Boating accidents happen all the time. Our maritime lawyers are regularly contacted by people who have been injured in such accidents. There are many question a maritime lawyer must ask to determine what rights and remedies an injured person possesses. This article is intended to give just a sketch of how a maritime lawyer analyzes a boating accident injury claim.
The first question that must be answered is where did the accident occur. This answer is key to a maritime lawyer’s analysis of how to represent a injured client. If the accident occurred on “navigable waters”, federal maritime law applies. If the accident occurred on” non-navigable waters”, state law applies. Knowing whether the accident happened on navigable or non-navigable waters will tell a maritime lawyer the types of claims that can be brought, the standard of care owed to the injured person and the damages that can be recovered. Maritime and state law are very different from each other and lawyers who do not regularly practice maritime law oftentimes get tripped up when litigating a maritime case because they simply don’t know which law applies to the accident.