My family was boarding a ship for a local Boston whale watching tour when my daughter slipped on the wet walkway connecting the dock to the boat and suffered a knee injury. She had surgery and continues physical therapy. One of the boat’s employees was approaching with a “caution- slippery” sign just as our daughter slipped and fell. Do we have a personal injury case? Would we look for a boating injury attorney even though we weren’t yet boarded?
Yes, you probably have a viable personal injury claim. And, yes, you should consult with an attorney who practices maritime law. Although your daughter slipped before she boarded the vessel, she was in the process of boarding and the dock appears to be under the control of the boat operator. Therefore, aspects of maritime law may apply. In addition, the dock owner might be a defendant as well for failure to maintain the dock. Either or both the vessel owner or the dock owner will be liable for your daughter’s injuries if we can show either was negligent. That is, if either failed to act reasonable, e.g. get those signs out faster, then she has a good case. Like land based law, maritime law provides for a range of damages including medical bills (even if you have health insurance), lost wages and pain and suffering. [Read more...]