Boating Accidents.

Boat Injury Compensation Claims.

If your job requires you to travel by boat or work at sea, your employer should take all possible precautions to ensure your safety.

Rough seas, bad weather, and high winds can put workers on crew boats and supply vessels at risk, especially when the ship is being pushed to its limits or has not been adequately serviced and maintained in good working order.

According to figures from the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) in 2021 there were 1,530 marine accidents, including 11 fatalities, in UK waters. Boating accidents can occur when crew members are boarding and disembarking the vessel, or while cargo is being loaded and unloaded, and the risk is especially high during bad weather conditions.

Being involved in a boating accident at work can have a huge impact on your life. If you sustain a serious injury you may be unable to return to work for quite some time, or you may have to give up that type of work completely. Time off work whilst you recover typically means a loss of income, which puts a financial strain on you and your family.

If you have been injured in a boating accident that wasn’t your fault, you may be entitled to claim compensation. Here at Lanyon Bowdler we have helped many clients in your situation to seek justice and reparations after an accident, and our friendly and professional personal injury solicitors would love to help you too, so please don’t hesitate to contact us to find out more.

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Your Boating Accident Compensation Questions Answered

What are the main causes of boating accidents?

When you are working on a boat, or travelling by boat for work, not only are you at the mercy of the sea and the weather, but your wellbeing also depends on the health and safety protocols that have been put into place on-board. Some of the most common causes of boating accidents include:

  • Boats colliding with other boats or stationary objects
  • Being hit by a boat or being dragged underwater whilst swimming
  • Wet surfaces and unsafe objects on deck causing slips, trips, or falls
  • Boat operators being under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning caused by engines, generators, heaters, and cooking appliances used in enclosed spaces
  • Failure to replace, maintain, or repair engines, bilge pumps, etc.
  • Failing to use a kill cord correctly
  • Overloading crew boats and workboats with workers, equipment, cargo, or supplies
  • Negligent operation or navigation of the vessel by captains or crew members
  • Failing to secure the boat properly during boarding or disembarking
  • Failing to follow safety protocols regarding lifeboats, personal floatation devices, and fire extinguishers

This list is not exhaustive, and if you have been involved in any type of accident at work on, or caused by, a boat, please get in touch to discuss your situation. Our Personal Injury Team will be happy to offer advice and guidance and help you get started with your compensation case.

Who is liable for boating accidents?

The boat operator has a duty of care to all crew members and passengers to ensure that the vessel is operated in a manner which ensures their safety as much as is reasonably possible. The laws determining who is liable for paying compensation in the event of an accident depend on where the accident actually took place. For example, if the accident occurred in British waters, British maritime laws would apply. However, if the accident occurred in the waters of another country, then the maritime laws of that country would apply.

Approximately two thirds of the ocean does not fall under the jurisdiction of any country’s government. These areas are known as international waters. If a boat accident occurs within international waters it is governed under the Athens Convention.

The Athens Convention is an international law to which all of the international governments who signed the agreement are beholden, and it supersedes British law. For example, if an accident occurs on a ship that begins and ends its journey in British waters, but the ship passed through international waters along the way, the Athens Convention would take priority over British maritime laws.

Under the Athens Convention, the ship’s operator is held responsible for the safety and wellbeing of all passengers and their luggage. This means that should anything happen to a passenger due to negligence on the part of the ship’s operating company and/or crew, the ship operator would be liable. The Athens Convention also places liability for luggage on the ship’s operator, which means that if an accident occurs in which you are unharmed, but your luggage is damaged, or goes missing due to theft or negligent handling and storage, you can claim compensation.

The Athens Convention states that a ship’s operator could be liable if they:

  • Failed to carry out checks of the ships machinery and equipment on-board
  • Failed to properly carry out maintenance and repair of the ship
  • Failed to provide their crew and management with proper training

If you are unsure about your right to make a claim after a boating accident in international waters, please get in touch and our highly qualified and experienced Personal Injury Team will be happy to discuss your situation and offer guidance.

How would my employer be affected if I claim compensation for a boating accident?

Under UK law, all employers must have insurance in place to cover accidents. This means that, in the event of a boating accident at work, your employer’s liability insurance would cover any compensation claim made against them and it wouldn’t affect the company or cause them to go bankrupt, for example. You won’t need to speak to the insurance company yourself, our personal injury solicitors are here to handle all of the legal details on your behalf, leaving you to focus on recovering from the accident.

