Tag Archives: boating accidents

FAQs about Boating Accidents and Injuries

Who is liable if a crew member is injured while working?

A person injured while employed as a maritime worker over navigable waters will be covered by federal law. Under federal law, the employer is generally liable for injuries or the wrongful death of an employee.

What are navigable waters?

“Navigable waters” are all waters, which are capable of transporting people or cargo between the states and other countries.

What are the common causes of boating injuries and fatalities?

Some common causes of boating injuries and fatalities are capsizing of the vessel, falls overboard and a collision with another vessel.

What are some safety measures that can help prevent injuries and deaths from boating accidents?

Some safety measures that can help prevent injuries and deaths are: wear a life jacket, do not consume alcoholic beverages while boating, take a boating education course and participate in the Vessel Safety Check (VSC) program.

Can anyone have a personal injury claim if injured while aboard a watercraft?

People who may have a personal injury claim may be a: seaman, social guest, business visitor or bystander/swimmer/water skier. The individuals’ category determines which law will apply to their claim (state or federal).

Does maritime law only apply to large commercial ships?

Maritime law applies to most types of vessels. A vessel may be a large commercial cargo ship, a cruise ship, a fishing boat or a jet ski (or other personal watercraft).

I suffered an injury while aboard a cruise ship; do I have a claim?

Personal injuries aboard a cruise ship are covered by maritime law. You should contact an attorney knowledgeable in maritime law to discuss your situation and what your legal options may be.

What are the common boating accident contributing factors?

Some common boating accident contribution factors are: operator inattention, inexperience, excessive speed and careless or reckless operation, alcohol, passenger/skier behavior, not having a proper lookout, Restricted vision, hazardous waters or weather, equipment failure or engine failure.

When must a boating accident report be filed?

A causality or accident report must be submitted to the reporting authority if any of the following occurs: a person dies, a person disappears under circumstances that indicate death or injury, a person is injured and requires medical treatment beyond first aid, damage to the vessel and property is greater than $500 or complete loss of a vessel.


Boat Accidents and Injuries - An Overview

According to the United States Coast Guard, in the past decade, there has been an increase in registered boats and personal watercraft (PWC) in the United States. In particular, the use of personal watercraft, such as Jet-Skis and other brands, has exploded since the 1990s. Not surprisingly, the United States Coast Guard also reports that each year there has been an increase in boating accidents that have resulted in serious injuries and sometimes death. If you have been injured on a boat, while boating or while engaged in other water sport activities, contact our experienced personal injury attorneys today to learn more about your legal rights. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.

Federal Maritime Law or State Law

Generally, the legal issues associated with boating injuries are similar to other personal injury claims issues such as questions related to negligence, causation and damages. But before those questions can be answered, it must first be determined which law will control the case – federal maritime law or state tort law. The differences between federal maritime law and state tort law are significant and may impact the outcome of the case. An attorney who regularly handles boating injury cases has the experience to sort through the complex legal issues and help you achieve a fair outcome based on the facts of your case.

Rights of a Person Injured on or by a Watercraft

The potential claims of a person injured by a watercraft are determined by the injured person’s category: seaman, social guest, business visitor or bystander/swimmer/water skier. The category also determines the legal rules that will be applied to your claim.

Product Liability Claims – Personal Watercraft Such as Jet Skis

Although the majority of boating accidents occur due to the boat operator’s negligence or recklessness, some boating accidents are caused by a defect of the boat itself. When an injury is caused by a defective or dangerous condition of the boat, the injured person may have a product liability case against the manufacturer of the boat. These claims allege that a manufacturer’s design defect makes the watercraft unreasonably dangerous when used in a “foreseeable manner.”

Southern California – Los Angeles Area Maritime Law Attorneys

Boating Accident Trial Lawyers, Long Beach, CA

When a water-related accident occurs, you need a thorough investigation and evaluation of its cause(s) by an experienced maritime law attorney. Complex legal and safety issues may be involved. If you have been injured on a boat, while boating or while engaged in other water sport activities, contact an attorney in your area who has experience handling boat accident and injury claims.

Our trial lawyers for plaintiffs have more than 25 years of experience in personal injury and maritime law.  Contact our Southern California plaintiff’s attorneys today for a free consultation with respected trial attorneys.

Maritime Injury and Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Exceptional Representation in Maritime Injury and Wrongful Death Cases

The maritime law attorneys of Stolpman, Krissman, Elber & Silver represent passengers who were injured while aboard a boat, ship or other vessel and injured maritime workers who sustained on-the-job injuries. We also represent survivors of those who died a wrongful death due to negligence.

Our Maritime Injury Practice Includes:

  • Passengers: Whether you were injured on a neighbor’s sailboat, a Jet Ski, a ferry or an excursion boat, you may have the right to recover financial compensation for damages caused by negligence. Our maritime injury lawyers will review your case and determine whether you have a case. To learn more, please visit our boat accidents and injuries page.
  • Jones Act Injuries: Injured officers and crewmembers working aboard ships, boats and other types of vessels on navigable waters are entitled to compensation for lost wages from the time of the injury, medical expenses, pain, suffering, disfigurement and mental anguish. If negligence or the unseaworthiness of the vessel caused your injury, please contact our law firm.
  • Death on the High Seas Act: This law regulates the compensation of dependents of those who died a wrongful death while working on a vessel while it was three or more nautical miles off the coast of any American state or U.S. territory.
  • Longshoreman & Harbor Workers’ Claims: If you were injured while working as a longshoreman, harbor worker or stevedore, it is important to have an experienced maritime injury lawyer review your case to see that you are receiving all the benefits and compensation to which you are entitled.

Boating Accidents

We also represent those injured in recreational boating accidents caused by the negligence of others. We have obtained significant amounts of financial compensation for victims of boating accidents and the survivors of those who died a wrongful death. We also represent crew members and passengers injured aboard commercial vessels in maritime injury claims.

Whether you were injured in a boating collision involving a power boat, sail boat, Jet Ski or any other type of watercraft, you can depend on our legal team to pursue maximum financial compensation for the full extent of your injuries and other damages.

Contact the attorneys of Stolpman, Krissman, Elber & Silver, LLP, to arrange a free consultation about your maritime injury or wrongful death case. From offices in Long Beach, our lawyers represent clients in the Los Angeles area and throughout Southern California. We represent client injured on the Pacific Ocean and in Long Beach Harbor, Oakland Harbor, San Francisco Harbor and San Diego Harbor.

Suggested Reading:  Wrongful Death FAQs