A fatal boat deck accident involving a commercial dive boat recently caused the deaths of several innocent victims. Victims allege that the boat dive boat company operated the boat in an unsafe and unseaworthy manner. Tragically, a crew member and 33 passengers died as a result of the deck fire. Unfortunately, boat deck accidents like this one are all too common. Slip and fall accidents, deck fires, and falling overboard are all types of dangerous boat deck accidents.
If you or your loved one have suffered injuries or died as a result of a New Orleans deck accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Under Louisiana law, when a boat owner or operator’s negligence causes your injuries, you can bring a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent person or company. At Koch & Schmidt, we have years of experience helping clients obtain compensation from deck accidents and other types of maritime accidents. Contact our New Orleans maritime law firm today to schedule your initial consultation.
Boat Operators Have a Duty to Keep Their Decks Safe
New Orleans is a popular destination for tourist boating activities. Local businesses operate steamboat tours, bayou swamp tours, fishing charters, water skis, cruise ships, flyboarding, and party boats. Private companies who own and operate tourist boats owe their customers and staff the duty of reasonable care. They must keep their boats, including their boat decks, in safe working order. When passengers or crew suffer injuries due to deck accidents caused by negligence or recklessness, they have a right to file a claim against the negligent boat company.
Accidents Caused By Slippery Boat Decks
Slip and fall accidents happen regularly on boat decks as well as on the decks of cruise ships. Boat owners must regularly clean their exterior boat decks by washing them down at night or in the early hours of the morning. Most ship owners require their staff to section off the area being cleaned by placing cones around the wet and slippery part. Unfortunately, when boat owners don’t properly train their staff or forget to put up warning cones or signs, passengers become exposed to dangerously slippery decks.
Without the proper warning signs in place, passengers are oblivious to the dangers of slippery decks and can slip and fall, resulting in serious injuries. When the boat owner or operator doesn’t provide adequate notice of the slippery wet deck, he or she is liable for all of the damages caused by the slip and fall accident. Pools of water, spilled drinks and food, slippery surfaces, and dangerous conditions can cause slip and fall accidents. Slip and fall accidents on boat decks often cause the following types of injuries:
- Twisted ankles
- Torn knee cartilage
- Broken bones
- Ligament damage
- Hip, arm, or leg fractures
- Ligament damage
Failure to Build and Maintain Boat Deck surfaces
When boat operators and their staff fail to keep the deck surfaces safe, accidents can happen. Most boat decks need to be painted with a special anti-skid paint that makes the deck safer when it gets wet. The anti-skid properties break down over time, especially when the deck is exposed to significant rain and weather elements, or when it receives heavy foot traffic. As soon as boat deck paint starts to wear out, owners of the boat should re-paint the surface, or the boat deck will become unreasonably and dangerously slippery.
Additionally, boat owners have a legal duty to choose proper building materials when building their decks. When builders use cheaper but unsafe, building materials to build the deck, passenger safety suffers. Passengers can trip or slip on the deck because of the inappropriate building materials. When this happens, the owner of the boat is liable.
If you or your loved one suffered an injury on a boat deck, we recommend contacting one of our experienced personal injury lawyers as soon as possible. We thoroughly investigate our clients’ accidents to determine what caused their injuries. If a boat owner failed to maintain safe boat deck surfaces, you may be entitled to compensation.
Damages Available for Boat Deck Accidents
If you’ve suffered an injury from a boat deck accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. At Koch & Schmidt, we have helped many personal injury plaintiffs recover compensation. We understand how expensive it can be to recover from an injury. Hospital and nursing expenses can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars or more.
Under Louisiana law, plaintiffs in personal injury lawsuits can request economic and non-economic damages. Specifically, you can request compensation for bodily injuries that cause disability, physical impairment, disfigurement, mental anguish, or inconvenience. Successful plaintiffs can recover the cost of their hospital expenses, medical and nursing care treatment, and their lost past and future earnings. They can also request compensation for their pain, suffering, and loss of capacity to enjoy life.
Boat Deck Injuries Caused by Operator Negligence
In some cases, boat deck accidents happen due to the negligence of the boat operator. In the case of the fire mentioned above, the boat operator allegedly didn’t have adequate safety precautions to deal with a deck fire. In many cases, one boat operator collides with another boat, causing the passengers to fail on the deck, or to fall overboard. When boating operators are boating while under the influence of alcohol or they are distracted and cause an accident, the injured victims have a right to bring a personal injury lawsuit.
Contact Our Experienced Boat Deck Accident Lawyers Today
If you’ve suffered an injury in a boat deck accident, the lawyers at Koch & Schmidt can help. Whether an unsafe deck, a slip and fall accident, or a negligent boat operator caused your injuries, you can count on our law firm to get to the bottom of your legal case. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation with our New Orleans personal injury lawyers.