Thousands of people spend their summers out on the boat fishing, deep sea diving or just hanging out with family or friends. They may spend time on the lake or river where they can relax and enjoy the beautiful water views. However, risk for accidents in this scenario is greater than many people believe.
Navigating a boat on a river or lake or in a harbor or along a coastline can be difficult, especially with hundreds of other boats moving along as well. Boat operators must be governed by rules similar to a person operating a vehicle on the road. They may have to deal with speeding vessels, operators who are impaired by alcohol or drugs as well as collisions and hit and runs. Complicating the situation are factors such as faulty equipment and inexperienced crew members.
Boats of all kinds face these dangers, including canoes, kayaks, sail boats, fishing boats, yachts and charter vessels. An enjoyable afternoon on the water can quickly turn serious and even deadly when an accident occurs. A person may suffer serious injuries from a fall overboard, a slip and fall accident, a collision with another vessel or other scenarios. They may suffer traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, burns, broken bones, and even internal injuries that result in long-term damage and an extended recovery time.
If a person is injured while out on a boat or other sea vessel, they should contact an attorney to find out if they are eligible for merchant marine litigation. They may be entitled to receive compensation for their injuries as payment for medical treatment and lost wages which resulted from the accident. If someone dies out on the water, their family may be entitled to death benefits for their loss. The Merchant Marine Act of 1920 was put in place to protect people out on the ocean, rivers and lakes.