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White and Williams LLP

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Boating Accidents


Blog Category:
2/17/2017
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  There is nothing better than a charter trip to fish with friends in the bay or off shore.  Unfortunately, accidents and injuries are a common occurrence on these trips.  There are laws, regulations, industry standards and simple common sense rules of good seamanship that govern how a charter boat should be outfitted, manned and operated.  The ocean is a dangerous, unpredictable environment.  However, it is the charter boat captain’s obligation to anticipate what can reasonably be anticipated and to protect his passengers against those dangers.  Considerations such as weather, sea conditions, proper emergency equipment, avoiding overloading the boat and the like are obvious concerns every captain should resolve before leaving the dock. Less obvious considerations include properly storing and securing equipment and gear on the deck, properly cleaning the deck to avoid slip and fall accidents when boarding and similar avoidable dangers  

    When injuries occur on charter trips, victims are often told that their recovery is limited to the value of the boat.  This is often NOT the case.  There is a very old law that limits damages for losses that occur on the water to the “salvage value” the boat.  The reasoning behind this law dates back to the days of sailing ships.  It no longer makes a lot of sense, but it is still the law.  Very importantly for charter boat fishermen, the limitation on damages does not apply when the boat’s owner of his captain are operating the boat when the accident or injury occurs.  If the owner or the owner’s designated captain are on board and act negligently to cause an injury, the damages available to the victim are not limited to the value of the boat.

    If you are injured on the water, don’t believe everything you are told about your rights or how they may be limited.  Talk to a lawyer who knows the law and who can give you accurate information and guidance so that you can receive full and complete compensation for your injuries.  Feel free to call us toll free at (877) 944-8396. 

Category: Sports & Recreation Accidents

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