Riverboat Accident Lawsuit in 2024 | Important Things You Must Know

The modern riverboat presents enormous risks for accidents, injuries, and even death. If you or someone you love was involved in a riverboat accident, it’s important to file a riverboat accident lawsuit in 2024 and get compensation for all the damages.

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Types of accidents in riverboat

Some of the most common accidents on a riverboat are due to the following:

A boat operator needs to monitor the physical condition of the weather, riverboat, water depth, and other environmental conditions and hazards.

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the operator’s inexperience is one of the top three reasons boat accidents happen. Therefore, instead of just understanding how to drive your boat, you should also prepare for the unexpected and know how to quickly modify your course or react in an emergency.

Boating under the influence is illegal when you are behind the wheel of a car. In addition, you are not allowed to operate a motorboat if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08% or higher, which is the same limit for driving a car.

If you do not follow the rules for correct boat navigation, there are higher chances that you will collide with other boats or run aground. In such cases, filing a riverboat injury claim can win your case.

As operating a boat is an important job, it is helpful to have another person who knows how to be on the lookout for threats or hazards. Therefore, that person needs to take the responsibility seriously and be reliable in checking the hazards ahead and behind the boat.

When you speed, you will get less time to react if there is a hazard in your path. Consequently, if you are an experienced boater, it is important to remember that not every boater will be as skilled or as experienced. Maintaining a reasonable speed keeps everyone safe. If you were injured due to overspeeding by the riverboat operator, you should get assistance from the top riverboat accident attorney to discuss your case.

The boat owner is responsible for ensuring that everything is working properly and that the vessel has been properly maintained. However, if you are renting a boat for a few hours, inspection is necessary before you head out to assure that the crucial systems are in good working condition.

Whether you are boating on a lake, ocean, or any body of water, it is critical to check the weather before going. These days, you can download an app that sends you notifications of weather alerts.

A wake is a water disturbance caused by the force of the boat’s hull or the forces of other boats nearby. If you are unprepared to maneuver your boat through a large wave or wake, it can cause you to capsize or collide. Passengers injured due to waves or wakes may file a claim to get a fair riverboat accident settlement to cover their pain and suffering.

There are various water hazards that you can prepare for ahead of time. Therefore, it’s important that a riverboat operator knows the depths of the water and where the rocks and other permanent obstacles are located.

Common injuries occurred in a riverboat accidents

Accidents involving a riverboat may result in the following:

Determining liability in a boat accidents

Just like car accidents, it’s important to prove that some other party was negligent in a riverboat accident. Getting assistance from the top lawyers in filing your riverboat accident lawsuit will help you recover all the damages for your injuries without hassle.

Who can be held liable for riverboat accidents

You may be eligible to file a claim or lawsuit against any of the following:

  • A boat operator.
  • A boat owner. 
  • A manufacturer. 
  • An employer.

What needs to be proven in a riverboat accident lawsuit

With the help of your attorney, you must prove the following five (5) elements in a personal injury lawsuit arising from a riverboat accident:

A person or entity must have a duty to protect or avoid harming someone else. For instance, a person operating a boat has a responsibility to follow safe boating laws and regulations to avoid injuring any other person on their vessel or in the water.

A breach occurs when the liable party’s action or inaction violates their responsibility to avoid harm.

An injured person must prove that the defendant’s breach directly caused their injury.

In order to file a riverboat accident lawsuit, you must be suffering from injury.

Your injury has to cost money. The purpose of personal injury lawsuits is to make a plaintiff whole again or restore them to the financial condition they would be in if the accident had never happened.

To file riverboat accident lawsuit, you must determine who is liable (at fault) based on how the accident happened. Moreover, filing a lawsuit against a riverboat accident will help you get a fair amount of money as compensation.

Under the Jones Act, the injured workers who qualify as seamen have specific protections. Therefore, when trying to determine whether a maritime worker qualifies as a seaman, your attorney will look at several things:

  • Did the riverboat worker’s duties contribute to the mission of the vessel?
  • Was the riverboat worker employed on a vessel that is in navigation?
  • Did the worker spend at least 30% of their employment on this vessel?

Compensation for riverboat accident

Depending on the circumstances, a maritime worker may be entitled to riverboat accident compensation for past and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other damages after being injured in an on-the-job Riverboat accident.

  • Future medical expenses.
  • Lost wages.
  • Lost earning capacity.
  • Loss of enjoyment of life.
  • Pain and suffering.
  • Past medical expenses.

Steps to take if you are involved in a riverboat accident

Here are three important steps to take when you get involved in a riverboat accident:

If you are injured on the riverboat, the first thing you should do is contact emergency assistance. If you are not seriously injured, ensure that the other passengers on the boat are safe. Try your best to help other passengers who may have fallen overboard if you are able to.

Next, you should report the boat incident to the police. You need to provide the police with as much information as possible, including the location and severity of the situation.

Exchange vital information with the boat operators and passengers who are involved in the accident. Experienced riverboat accident lawyers recommend that you take multiple pictures and videos of any damage and injuries caused by the riverboat accident.

High-profile riverboat accident cases

The vessels designed to navigate rivers have the capacity to carry up to 700 passengers in a cargo. This was the primary cause of the fatal accident that happened in the Democratic Republic of Congo last February. While technically described as a whaling vessel, the boat was being used to transport goods and passengers on the Congo River. It was initially reported that more than 300 passengers were listed as survivors, 60 confirmed dead, and several were still missing. However, it was unclear from media reports whether the remaining passengers survived or were missing. 

The accident occurred when a riverboat struck an unknown object in the Ohio River near Louisville, KY. According to the media, at least one person, Hayden Spencer (20 years old), was killed at the time of the impact, and four (4) others were injured. Initially, two (2) passengers were listed as missing at the time of the accident, but the Louisville Metro Police recovered the body of another female passenger a few days later. The remaining passenger has still not been located.

Why choose Ethen Ostroff Law?

If you or your loved one has been injured or killed on a riverboat, you may be entitled to significant compensation. Call Ethen Ostroff Law for a free case evaluation regarding your riverboat accident lawsuit. We can help you and your family get the maximum compensation available under the law with help from our network of experienced lawyers.

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