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Boat Accident Injury Attorneys in Louisiana

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The vast majority of vehicle accidents in the United States involve passenger vehicles, commercial trucks, or motorcycles. While not quite as common, thousands of boating accidents still occur each year. In the U.S., experts estimate that boating accidents are about 20% as likely as a traffic accident, but more than 10% of boating accidents each year end in a fatality.

Louisiana is known for its lakes, rivers, and the Gulf of Mexico on its border, all of which contribute to a thriving recreational boating culture. Combined with the thriving maritime industry here, millions of people use Louisiana’s waterways every year—and when boaters fail to pilot their craft safely, accidents can happen.

If you’ve suffered an injury in a boating accident in Louisiana, you could be entitled to compensation for the damages you’ve experienced. Call the Louisiana boating accident lawyers at Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys for a free consultation.

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Types of Boating Accidents Common in Louisiana

There are two main use-cases for navigating Louisiana’s waterways: commercial and recreational boating. Louisiana’s booming maritime industry employs thousands of workers and brings millions of dollars of revenue to the state. And of course, everyone loves getting out on the water for day of fishing, skiing, or swimming.

Because of the different focuses of recreational and commercial boating, different accidents are more likely in each scenario. In either case, the liable party can be held accountable for the damages suffered by the victim.

Recreational Boating Accidents

A recent study by the U.S. Coast Guard found that the five most-common types of recreational boating accidents include

An orange lifesaver floatation device hanging in a rack on a boat
  1. Collisions with other boats
  2. Flooding and swamping
  3. Collisions with fixed objects, like docks
  4. Grounding
  5. Water-skiing accidents

Each of these accidents has one thing in common: operator error. Specifically, the following types of negligence, as found by the Coast Guard:

  • Operator inattention
  • Failing to properly keep a lookout
  • Operator inexperience
  • Speeding
  • Alcohol abuse

When two boats collide, it can be hard to figure out who’s at fault. That’s why it’s important to hire an experienced boating injury attorney quickly after your accident, so you can get the compensation you deserve.

Commercial Boating Accidents

Particularly in southern Louisiana, the maritime industry employs thousands of hard-working men and women and generates millions of dollars toward the state’s economy. However, workers on fish and shrimp boats, tugboats and barges, container ships, and other vessels put themselves at risk for a number of accident every day. Any of the following can lead to a serious accident on a commercial vessel:

  • Poorly-maintained or defective equipment
  • An unsafe work environment
  • Inexperienced or reckless seamen
  • Slippery surfaces on-deck and below
  • Alcohol and drug abuse

The injuries from commercial boating accidents can be severe. However, there are protections for victims of these accidents under federal maritime law, namely the Jones Act, Death on the High Seas Act, and others. These define a number of avenues for victims of accidents on the water to seek compensation for their damages.

Who Is Liable for a Boating Accident?

After a maritime accident, a number of parties could be held accountable. Who is ultimately deemed liable for the accident, and so responsible for the damages sustained, is a matter for the courts. That said, most boating accidents can be traced back to one of three parties’ responsibilities:

  • Boat owners can be held responsible for crashes under general maritime law. The owners of vessels owe a duty to the passengers and crew aboard their vessels, and can be held liable in a breach. One of the main ways vessel owners can be held liable for injuries the crew suffer is if they failed to keep the vessel seaworthy.
  • Boat operators can be held liable for injuries caused by their negligent operation of the boat.
  • Owners of unmarked waterway obstructions can be held liable for failing to properly mark pipes, wellheads, and other structures that can cause serious accidents resulting in debilitating injuries or even death.

Damages You Could Collect After a Boating Accident

After you’ve been injured in a boating accident, you might be in pain, unable to work, or need to undergo expensive medical treatment. Luckily, a competent maritime injury lawyer can help you collect some or all of the following damages:

  • Economic damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, and other costs
  • General damages, such as mental anguish, pain and suffering, and other non-economic damages. Determining what general damages your case warrants can be complicated depending on the jurisdiction of your claim, which laws apply, and more.

Call an Experienced Louisiana Boating Accident Injury Lawyer

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If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a Louisiana boating accident, you deserve answers for those injuries. Call the knowledgeable lawyers at Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys for a free legal consultation today.

A lawyer on our team will listen to what happened to you and offer advice as to next steps. If we take on your case, you won’t owe us a dime until we win or settle. That’s the G Guarantee!

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