Tour Boat Accidents

Tour boats are a great way to take in the sights of a vacation destination. The last thing from our minds while on such attractions is the potential risk for an accident. When a tour boat accident isn’t fatal, it can still cause lasting injuries.

How you file for compensation in a tour boat accident will depend on whether you were a passenger or vessel employee. Passengers will have to file in accordance with their state’s personal injury laws while employees may be eligible for compensation under maritime law.

Tour Boat Accident Maritime Lawyer in Oregon, Washington, California and Alaska

Pursuing the compensation you need to fully recover does not have to add to an already heavy burden.  BoatLaw, LLP will help you navigate these difficult times and recover the compensation you are entitled to.

Call 1 (800) 262-8529 to schedule a confidential consultation. BoatLaw, LLP represents injured tour boat passengers and employees in Oregon, Washington, California and Alaska.

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Types of Tour Boat Injuries

States along the western coast see thousands of tourists a year. California, Washington, Oregon and Alaska have ferries, speed boats and duck tours, all of which provide tourists with a great opportunity to enjoy their vacation.

Negligent actions can quickly turn these fun tourist attractions into a terrible accident. Injuries commonly associated with tour boat accidents include the following:

  • Drowning: There is always a risk for drowning anytime you are on the water. Drowning is not always fatal, but it can still cause lasting brain injuries such as brain hypoxia and brain ischemia.
  • Broken bones and lacerations: Some tour boats require passengers to stand as the vessel moves through the water. Standing passengers may be thrown around and lead to broken bones or severe lacerations.
  • Neck and spinal injuries: Tour boat passengers will experience a violent jolt when a vessel collides with another object. This can lead to neck and spinal injuries.

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Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury

To receive compensation as an injured passenger, you will have to file suit within a given time frame set forth by the state. This is called a statute of limitation and it varies by state. You will lose your right to compensation and the court will refuse to hear your case if you fail to file within a statute of limitations.

Listed below is the statute of limitations for the states we serve:

  • Oregon: 2 years
  • Washington: 3 years
  • California: 2 years
  • Alaska: 2 years

This time starts from the date of your injuries. You have to act fast if you were injured in a tour boat accident. You will lose your chance to hold the negligent party accountable if you fail to act within the given time frame.

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Economic and Non-Economic Damages

You can recover economic and non-economic damages in a personal injury claim. As the name implies, economic damages are damages with a monetary value such as medical bills and loss of earnings. Non-economic damages, however, are those without monetary value. This can include pain and suffering, injury to reputation and humiliation.

There is no limit on the amount of economic damages that can be received, but some state limit non-economic damages. Of all the states we serve, Oregon is the only one with a cap on non-economic damages. The state allows victims to receive up to $500,000 in non-economic damages. Washington, California and Alaska do not cap non-economic damages. 

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Are Tour Boat Workers Covered Under the Jones Act?

As an injured seaman, you will not be able to file for workers’ compensation. Instead, the only legal compensation you are entitled to is through the Jones Act, which is a federal law granting injured seamen the right to sue their employer for personal injury damages.

The Jones Act requires a lower burden of proof than other negligence cases. This means you only need to prove the negligent ship-owner, captain or crewmember played a part, no matter how small, in your injuries. Keep in mind; the Jones Act has a statute of limitation of three years from the date of injury.

As an injured seaman, you are entitled to the usual damages in a personal injury case. This can include loss of earnings or earning capacity, past and future medical cost, pain, suffering and mental anguish.

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Duck Boat Accidents

Duck boats are a popular attraction for tourist across the United States. While this car-boat hybrid allows tourist the opportunity to see the sights, they have a long history of safety problems and have been linked to over 40 deaths since 1999.

Duck boats often have a roof or canopy to protect passengers from the elements. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) warns these covers significantly increase the chances of passengers becoming trapped in the boat and drowning. Some duck boat companies have also added windows to keep the vessel warm and extended business hours, but this also dramatically increased the chances of drowning.

The most recent duck boat accident in Branson, Missouri left 17 people dead after the boat capsized, making it the most deadly duck boat accident in American history. Capsizing is not the only danger associated with these contraptions. The vehicles also operate on the roadways and have been linked to multiple fatal collisions.

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Additional Resources for Tour Boat Accidents

The Jones Act – Follow the link provided to read the complete text of the Jones Act. Read section 33 to learn more about compensation under the act for workers injured or killed at sea. You can also learn about how a vessel should be properly operated and maintained.

Preliminary Duck Boat Report | National Transportation Safety Board  – The United States Coast Guard declared the duck boat accident in Branson, Missouri as a major marine causality, so the NTSB was required to investigate. Read through NTSB’s preliminary report over the incident. You can learn about other boat accidents and find out evidence the NTSB is using during their investigation.

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Tour Boat Accident Maritime Attorney in Oregon, Washington, California and Alaska

Whether you were injured in a tour boat accident or lost the life of your loved one, BoatLaw, LLP is here to help. We will use our vast experience in personal injury and maritime law to get you the compensation you need to recover.

Call 1 (800) 262-8529 to schedule a time to speak with us about your case. BoatLaw, LLP represents those injured in tour boat accidents in Oregon, Washington, California and Alaska.

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  • The Maritime Law Association of The United States
    The Maritime Law Association of the United States (MLA) was founded in 1899. Its formation was prompted by the organization, some three years earlier, of the International Maritime Committee.
  • Washington State Bar Association
    The Washington State Bar Association operates under the delegated authority of the Washington Supreme Court to license the state's nearly 40,000 lawyers and other legal professionals.
  • Oregon State Bar
    The Oregon State Bar is a government agency in the U.S. state of Oregon. Founded in 1890 as the private Oregon Bar Association, it became a public entity in 1935 that regulates the legal profession.
  • Alaska Bar Association
    The Alaska Bar Association is a mandatory bar association responsible to the Alaska Supreme Court for the admission and discipline process of attorneys for the State of Alaska.