Rented boats carrying more than six passengers are considered charter boats. These types of vessels can range from fishing boats and barges to private yachts and sailboats. A charter boat is a great way to enjoy the water without having to deal with the hassles of maintaining a vessel.

Unfortunately, charter boat accidents happen regularly and are typically the result of negligence from the appointed captain or vessel owner. It’s advised you contact a maritime lawyer if you or someone you love was injured or killed in a charter boat accident.

Charter Boat Accident Attorney in Oregon, Washington, California and Alaska

BOATLAW, LLP has been representing those injured at sea for the past 40 years. We understand your concerns during these trying times, which is why we want to help. The maritime lawyer at BOATLAW, LLP will advocate on your behalf to ensure you recover the compensation you need to heal.

Call 1-800-262-8529 to schedule a confidential consultation. BOATLAW, LLP represents those injured at sea in Oregon, Washington, California and Alaska.

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What can Cause a Charter Boat Accident? 

Paying passengers and non-paying passengers are owed the same duty of care. It doesn’t matter if you are on a friend’s boat or one rented for the day, the owner and operator are required to display a reasonable duty of care under the given circumstances.

Failing to exercise a reasonable duty of care is considered negligence. When an owner or operator of a vessel is negligent, it can lead to major accidents. Negligent actions that can lead to a charter boat accident include:

  • Reckless operation
  • Boating while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Inexperienced operator
  • Failing to follow Coast Guard Orders
  • Distracted boating
  • Traveling too close to other vessels
  • Operating a vessel in severe weather
  • Failing to provide life-vest and other maritime safety equipment

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Who’s Liable?

Most charter boat rentals do not come with a captain or crew to man the vessel.  Instead, the group aboard will typically designate someone as the captain. Having an appointed captain is a good idea, but they become responsible for any injuries or deaths that take place on the charter boat.

For instance, the acting captain drives way to fast and hits a large wake resulting in someone aboard falling and hitting their head. In this case, the maritime attorneys at BOATLAW, LLP can show the acting captain’s reckless operation was responsible for the injuries.

The company or owner of the charter boat can also be held liable for injuries or deaths aboard, even if they were not on the vessel when the accident took place. The vessel owner is legally obligated to maintain the safety of a boat. This means they must handle all safety issues before the vessel is taken onto the water.

Common examples of when a company or vessel owner can be held liable include passengers cutting themselves on a rusty nail, falling out of a chair and breaking an arm because the chair was not properly secured or an engine explosion resulting in serious burns.

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How are Charter Boat Accidents Compensated?

The compensation you recover for injuries sustained on a charter boat largely depend on the state or federal maritime laws that apply to your situation. Injuries might be covered under federal law if they took place at least three nautical miles from a U.S. shore, while state laws will likely cover injuries that took place on lakes and within three nautical miles of the shore.

The extent of the injuries, how they occurred and if you contributed to the negligence will also play a role in how much compensation you can recover. Some of the damages you may be able to recover include:

  • Medical costs
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earnings capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Disability
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Funeral cost – Wrongful death
  • Loss of financial support – Wrongful death
  • Loss of nurture, guidance and care – Wrongful death

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Additional Resources for Charter Boat Accidents

Charter Vessel Operations | United States Coast Guard – Follow the link provided to read a broacher from the United States Coast Guard over charter boat operations. You can gain access to information on what is considered a charter boat and passenger for hire.

Charter Check List – View a list of detailed instructions for operating a charter boat. You can find information about the required documentation and registration, personal flotation devices and visual distress signals. You can also learn about the necessary insurance and first aid requirements.

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Charter Boat Accident Admiralty Lawyer in Oregon, Washington, California and Alaska

A fun day on the water can be ruined when you are injured at the hands of someone else. You have the right to hold the negligent party responsible and seek compensation for your injuries.

Call 1-800-262-8529 to schedule a confidential consultation with BOATLAW, LLP. We defend the rights of those injured at sea in Oregon, Washington, California and Alaska.

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