Key Biscayne Charter Boat Accident Lawyer

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    Key Biscayne Charter Boat Accident Lawyer

    Charter boats are hired for many reasons – sightseeing, fishing, waterskiing, and more.  These vessels are supposed to be safe, properly equipped, and operated by people who know what they are doing.  However, many boat accidents happen because of problems in these exact areas: unsafe vessels and inexperienced operators/hosts.

    If you or a loved one was injured or if a loved one was killed in a charter boat accident, you may have a strong case against the dangerous vessel’s owner or operator.  Our lawyers can also help you sue if you were hit by a charter boat while swimming or while riding in another boat.

    For a free review of your accident case, call Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind today at (305) 204-5369 to speak with our charter boat accident lawyers.

    What Constitutes a Charter Boat Accident in Key Biscayne?

    Calling a vessel a “charter boat” is just a term; it is not some legal term or special classification of ship.  What we usually mean by “charter boat” or “charter vessel” is a boat that you rent for a limited time.  While some rentals cover smaller speedboats or fishing boats, the term “charter boat” usually refers to renting a larger vessel or yacht complete with a crew to take care of the actual operation.

    Whether they are taking you on a fishing tour, on a party yacht, on a sightseeing tour, or for a day of parasailing, water skiing, or tubing, the situation is the same: the boat’s owner/operator or a hired crew is usually responsible for the vessel the whole time.

    This can be contrasted with tours or ferries that are open to the public and give you a ride when you buy a ticket.  They are also a bit different from a rental boat where the owner gives you total control of the boat.  While some charter vessel operators might let you try your hand at the controls for a minute or a few hours, the main problems that lead to accidents with charter boats usually stem from the boat’s safety conditions or the operator’s mistakes.  When mistakes like this happen, our charter boat accident lawyers can investigate, determine who was responsible for the accident, build a case against them, and fight to get you financial compensation.

    Causes of Charter Boat Accidents in Key Biscayne, FL

    As mentioned, many accidents involving charter vessels involve safety issues with the vessel itself or problems with unsafe operation.  In some cases, accidents involve the additional activities the charter boat is involved in, like parasailing or water-skiing accidents.

    Unsafe Vessels

    Many charter vessels are used and reused with quick turnover between trips and outings.  Taking the time to properly inspect a vessel between outings means downtime that the operator is not getting paid for.  As such, proper maintenance schedules are not always kept, and quick or cursory inspections might miss serious safety concerns.

    Many common issues that could lead to accidents or increased risk of harm in the event of an accident include undiscovered mechanical issues, vehicle damage, missing or defective flotation devices, missing or defective fire extinguishers, missing or defective emergency communication devices, and other problems.

    In some cases, operators simply did not know about these dangers, but proper maintenance and upkeep should have revealed them.  In other cases, the owner might have known about the dangers but took a calculated risk and kept using the vessel anyway, putting patrons and passengers at risk.

    Inexperienced or Dangerous Crew

    Charter boats often include a crew in the cost or involve separate arrangements to hire a crew.  The expectation when hiring a crew for a charter boat trip is that they know what they are doing.  In some cases, accidents happen when these crewmembers do not, in fact, know what they are doing.

    Sometimes crashes occur because the crew was simply inexperienced.  Boat workers are not always experienced and may have little to no training with boats.  For example, waiters hired to attend to guests on a charter yacht might not know port from starboard, but they are still part of the “crew.”  When charter companies hire inexperienced teens or college students for the summer or hire low-cost workers with little experience on boats, they could be leaving their guests in unsafe hands.

    Sometimes a charter vessel is staffed by a company separate from the owner/operator of the vessel.  In these cases, the crew – even someone like an experienced captain – might not be familiar with this specific vessel and any dangerous maintenance history, broken systems, or other issues.  In these cases, even with an experienced crew, mistakes might happen that they could not have planned for without more time to inspect the vessel.

    In some cases, specialized ships – such as a more traditional sailing yacht – might be crewed by staff who are not prepared to handle the vessel, potentially putting passengers at risk in emergency situations.

    In South Florida, boating is a huge industry, and workers might move from company to company to get away from bad employer reviews.  In many cases, staffing companies might not know how dangerous or inexperienced a worker truly is until they do something dangerous like cause a charter boat accident.  In these cases, our lawyers can help you sue the company that hired the dangerous crewmember.

    Accidents During Boating Activities

    Sometimes the charter boat is fine, but accidents happen during activities like fishing, parasailing, or water skiing.  In these cases, it might be that the staff has little or no experience towing a water skier or parasail and makes mistakes that put the rider in jeopardy.

    In many cases, accidents involving a passenger being towed on water skis, a wakeboard, or a tube involve collisions with other vessels.  In these cases, the charter vessel and its crew might not be liable at all, but rather, another vessel’s operator would be.

    Sometimes excursions turn dangerous because of bad weather.  In many cases, this is something that the crew is responsible for because they should not take a ship full of passengers into weather that they know might be too dangerous.  This often leads to capsizing ships and other accidents.

    Call Our Key Biscayne Charter Boat Accident Attorneys Today

    If you or a loved one was injured in a charter boat accident, contact the charter boat accident lawyers at Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind by calling us at (305) 204-5369.

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