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You Are Here: Home 9 Boating Accidents 9 How to Seek Compensation for a Drowning Accident

How to Seek Compensation for a Drowning Accident

Dec 6, 2023 | 0 comments

If your loved one has been drowned in a boating accident, we are deeply sorry for your loss. While we know that no amount of money can ever bring your loved one back, we do believe that the compensation that you can receive from a well-executed wrongful death suit can help you recover financially.

Drowning accidents aren’t super common in New York, but they do happen. In 2019, there were 15 of them. We believe that’s 15 too many. The State Health Department offers different statistics, in part because they are tracking accidents other than boating accidents. They showed 79 unintentional drowning deaths in the year 2017. These included deaths at swimming pools and public beaches. 

It’s also possible to seek compensation for boating injuries, which are significantly more common. In the same year, there were 135 non-fatal injuries from boating accidents. 

We believe even one boating accident is one too many, especially when another party’s negligence causes the accident. 

Causes of Boating Accidents

While a leading cause of boating fatalities is a failure to wear a lifejacket or personal floatation device, you can still sometimes recover compensation. The failure to wear a lifejacket would fall under New York’s comparative negligence laws.

Other causes include:

  • Operator inexperience
  • Speeding
  • Distracted boating
  • Boating under the influence
  • Failure to appoint a lookout
  • Dangerous weather
  • Boating equipment failure

Any of these reasons could give you cause to press a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against the person who caused these issues. 

Causes of Other Types of Drowning Accidents

When a drowning accident doesn’t involve boats, the causes can include:

  • Lack of gates and locks, attracting children to swim unattended
  • Swimmers with an inability to swim
  • Lack of close supervision or swimming alone
  • Using alcohol around the water
  • Seizures
  • Dirty or contaminated water
  • Flash flood accidents

Drowning can happen anywhere where there is water. Tragically, kids and teens are at the greatest risk of drowning, though it can happen to anyone. Often, adults who drown are alone at the time of the incident. 

Not all of these drowning causes lead to personal injury or lawful death lawsuits. For example, a seizure in the water is just an accident. However, the creation of an attractive nuisance that draws a child into a dangerous situation can certainly create conditions that will allow you to obtain compensation for the accident. 

Who can be held accountable for drowning accidents?

The party we’d hold accountable depends on the facts of your case, but here are a few examples.

  • The boat owner or operator
  • The marina 
  • The manufacturer of the boat or safety equipment
  • The owner of the pool or swimming hole 
  • In the case of a collision, the other boat owner or operator

You won’t necessarily have to guess who will need to be held accountable. It’s important to retain one of our personal injury attorneys right away so that we may review the facts and move quickly to file the appropriate case paperwork.

Steps to Take After a Drowning Accident

If anyone has died or been injured in a water accident, you must contact local authorities. You should also take all the normal steps…obtaining medical attention for anyone who needs it, as well as gathering the names and numbers of any witnesses. It’s important to take down details of any boats involved in the accident and to gather the name and number of the property owner if possible.

While you have a three-year statute of limitation on drowning accident lawsuits in New York, it is still wise to obtain an attorney as quickly as possible. Moving fast means gaining access to evidence that might otherwise disappear and getting the freshest statements from witnesses while they are still invested and in contact. Over the years, witnesses may die, move away, or lose memories of the details. There is rarely any profit in waiting.

Get Help Today 

Wrongful death suits can pay for medical expenses, funeral expenses, and the lost income of the drowned party, if applicable. A personal injury suit can pay for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Either way, the money can help your family get back on their feet after a major accident.

Don’t hesitate to contact our law firm if you need help. Schedule a free consultation today. 

See also:

What is an Attractive Nuisance in New York?

Understanding Boating Injury Lawsuits in New York

New York State Passes Stricter Drunk Driving and Boating Legislation


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