There might not be a better state than Louisiana for boating. With hundreds of lakes, major rivers, and easy access to the Gulf of Mexico, many people either use boats recreationally or work on the water. Unfortunately, boating can also be extraordinarily dangerous, and unexpected hazards can cause serious injuries.
If you were hurt in a boating accident, a dedicated personal injury attorney may be able to help you recover compensation for your losses. Contact a Lake Charles boat accident lawyer today to get started.
When another person’s careless or reckless behavior is responsible for causing a boating accident, the injured person may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit. These lawsuits are usually based on the legal theory of negligence.
Negligence happens when one person owes a duty of care to another and breaches that duty in a way that causes harm. Some examples of negligence on the water could include colliding with another boat, colliding with a fixed object or grounding, operating the vessel at an excessive speed, or operating while intoxicated.
Boat owners or operators may also be responsible for injuries if they failed to have the necessary safety equipment on board or failed to follow any other state and federal safety rules.
Many people in Louisiana have a job that requires them to be on a boat or the water. When a person is hurt at work while on land, they generally do not file a personal injury lawsuit against their employer. Instead, they use the workers’ compensation system to recover money for their damages.
On the water, the rules are different. Most seamen who are injured while performing their jobs cannot file a workers’ compensation claim against their employers under either Louisiana or federal law. Instead, they usually must sue their employer under maritime law and the federal Jones Act.
Jones Act claims also operate under the theory of negligence. To file a Jones Act case, the worker has to prove that their employer did not provide a reasonably safe work environment, failed to use ordinary care in maintaining the vessel, or operated the ship in an unsafe condition. Injured seaman and their Lake Charles boat accident attorneys can file a lawsuit against their employer in either state or federal court, but they must do so within three years of their accident or injury.
Plaintiffs in a personal injury case may be able to recover several types of damages. An injured person might recover compensation for their medical bills and hospitalization expenses, as well as their lost earnings, if the injury required them to miss work. They could also be awarded damages for their pain, suffering, and mental anguish. If a person was injured on a boat that they owned, a boat accident attorney in Lake Charles could also seek damages to repair or replace the vessel.
Injured workers who file Jones Acts claims are eligible to receive the same types of damages in their case as they would in any other personal injury case. In some circumstances, they may recover even more through the Jones Act if they are awarded interest on their damages.
Proving liability in a maritime or boat accident can be complicated and often requires the help of an experienced attorney. If you were injured on or by a marine vessel, schedule an appointment with a Lake Charles boat accident lawyer today.