Boating Under the Influence
Contact Jed Dietrich, Esq., Recognized as an American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys 10 Best Attorney and New York Super Lawyer, if You Were Injured in a Boating Accident Caused by an Operator Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol in Buffalo, Niagara Falls, Rochester or Elsewhere in New York State.
Recreational boating in New York State is more than a $2 billion industry, which a significant number of visitors and locals take pleasure in. According to the Recreational Boating Report by New York State Parks, in 2018, there were just under 440,000 registered boats in New York. During the spring and summer months, many Western New Yorkers find themselves on lakes, canals and other various waterways throughout the area. Unfortunately, a charming and pleasant day out on the water can quickly turn into tragedy for some due to the use of drugs or alcohol. The U.S. Coast Guard’s 2018 Recreational Boating Statistics show that alcohol use is one of the greatest known contributing factors in deadly boating accidents and accounted for almost 20% of all deaths.
While everyone is aware of the disastrous consequences of driving under the influence, the dangers of boating under the influence (BUI) are considered much less often. Boating for most is tantamount to rest and relaxation. What better way to unwind than relaxing on a boat with a few drinks? Sadly, alcohol use accounted for 254 boating accidents, 101 deaths and 204 injuries in 2018 alone. Under New York Navigation Law Section 49-a, operation of a vessel while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal. Boaters that choose to operate their watercraft while under the influence put everyone around them, including passengers and other boaters, at substantial risk of injury or death.
An accident caused by a boat operator under the influence of drugs or alcohol can change a victim’s life forever. They may face a challenging road to recovery emotionally, physically and financially. Pursuing a personal injury claim against the impaired boat operator may be the only way to get back on your feet when faced with piling up hospital and medical bills. Jed Dietrich, Esq. and his team of Buffalo, New York boating under the influence accident lawyers have seen the detrimental consequences that the injuries suffered by boat accident victims can have on them and their loved ones, and are ready to fight to ensure that boating accident victims are fully compensated for their losses. Contact the Dietrich Law Firm P.C. today at 716-839-3939 for your free consultation. We are available 24 hours per day and 7 days per week, and there is never a fee unless we WIN for you!
Boat operators under the influence not only endanger themselves, but also others in or around the water. Alcohol and drugs are known to cause motor impairment, loss of coordination and balance, blurred or doubled vision, and diminished cognitive abilities. In addition, they can affect an individual’s awareness of their surroundings, ability to focus and reasoning skills necessary to safely operate a watercraft.
Various external influences on a boat can magnify the effects of drugs and alcohol such as the waves, wind, sun, glare, heat and splashing water. When those influences are combined with the sound of a boat’s loud and vibrating engine, it can lead to slower reaction times and exhaustion.
According to the BoatUS Foundation, falling overboard and drowning accounts for at least one in four boating deaths. Acts of careless or reckless boating, such as speeding, swerving or navigating erratically—which are often made worse with drug and alcohol use—commonly result in passengers falling overboard. In addition, these dangerous boating behaviors greatly increase the risk of capsizing or colliding with swimmers or other watercrafts. These accidents often leave individuals severely injured, suffering from permanent disability, amputation, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, near-drowning or even death.
If you, or a loved one, were injured in a Lake Erie boating accident, contact the Dietrich Law Firm P.C., recognized as a Best Law Firm of America, today at 716-839-3939. Our team of highly experienced, aggressive, tenacious and hardworking Buffalo, New York boating under the influence accident lawyers will fight for the compensation that you deserve for the injuries that you suffered. Call us today.
The following boating safety guidelines can not only help to keep you out of legal trouble, but also may save lives:
- Designate a skipper and assistant, both with boating safety certificates, to ensure that two people can safely operate the boat, in the event that one consumes any drugs or too much alcohol;
- Always be a defensive boat operator by looking out for any potential hazards and boaters under the influence;
- Spread the word to others about the dangers of boating under the influence, and report any suspicious activities to the proper authorities;
- Do not consume alcohol or use drugs prior to or while operating a boat;
- Avoid mixing any sea-sickness or prescription medications with drugs or alcohol;
- If you want to drink, plan a party ashore at a dock, boating club or picnic area;
- If a boat operator consumes any alcohol while the boat is docked, he or she must wait a minimum of one hour per each drink before operating the boat again;
- Consider alternatives to drinking alcohol such as pop, lemonade or non-alcoholic beer;
- If possible, avoid boating on Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Labor Day, which are among the most dangerous days of the year due to increased drug and alcohol consumption often associated with celebrating; and
- Life vests should always be worn by both operators and their passengers.
WERE YOU, OR A LOVED ONE, INJURED IN AN ACCIDENT CAUSED BY A BOAT OPERATOR UNDER THE INFLUENCE IN BUFFALO, NIAGARA FALLS, ROCHESTER OR OTHER PARTS OF NEW YORK STATE?
CALL JED DIETRICH, ESQ. AND HIS AGGRESSIVE, TENACIOUS AND HARDWORKING TEAM OF BOATING ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS IN BUFFALO, NEW YORK AT 716-839-3939 TODAY!
Operators of all watercrafts have a duty to exercise reasonable care for the safety of others. Boat operators under the influence may be held responsible for the injuries or fatalities that they cause by breaching their duty of care. Victims of boating accidents caused by the recklessness of an operator under the influence may be entitled to monetary compensation for their injuries. Victims can pursue recovery for damages through a personal injury lawsuit, which may include compensation for property damage, medical care, time off of work and pain and suffering.
Additionally, in some cases where a boat operator under the influence of drugs or alcohol acted with gross negligence or recklessness, punitive damages may be available.
The Coast Guard cautions that boaters who have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .10 or greater are approximately ten times more likely to suffer fatal boating accidents than sober operators. If you lost a loved one in an accident with a drunk or drugged boat operator, although nothing can erase the pain of your loss, you may have the right to file a wrongful death claim. The monetary compensation you may be eligible for through a wrongful death lawsuit can provide you with a sense of closure and financial stability after the loss of your loved one.
If you, or a loved one, suffered a serious injury in a boating accident, contact Jed Dietrich, Esq. and his top rated team of attorneys for victims of boating accidents involving the use of drugs or alcohol in Buffalo, New York at the Dietrich Law Firm P.C. for a free consultation. Our team is available 24 hours per day and 7 days per week at 716-839-3939 or by filling out the online consultation form. Contact us today so that we can help 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!