Who Is Responsible for My Offshore Injury?

People can be injured in maritime & offshore jobs in a variety of ways. For example, the boat might have crashed, tipped over, or sunk. Passengers can also be injured from hitting a wave or the wake of another boat. Offshore or maritime injuries can result in sky-high medical bills, and victims can be in pain for years. Before you can get the compensation you deserve, you need to identify the person legally responsible for your injury. The experienced personal injury lawyers at Clay, Massey & Associates, P.C., have decades of experience analyzing cases to pinpoint the right person to sue.

The Boat Operator

Whoever is operating the boat is frequently responsible for injuries. The operator might have been “negligent” in how they operated the boat, which is the legal term for carelessness. For example, when a boat operator hits another boat’s wake, you’ll need to consider the following factors:

  • The size of the wake. A giant wake should be visible. However, if the wake was small, it’s less likely an operator will be responsible for any injuries.
  • How fast the boat was going. The faster the boat was traveling, the more likely the operator was careless.
  • Whether the operator warned the passengers that you were coming up on a wake. If no warning was given, it’s more likely that the operator was negligent.

Every situation is different, and only a lawyer experienced inshore boat injuries can properly evaluate all the facts and circumstances before deciding whether to sue a boat operator.

The Boat Owner

Often, the owner and operator are the same person—but not always. For example, an owner might have hired someone else to operate the boat. In many situations, an owner can be legally responsible for injuries even if they were not personally operating the boat.

For example, an owner might not have had the necessary safety equipment on a boat, such as flares or life jackets. The absence of this equipment can hamper a quick rescue and might have caused your injuries.

An owner can also be responsible for negligence (carelessness) in hiring an operator. For example, the owner might not have performed even a basic criminal background check, which would have uncovered that the operator has a criminal record. In this situation, you might be able to hold the boat owner legally responsible for your injuries.

The Boat Manufacturer

Some accidents are beyond the control of either the owner or operator. For example, a boat might have been defectively manufactured. If the defect caused the accident and your injury, then you can sue the boat manufacturer for creating a defective product.

Sometimes a boat might have been manufactured according to the designs but the designs themselves are faulty. This is called a “design defect,” and you can sue the boat manufacturer for your injuries. Building a case will require that your personal injury lawyer hire expert witnesses who can explain to a jury what was faulty with the design.

Contact a Mobile, Alabama Personal Injury Lawyer Today

The above are only some of the people who can be held legally responsible for your injuries. Each case is different, and only an experienced Alabama personal injury lawyer can analyze your case and decide who to sue for compensation. At Clay, Massey & Associates, P.C., we have over 30 years of experience helping people injured in offshore & maritime accidents get the compensation they deserve.  Call us today at 251-433-1000 or reach out to us by completing our online contact form. Don’t delay.