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Boating Accidents and Injuries Information Center

According to the United States Coast Guard, approximately 8,000 accidents occur each year, averaging nearly 5,000 injuries, over 800 fatalities, and causing almost $30 million in property damage.

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. Under 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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Kentucky Boating Accident Injury Lawyer

Recreational boating is supposed to be fun. Unfortunately, drunk and careless boaters often cause accidents that result in serious injuries. If you or someone in your family has suffered an injury in a boat accident caused by another person's negligence, Charles E. Moore, Kentucky Injury Attorney, is ready to provide experienced, skillful representation to help you recover the full and fair money damages you and your family may be entitled to. Attorney Charlie Moore provides more than 40 years of personal injury trial experience and understands the importance of standing up to protect your rights. Our firm invites you to learn more about boating accident injury claims on this page. Contact our office in Owensboro, Kentucky, to schedule a free consultation and case evaluation.

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.

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The Jones Act

The Jones Act is a federal statute that provides a remedy for injured workers. According to this act, 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. An injured crewmember may have a claim against his or her employer (ship owner) for negligence if the vessel is unseaworthy. It is the duty of the ship owner to maintain a vessel that is seaworthy. This includes the vessel, gear and appliances. This duty is absolute and not based on the fault of the ship owner.

According to the Jones act, A defective condition of the vessel which proximately causes the seaman's injury makes the ship unseaworthy as to him. This does not mean that the entire vessel is unfit or unseaworthy. The crewmembers remedy applies only against the owner of the vessel, gear or appliances. If you are a crewmember that has been injured while employed on a seagoing vessel, contact a maritime law lawyer to discuss your legal rights.

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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 on a vessel, it is important to consult an attorney to help you understand what conditions must be met to apply maritime law.

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Cruise Ship Accidents

An injury that occurs on a cruise ship is suffered by either a crewmember or a passenger. Crewmembers may have a claim for compensation under the Jones Act, while passengers may have a claim for compensation against the vessel owners for negligence. Whether a ship is considered a vessel is to be determined in court. The vessel status affects which law may be applicable and the damages that may be recoverable. Once the vessel determination has been made, jurisdiction must be determined. Federal law may be applicable if your injury occurred on a vessel while on navigable waters and federal law protects cruise ship passengers against injuries caused by negligence. If you have suffered and injury while aboard a cruise ship, call a maritime law attorney to discuss your possible remedies under federal law.

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Boat Accidents and Injuries Resource Links

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

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

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

US 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 International Marine Division of the International Longshoremen's Association, AFL-CIO. Contains information on membership, future plans, maritime professionals' links and resources.

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104 East Fourth Street P.O. Box 549 Owensboro, KY 42303
Phone: 270-683-4513 / 800-467-3407 (Toll Free) - Fax: 270-683-4565