Whether you enjoy recreational boating or work on the waterways, you need to know where to turn if you get injured due to another person’s negligence. At the SMT Legal, our knowledgeable and experienced team is ready to help you secure the compensation you deserve. Our boat and maritime accident attorneys will investigate your case and work to determine who is at fault. We will make sure you are treated fairly by the insurance companies and other parties involved.
How do boating accidents occur?
According to the US Coast Guard, there were 4,145 reportable boating accidents that caused 633 deaths during the latest reporting year in the country. Thousands of people were injured in boating accidents that year. There are plenty of places in and around Washington County for our citizens to enjoy recreational boating, but the owner and operator negligence can cause serious injuries. According to the US Coast Guard, the top ten primary contributing factors of accidents includes:
- Operator inattention
- Improper lookout
- Operator inexperience
- Machinery failure
- Excessive speed
- Alcohol use
- Force of wake/wave
- Navigation rules violation
- Hazardous waters
What are the most common boating accident injuries?
Boating accidents frequently cause serious injuries, largely due to passengers being unrestrained and unprepared for a crash. For those who survive a boat crash, many of these injuries lead to permanent disabilities. Some of the most common injuries include:
- Broken or dislocated bones
- Severe lacerations or amputations
- Internal organ damage
- Internal bleeding
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Drowning/near drowning
Who can be held liable for these injuries?
Private and commercial boat owners have a duty to ensure those on their vessels are safe. If the negligence of a boat owner or operator causes injuries, they can be held liable for damages. Boat owners must:
- Ensure all crew members are properly trained
- Ensure that the boat and all equipment is regularly inspected and maintained
- Ensure that crews follow all maritime laws and regulations
- Ensure there is enough safety equipment on board and that everyone knows how to use it (including lifejackets)
Those who work primarily on the water are not generally eligible to recover compensation through workers’ compensation. There are separate laws that regulate maritime workers’ injuries: the Jones Act and the Longshore Workers’ Compensation Act.
Let us secure the compensation you deserve
If you or a loved one have been injured due to the careless or negligent actions of a boat owner or operator, seek legal assistance today. At the SMT Legal, we understand boating and maritime regulations, and we want to secure the compensation you deserve, including:
- Your medical expenses related to the incident
- Lost income and benefits if you are unable to work
- Pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life damages
- Possible punitive damages against the boat owner or operator