Additionally, you are protected by UK law, which means that your employer cannot treat you unfairly, dismiss you, or force you to resign due to you taking legal action against them. If you’d like any further guidance and clarification on this, our team will be happy to help.

Our expert Personal Injury Team at Lanyon Bowdler has supported claimants in all types of boat accident claims, always achieving the best possible result. We can assess your case today, and help you through the claim process for your boat accident injury. Contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation.

What should I do if I am involved in a boating accident?

If you are involved in a boating accident in which you sustain an injury, there are a number of steps that you should take afterwards in order to air your recovery and speed up any legal proceedings that take place.

  • If the incident occurs in British waters it should be reported straight away to the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB), which is a UK government organisation with the authority to investigate maritime accidents in UK waters. Their investigation will establish the cause of the accident, promote awareness of risks, and prevent recurrence.
  • If you are injured you should seek medical help as soon as possible. Depending on the nature and severity of your injuries this may involve being assessed on site by a paramedic, or being driven to hospital by a friend or colleague.
  • After being treated for your injuries, ask for a copy of the medical report as this will provide useful evidence when you begin your compensation claim.
  • Take photos of the scene of the accident, or ask somebody else if you are unable to, as these will also provide valuable evidence later on. If the boat has CCTV ask for a recording of the footage from the incident.
  • Obtain the contact details of anyone who witnessed the accident and ask if they would be willing to provide a statement to back up your claim.
  • Document your injuries and your recovery journey with photos, to provide visual proof of the suffering endured after the accident.
  • Keep a record of any expenses incurred as a result of the accident, such as travel to and from hospital, prescription costs, therapeutic treatments you have received etc as you should be able to claim these expenses back.

If you have any questions about what to do after your boating accident please don’t hesitate to get in touch and a member of our Personal Injury Team will be more than happy to help you. We’re on your team and we want to ensure your compensation claim goes as smoothly and successfully as possible.

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Contact our Boat Accident Lawyers

Please give our Personal Injury Lawyers a call for a friendly, confidential, conversation about how we can help support you with a Boating Injury Claim. There is no commitment or charge for our initial assessment. Please contact a member of the team or complete our online inquiry form toward the top of this page on the right-hand side. We can also arrange a home or hospital visit when more convenient.

Lanyon Bowdler has offices in Shrewsbury, Bromyard, Hereford, Ludlow, Oswestry, Telford, and Conwy in North Wales.

We are one of the most recognised firms of solicitors in Herefordshire, Shropshire, Mid and North Wales, Birmingham, and the Midlands, synonymous with excellence. We are able to offer a wide range of pricing options including fixed fees and service level guarantees.

As a leading regional law firm, we regularly act for clients on Boating Injury Claims. We can represent you wherever you live in England or Wales.

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Dawn Humphries
Dawn Humphries
Partner
Personal Injury
Debbie Humphries
Debbie Humphries
Partner
Personal Injury
Phillip Roberts
Phillip Roberts
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Personal Injury
Isabella Drummond
Isabella Drummond
Paralegal Apprentice
Personal Injury | Medical Negligence
Lauren McCarthy
Lauren McCarthy
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Personal Injury
Helen Gale
Helen Gale
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Personal Injury
Kelly Gibbons
Kelly Gibbons
Legal Support Assistant
Personal Injury
Claudia Booth
Claudia Booth
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Personal Injury
Amy Burgoyne
Amy Burgoyne
Legal Support Assistant
Personal Injury
Karen Clarke
Karen Clarke
Associate Legal Executive (FCILEX)
Personal Injury
Phyllis Smith
Phyllis Smith
Senior Litigation Assistant
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Alexander Spanner
Alexander Spanner
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Personal Injury
Sophie Speirs
Sophie Speirs
Trainee Solicitor
Personal Injury
Morgan Thompson
Morgan Thompson
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Personal Injury
Cameron Petch
Cameron Petch
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Personal Injury
Jo Kneller
Jo Kneller
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Sarah Martin
Sarah Martin
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Medical Negligence | Personal Injury
Mandy Mason
Mandy Mason
Chartered Legal Executive (FCILEX)
Personal Injury
Jane Miles
Jane Miles
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Personal Injury
Andrew Morris
Andrew Morris
Trainee Costs Draftsman
Medical Negligence | Personal Injury
Miriam Homer
Miriam Homer
Solicitor
Personal Injury
David Hughes
David Hughes
Costs Manager
Medical Negligence | Personal Injury
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