Most boating accidents that occur on New York City’s waterways are just that: accidents. There rarely may be any degree of intent to harm on the part of the people responsible for such accidents. Yet what is often present is an element of negligence. Boating itself is viewed by many as being a leisure activity, yet what is lost in this perception is the fact that it must be done responsibly. Drinking often accompanies a boating excursion, which places the responsibility on boat owners to avoid doing anything that would compromise their abilities to operate their vessels (such as drink to excess). A failure to meet this responsibility can often produce devastating consequences.
This fact was on full display in the case of a Virginia man who is currently facing criminal charges stemming from a boating accident that he and a friend were involved in. After the friend’s body was found floating in a local river, it was determined that the two had gone out on the boat owned by the man’s father after a night of excessive drinking. The boat then crashed into a bulkhead and threw the friend overboard. It is alleged that in the man’s intoxicated state, he did not fully grasp what had happened, and instead of searching for his friend, drove the boat home and went to bed.
A criminal trial stemming from the same incident for which one is seeking a civil action need not bar one from pursuing such action. The two matters may be argued simultaneously (which is what happened in this case, with the friend’s family settling a wrongful death lawsuit with the man). Those looking to pursue litigation in situations such as this may find an attorney to be a reliable source of assistance throughout the process.