Boat Accidents And Injuries Practice Center

The most common causes of boating injuries and fatalities are: Capsizing, Falling Overboard & Collisions.

Oakland Boating Injuries Lawyers - Brodsky Micklow Bull & Weiss LLP
Northern and Southern California Boat Accident Information

If you have been injured in a recreational boating accident, you need skilled and experienced legal representation to help you identify your claims and the best way to present them. Boating accident cases can also involve difficult strategic choices between state court personal injury litigation and federal maritime jurisdiction. Sometimes you'll also need to name as a defendant a government agency, such as the Coast Guard or the Army Corps of Engineers.

Don't trust your boating injury case to a general practitioner. No matter how skilled he or she may be as a trial lawyer, an attorney unfamiliar with maritime law and admiralty jurisdiction might easily overlook considerations that could be critical to the success of your case and the size of your settlement or verdict. Contact the experienced Northern and Southern California boating injuries attorneys at Brodsky Micklow Bull & Weiss LLP for thorough and reliable advice about your options.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Boat Accidents and Injuries

Q: Who is liable if a crewmember is injured while working?

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

Q: What are "navigable waters"?

A: "Navigable waters" are all waters which are capable of transporting people or cargo between the states and other countries.

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Boat Accidents and Injuries - An Overview

The United States Coast Guard reports that there has been a sharp increase in the number of registered boats and personal watercraft (PWCs) in the U.S. in the past decade. In particular, the use of personal watercraft, such as Jet-Skis, Sea-Doos, Waverunners and other brands has exploded since the 1990s. Not surprisingly, the Coast Guard also reports that there has been a corresponding rise in boating accidents that result in serious personal injuries or 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.

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The Jones Act

The Jones Act is a federal statute that provides a remedy for injured maritime workers. According to this act, found in 46 U.S.C.A. § 30104, "a seaman injured in the course of employment or, if the seaman dies from the injury, the personal representative of the seaman, may elect to bring a civil action at law, with the right of trial by jury, against the employer." Essentially, this means that an injured crewmember may have a claim against his or her employer (and/or the ship owner unless they are one and the same) for negligence if the vessel is unseaworthy. It is the legal duty of a ship's owner to maintain a seaworthy vessel as well as ensure the safety of all gear and appliances on-board. This duty is absolute under the law, and is not based on the negligence or fault of the ship owner.

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Maritime Law

Maritime law, often called admiralty law, is a set of legal rules and practices governing the business of employment and transportation of people and goods over or near navigable waters. If you have been injured while employed by a vessel or while you were a social guest or business invitee on a vessel, it is important to consult an attorney to help you understand what conditions must be met for maritime law to apply to your case.

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Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act

The Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA, found in 33 U.S.C.A. Chapter 18) is a federal statute that protects maritime employees who are accidentally injured or killed during the course of employment.

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Boat Accidents and Injuries Resource Links

U.S. Coast Guard Home Page
Statistics, facts and history related to safety, boating information and the U.S. Coast Guard.

U.S. Coast Guard Office of Boating Safety
Provides information about accident prevention, safety, regulations, recalls and statistics about accidents and fatalities on U.S. waterways.

U.S. Coast Guard Marine Environmental Protection
U.S. Department of Homeland Security website containing news and information on the U.S. Coast Guard. Information includes organizational charts, directory, programs and services.

U.S. Department of Transportation, Maritime Administration
Contains maritime publications including a compilation of federal maritime laws, the Merchant Marine Act, Documentation of Vessels, the American Fisheries Act and the Shipping Act.

International Organization of Masters, Mates, and Pilots
The marine affiliate of the International Longshoremen's Association, AFL-CIO. Contains information on membership, future plans, maritime professionals' links and resources.

BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water
Information on different topics related to safe boat operation, including alcohol and boating, life jackets and more.

Summary of Admiralty Law
An overview of admiralty law, including federal statutes, state statutes, international conventions, treaties and links to relevant Internet resources.

National Association of State Boating Law Administrators
An association that represents the boating authorities of all 50 states in the U.S. Its focus is on making boating safe. Find information about education, law, events and policy.

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