Ferries carry thousands of passengers and vehicles across bodies of water every day. Unfortunately, ferry accidents are more common than many realize. Employees and customers can suffer catastrophic injuries and illnesses while aboard Louisiana ferries. Ferries range from small water taxi boats to massive roll-on roll-off (RORO) vessels. Some ferries are industrial and transport freight and vehicles across waterways, while other ferries are used for sightseeing. When these large vessels collide with a stationary object or another vessel, hundreds of passengers’ and crews’ lives are often threatened. When a Louisiana ferry accident occurs, the results are often deadly.
If you or your loved one have experienced an injury in a Louisiana ferry accident, you need an experienced lawyer advocating for your rights. At Koch & Schmidt, our New Orleans admiralty and maritime lawyers have a proven track record of obtaining compensation for our clients. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation.
Causes of New Orleans Ferry Accidents
There are many different causes of New Orleans ferry accidents, including employer negligence, manufacturing defects, and bad weather. The first step in successfully obtaining compensation through a personal injury lawsuit is determining fault. In some cases, the business that owns the ferry is not the same business that employs the fairy workers. When the business that operates the ferry hires negligent employees, they may be liable for the ferry accident’s injuries. Likewise, if the crewmember’s negligence results in the ferry accident, the company that employs the crew members is at fault.
Suppose the captain of the ferry was intoxicated while operating the ferry. In that case, the victims would be able to file a lawsuit against the company operating the ferry. Manufacturing defects and failures of the crew to properly maintain the ferry’s engine or deck can also cause a dangerous New Orleans ferry accident.
Proving Negligence in New Orleans Ferry Accidents
Many New Orleans ferry accidents are caused by negligence. After a ferry accident, local safety officials will thoroughly investigate the accident to determine the causes of the crash and how it may have been prevented. When one or more people become injured or die due to a ferry accident, personal injury lawyers will also investigate the accident to determine whether a person’s or business’ negligence caused the ferry accident. When the victims of ferry accidents can prove that the careless or negligent actions of the ferry captain or the company operating the ferry caused the accident, they may be entitled to money damages through a personal injury lawsuit.
Operating a ferry boat in busy New Orleans waters requires careful attention and a great amount of skill. The U.S. Coast Guard has implemented numerous laws and rules regarding the safe operation of ferries. For example, ferry operators must ensure that they have enough trained crew members present for every single ferry ride. Ferry boat owners must ensure that the ferry undergoes regular maintenance to prevent engine failure or other mechanical problems that could cause a ferry accident.
Additionally, ferry boat operators must ensure that their crew members and the ferry itself are properly prepared for every ferry ride before they begin. When ferry accidents occur, there is a good chance that the ferry operator or crew members did not follow all of the many requirements set forth by federal regulations. Proving that the ferry operator violated a federal maritime safety regulation can help establish the ferry operator’s negligence in a personal injury lawsuit.
Seeking an Insurance Settlement After a New Orleans Ferry Accident
Depending on the facts of your case, you may have a right to file an insurance claim through the ferry operator’s commercial insurance policy. Unfortunately, insurance companies often try to provide low settlement offers, hoping that injured parties will take the low initial offer. It is important to speak with an experienced lawyer before providing a statement to the insurance company. The insurance company may try to get you to admit fault or state that your injuries were pre-existing. Our legal team has extensive experience in negotiating with insurance companies to secure the best possible settlement amount on behalf of our clients. We will help you navigate the insurance claim process while preserving your right to a potential personal injury lawsuit.
Recovering Compensation After a Ferry Accident Injury
Recovering from a ferry accident injury is difficult enough, but it can be even more stressful when you are unable to return to work and earn a living. Maritime employees and customers who become injured aboard ferries, including car ferries and water taxis, have a right to compensation for their injuries. One of the best ways to ensure you can recover well while providing for yourself and your family is to file a personal injury lawsuit. Under Louisiana law, successful personal injury plaintiffs are entitled to economic and non-economic damages, including the following:
- Property damage
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Long term disability
- Lost earning capacity
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Mental anguish
- Past and future pain and suffering caused by the injuries
Contact a New Orleans Ferry Accident Attorney Today
Our legal team is here to help if you or your loved one have been injured in a New Orleans ferry accident. We focus our practice on personal injuries involving maritime or admiralty law. Our lawyers have extensive knowledge of the numerous state and federal laws related to boating and ferry accidents. We will review your case and advise you on your best option for obtaining compensation for your injuries. We have the experience and professional network necessary to ensure that your accident is thoroughly investigated. The sooner you speak with an experienced ferry accident lawyer, the better. Contact Koch & Schmidt today to schedule a consultation and learn how we can advocate for your rights.