or better; I have retained Jed and he obtained the best result for my case. D.P.
★★★★★
The definition of an "A" type personality-exactly who I would want to represent me in a serious personal injury case. E.S.
★★★★★
Jed is a Master in the courtroom without an equal. S.C.
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