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Navigating the Waters: Boat Injury

The ocean is a dangerous place, with natural disasters, copious safety regulations, and not to mention the long hours and fatigue of the workers, accidents are bound to happen. Whether you’re out on the water for work or pleasure, it is dangerous regardless.

Boat racing is one of the leading causes of offshore accidents as fun can quickly turn into a fatality. Racing requires boats to be in close proximity to each other, while adrenaline and competitive edge are thrown into the mix. While racing can be fun to watch and participate in, there are many dangers that come with the sport that can be and should be avoided.

Off the shore of Point Pleasant, New Jersey, a boating race turned fatal for one and seriously injured two others. In the annual Grand Prix racing event in Point Pleasant Beach, the accident occurred during the preliminary rounds of the race, in May of 2017. During the first turn of the race, the Smith Brothers’ boat was airborne, before landing on the unfortunate boat next to them, which sent its members into the water. One of the boat’s members, David Raabe, was pronounced dead shortly after hitting the water. Spectator, Pat Kowalonek told ABC, “Everyone wanted to have a good time, but it turned into a tragic accident.”

It is very easy for pleasure to turn into tragedy out on the ocean. And often, someone is at fault. This example was not work-related. However, there are a lot of work-related offshore accidents as well. Whether that is due to ignored safety instructions, malfunction of equipment, miscommunication, or sheer accident, serious injuries are not uncommon offshore. Other than man or machine-caused accidents, natural disasters can and will happen. Exhibit A and B of natural disasters are happening currently, with hurricanes Harvey and Irma, affecting those in Texas and Florida mostly. You cannot control for all natural disasters, and you cannot always expect them. Their unpredictable nature is what makes the most dangerous, and especially out at sea, safety is hard to achieve.  

Sometimes, inevitably, accidents happen. And sometimes, someone is at fault for those accidents, and when there is blame to be taken, there is also legal action to help. Compensation from legal action can be the only source of income you can receive if you’ve been seriously injured in an offshore accident, or if your loved one who used to make all the money passed away due to an offshore accident. Expert lawyers are aware of the dangerous nature of your job offshore and are ready and able to get you the compensation you deserve.

As seamen, you are under the Jones Act, and understanding your rights under this act is the number one frequently asked question. Lawyers are there to help answer your questions, help you understand your rights, inform you on whether or not to settle, and how much you can get from the company work for.

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