Recreational boating is a favorite pastime for many boat enthusiasts in Baltimore, Maryland. The scenic waterways that surround the ocean city entice many boaters to the sea. Boaters can keep themselves and their passengers safe by learning about responsible boat operation, etiquette, and the rules of the water. But when boating rules are broken, accidents can happen. The results can be devastating to victims. A maritime injury lawyer can be your best friend. According to research from the U.S. Coast Guard, 3,000 injuries and 651 deaths occurred in 4,515 boating accidents in 2012.
What is the legal recourse for individuals involved in boating accidents? Finding a reliable and caring injury attorney or maritime injury lawyer who knows the laws and rights of boating victims is paramount to your justice and healing. As a skilled business attorney, your maritime injury lawyer can navigate the legal and business affairs of your case.
The owner or operator of a private boat is required to provide safety for all boat riders on board. Federal laws require operators of recreational boats to comply with federal, state and local boat safety laws. Passengers injured on a commercial boat can make a claim against the commercial vessel using personal injury lawyers and litigation attorneys.
Furthermore, marines are protected under the Merchant Marine Act of 1920 or the Jones Act which is a federal law defining the legal rights of seamen who are injured or killed during maritime work. The law allows seamen or their family members to sue a company or boss if fellow workers or shipmates are negligent. A claim seeking payment or recompense for damages at sea is called a “Jones Act case.” A maritime injury lawyer can explain your legal rights and options in these types of cases.
In 2014, the most common reason for boating accidents was operator inattention. It was the primary contributing factor in 563 accidents. Also, operator inexperience was a contributing factor in 391 boating accidents in the same year. Boating experts say other factors that may contribute to boating accidents include:
Improper outlook to recognize threats or hazards
Operating a boat or vessel at excessive speed
Impaired operation involving alcohol or drugs
Improper boat maintenance or equipment failure
Violating the rules of the water
Operating a boat during bad weather
Navigating dangerous waters
The US Coast Guard encourages boaters to take command and be responsible for their actions while on the water. Be an educated boater and always wear a life jacket or personal floatation device. Today’s life jackets are comfortable, colorful and customized for various boating activities. Make sure safety equipment is working properly that meet federal and state regulations. Boaters should take boat safety courses to keep abreast of new boating trends and updated safety procedures.
Victims of boating accidents have many choices, and a qualified personal injury lawyer can outline your legal solutions and actions. When a boating accident occurs, victims in Maryland should seek out a maritime injury lawyer that can provide sound legal advice with care and dedication to every client.