When An Incident Happens On The Water You Might Get A Lawyer That Knows Boating Accidents

by Terry Bryant

When a major incident happens on the water, it is best that the affected party seek out a boating accident lawyer, as the regulations surrounding maritime traffic are complex and often difficult to enforce. Because of this, an expert who is knowledgeable in this area will be invaluable during the investigation and information-gathering process.

A law that many may not be familiar with is the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, also known as the Jones Act. This regulation states that all vessels that travel from one U.S. port to another and carries cargo must have been built in America. It also states that the vessel must be owned by a U.S. citizen and must be manned and run by U.S. Citizens. This is an important collection of regulations that a boating accident lawyer will keep in mind, because many companies try to cut costs by hiring illegal aliens and employees that are not American citizens. While some assert that these regulations are outdated, they are still relevant, and any business in violation of them stands to be held responsible if one of its vessels causes an incident.

Another set of rules that are relevant to incidents causes out on the ocean are the Coast Guard maritime traffic rules. These lay out the proper methods for operating and navigating around other oceangoing traffic, and if they are violated, the victim may have a case for restitution. Excessive speed, operator inattention, poor monitoring methods and crew that are under the influence of alcohol are all common reasons that vessels occasionally cause harm to others. Because of the fact that any of these scenarios can cause serious, permanently debilitating injuries, getting an expert to help out with the legal process is crucial.