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 an attorney in your area 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 persons 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 manufacturers design defect makes the watercraft unreasonably dangerous when used in a "foreseeable manner."
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.
DISCLAIMER: This site and any information contained herein are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.