Maritime accidents can have devastating consequences for those involved. Just as with any other type of vehicular accident, maritime accidents can lead to personal injuries and costly financial losses. Unfortunately, many people are unfamiliar with maritime laws, and aren’t sure what their rights are when they’ve been injured in a boating accident.
Maritime law lawyer Michal E. Shelton has extensive knowledge of maritime law, and has represented victims of maritime accidents. Individuals from the Houston, TX, area who have been injured in a maritime accident involving inadequate or missing safety equipment can rely on Michael E. Shelton to fight for the compensation they may be due for accident damages.
Maritime Law Safety Standards
All maritime vessels, whether cruise ships, fishing boats, tour boats, or ferries, are subject to maritime laws, which are outlined by the federal government. Federal laws dictate that all vessels on the water must be seaworthy. A seaworthy vessel is one that can be safely operated as intended. There are several flaws or defects that can make a vessel unseaworthy, but one of the most common is inadequate or missing safety equipment.
Common Issues Involving Inadequate or Missing Safety Equipment
Maritime vessels are required to have certain safety equipment in place to reduce the risk of an accident, and minimize damages in the event that an accident does occur. Not only do vessels need to have appropriate safety equipment, but equipment needs to be maintained so that it remains functional.
Sadly, many maritime vessel owners and operators neglect to uphold these safety standards. Common issues involving inadequate or missing safety equipment on maritime vessels include:
- Inadequate safety ropes or railings
- Missing warning signs
- Insufficient life jackets for the number of passengers
- Inaccessible life jackets
- Lack of a fire extinguishers
- Missing or faulty navigation lights
- Missing or faulty visual distress signals
- Expired safety equipment
- Poorly maintained safety equipment
Liability for Maritime Accidents
Maritime vessel operators can be held liable for accidents and damages related to missing or inadequate safety equipment. Passengers who are injured in boating accidents caused by the reckless or negligent actions of boat owners can work with our Houston law firm to seek financial compensation for all losses related to accident injuries.
Passengers are not the only people who have the right to sue for financial compensation when inadequate safety equipment contributes to a maritime accident. The Jones Act allows maritime workers to sue their employer if they are injured in a boating accident that is caused by their employer’s negligence. This includes accidents related to missing or inadequate safety equipment. Under the Jones Act, maritime owners are held to strict liability, meaning that they can be held liable for missing or inadequate safety equipment even if they did not know the vessel was unsafe.
If you have been injured in a boating accident and you believe that missing or inadequate safety equipment contributed to accident injuries, you may be due financial compensation for your losses. To discuss the details of your case with Houston attorney Michael E. Shelton, send us a message at your earliest convenience or call (713) 807-0700.