A boat accident may happen in many different situations. For some, such as dock workers, professional fishing crews, or crews on cargo, commuter, or cruise ships, it happens at work. Other boat accident injuries happen when people out for fun, whether sailing, sport fishing, or pleasure cruising. In addition to typical boats, hundreds of thousands of people have personal watercraft, such as SkiDoos and JetSkis, which they usually operate at high speed.
Many boating accidents can cause injury or death, and many different laws govern liability in such accidents. See the following pages for specific information on each:
- Recreational Boating and Watercraft Accidents
- Cruise and Passenger Ship Accidents
- Dock, Port and Cargo Ship Accidents
Many maritime accidents fall under admiralty law. Also called maritime law, admiralty law is actually a complex network of laws that covers all legal contracts, accidents, injuries or crimes that happen on water and waterways used in commerce, both in the U.S. and internationally.
For admiralty law to apply to an offense, the situation must:
- occur in navigable waters, and
- have a significant impact on, or relationship to, traditional maritime activity.
Navigable waters can be defined as any body of water that can be used in commerce between states or countries, including oceans, lakes, and rivers. If the body of water, such as a lake, is wholly contained within one state, such as Oneida Lake in New York, it is not considered navigable. However, a lake that passes through more than one state, such as any of the Great Lakes, is considered navigable.
Most accidents involving pleasure craft in navigable waters will not fall under federal admiralty law. But when the accident impacts maritime commerce, or takes place in international waters, admiralty law may provide a plaintiff in a boating accident with advantages that traditional rules of tort negligence may not. A lawyer who can evaluate these strategies, and has experience with admiralty law, workplace injury, and premise liability can help ensure the best result.
With years of experience in this realm, TorkLaw can provide you with the information you need to get the justice and financial compensation you deserve. Contact us today at 888.845.9696 and learn what you can do when a boat or ship accident alters your life forever.