Thousands of New Yorkers take a ferry as part of their daily commute. Nearly 3 million people rode a ferry in 2017 alone. With multiple ferry lines in New York City connecting the five boroughs, ferries are seen as a relatively safe and reliable form of transportation. But accidents do happen and there is great potential for serious injury. Unlike car and small boat accidents, there is greater potential for injury in a ferry accident because ferries are large and typically carry hundreds of passengers. There is an increased likelihood of severe injuries and even death in a ferry boat crash or other incident. An impact can send passengers overboard or into objects or other passengers.
In 2003, 11 people died, and 165 people were injured in the tragic Staten Island Ferry crash when a ferry crashed at full speed into a concrete pier. More recently, in 2013, 85 people were injured when a ferry crashed into a Lower Manhattan pier. While not all accidents are as severe, if you are injured in a ferry accident it is essential that you seek legal help.
Causes of Ferry Accidents
Because of the potential for serious injuries, ferry operators and companies must exercise the utmost caution and care. Operating a ferry safely through the waterways of New York City can be a difficult task. Several factors can contribute to a ferry accident and multiple parties can be held responsible. Ferry accidents can be caused by:
- Mechanical failure
- Negligent maintenance of the ferry
- Inadequate operator training
- Negligent hiring
- Operator intoxication or drug use
- Operator distraction
- Failure to adhere to regulations and safety measures
- Lack of safety equipment
- Excessive speed
Who is Liable in a Ferry Accident
Depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident, multiple parties may be responsible. Potential liable parties in a ferry accident include:
- Ferry captain and crew
- New York Department of Transportation
- Another governmental entity responsible for the ferry operation
- A private company responsible for controlling the ferry’s operations
- The vessel manufacturer
- The entity responsible for maintenance and repairs of the ferry
- The governmental entity responsible for the waterway.
Contact an Experienced Attorney
If you’ve been injured in a ferry accident, you should have an attorney evaluate your case. At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., we have over 50 years of experience helping injured New Yorkers. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MEDLAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available. Se habla español.