Orange County Tour Boat Accident Lawyers
Tour boats are a common sight off the coast of Orange County – and with good reason. Newport Beach and Orange County are renowned for their scenic whale watching cruises to spot blue, gray, and humpback whales, as well as numerous pods of bottlenose dolphins. However, with so many boats departing Newport, accidents are bound to happen. Sadly, Newport Harbor was one of the top boating accident areas in Southern California in a recent year, as reported by the California State Parks Department of Boating and Waterways (DBW). A total of 87 boating accidents, resulting in 15 injuries, occurred in Orange County alone, representing 27% of all boating accidents and 6% of boating injuries statewide.
A day out at sea should be a fun and exciting time, not one that leaves you injured and buried under medical bills. If you have been injured a tour boat accident that was due to someone else’s negligence, then do not hesitate to contact the knowledgeable legal team at Allen, Flatt, Ballidis & Leslie at (949) 752-7474. Our Orange County boat accident attorneys provide a thorough review of your case to ensure you receive proper and fair compensation for your injuries.
The coasts of Southern California are host to a variety of unique natural wonders that visitors and locals cannot wait to explore. Just on its own, Orange County offers sea-faring travelers whale-watching tours, deep-sea fishing trips, scuba and snorkeling excursions, and speed boat rides, just to name a few. Boats come in every shape and size to suit any occasion, but there are some common types of boating accidents that can occur, including:
- Fires in the boat’s engine room, kitchen, or common area
- Boat explosions
- Collisions with other vessels or vehicles
- Collisions with docks, piers, or shallow rocks
- Boats sinking
- Passengers falling overboard
- Medical complications for scuba divers and snorkelers
Tour boat owners and operators have a duty of care to ensure the safety of their passengers. Negligence on their part can be disastrous when it results in serious accidents and injuries, which may include:
- Burn injuries: Boat fires can spread quickly, and passenger escape routes are limited. Tour boat owners and operators have a duty to ensure that fire systems are present and functional and that passengers have a way to escape.
- Traumatic brain injuries and spinal injuries: As most passengers are not wearing safety belts, they can easily slam into the boat’s railing, seats, or even the deck in a rough fall when a tour boat collides with another vessel.
- Fractures and lacerations: Passengers standing or walking on the deck may sustain fractured bones or lacerations in an accident.
- Wrongful death: Death can result from drowning when adequate protection is not provided. Passenger protection from drowning should include railings and barriers to keep them from going overboard, certified life vests, and floatation devices.
Companies that own and operate tour boats are required to comply with maritime laws and regulations, maintain their vessels in proper operating condition, and provide life-saving devices, such as life jackets, for passengers. Negligent tour boat owners and operators can cause serious, catastrophic, or fatal accidents by failing to:
- Properly maintain boats in their fleet
- Use reasonable care to detect and remedy hazardous defects
- Properly train crew members
- Cancel tours when dangerous conditions are forecast
- Operate boats in a safe manner
- Prevent overbooking to limit crowding on boats
- Clearly inform passengers of the location and use of safety devices
- Make passenger safety their top priority
Tour boat owners and operators who risk the lives and safety of their passengers through reckless, careless, or negligent actions may be held liable for resulting personal injury or wrongful death.
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a tour boat or cruise ship accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may have a claim for compensation, and your best chance of recovering the maximum compensation available is with an experienced attorney by your side.
At Allen, Flatt, Ballidis & Leslie, our Orange County personal injury lawyers have more than 40 years of experience assisting clients in receiving fair and proper compensation for their injuries. We have a successful track record, recovering hundreds of millions in settlements and verdicts for our clients. Contact us at (949) 752-7474 to schedule a free consultation. We have the knowledge, skills, and resources to effectively pursue the compensation you deserve.
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