Tour boats are essential to Los Angeles’s travel and tourism industry. Water-related tours are a staple of vacations and exist on nearly every California waterfront area. Unfortunately, some tour boat owners fail to keep their vessels in safe, working order. As a result, tourists can become seriously injured in preventable tour boat accidents.
You may be entitled to compensation if you or your loved one have been injured in a tour boat accident in Los Angeles or the surrounding area. Claims against tour boat companies can be challenging, especially because there may be a shortened period for reporting injuries. The attorneys at Saeedian Law Group are prepared to investigate your case carefully, advise you of your legal options, and pursue the compensation you need and deserve.
Locations of Tour Boat Accidents in California
Tour boat accidents can happen nearly anywhere. With its lengthy coastline, thousands of tour boat operators run their businesses up and down the California coast. Tour boats come in different shapes and sizes, ranging from yachts to smaller pontoons. Many tour boats are larger, over 100 ft long, and can carry hundreds of passengers at a time.
They can operate on various waters, including harbors, bays, sounds, canals, rivers, lakes, and the ocean. The purpose of many tour boat operations is sightseeing or fishing. Passengers expect to sit in an area of the boat from which they can see views of the surrounding area. The beautiful coastal terrain in Southern California makes it the perfect location for tour operators to provide sightseeing expeditions. We represent clients who have been injured in a wide range of tour boat accidents throughout California, including at the following locations:
- Lake Tahoe
- Shasta Lake
- Port Hueneme
- Port of Humboldt Bay
- Sacramento River
- Port of Long Beach
- Port of Los Angeles
- San Joaquin River
- Port of Redwood City
- Port of Richmond
- Port of San Diego
- Port of Stockton
- Salton Sea
- The Pacific Coast
Tour boat accidents can also happen on California’s many bays, including Tomales Bay, Richardson, San Rafael, Alamitos, Estero, Bodega, Bolinas, Drake, Suinson, Grizzly, Half Moon, Humboldt, Mission, Monterey, Morro, Pirates Cove, San Francisco, San Leandro, San Diego, San Pablo, San Pedro, Santa Monica, Strawberry Lagoon, and Tennessee Cove.
Common Causes of Tour Boat Injuries
It’s far too common for crew members and passengers to suffer injuries on small passenger vessels, including on tour boats. Many times, these injuries are avoidable and are caused by preventable accidents. Poor maintenance, failure to make repairs, poor navigational skills, inadequate safety equipment, and dim lighting can all cause preventable injuries. Safety issues aboard a tour boat can happen instantly or slowly over time. Some of the many causes of tour boat accidents include the following:
- Falling overboard
- Wrongful death
- Collisions with other vessels
- Hard landings
- Electrical shock
- Engine loss
- Equipment failure
- Slip, trip, and fall accidents
- Toxic exposure
- Overserving and alcohol-related issues
- Reduced steerage
Tour boat accidents can cause a range of injuries, from mild to life-ending. Some of the most common types of injuries include the following:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Dental damage
- Internal bleeding
- Head injuries
- Back injuries
- Broken bones
- Cuts and lacerations
Holding Negligent Tour Boat Owners Accountable
If you’ve been injured in a tour boat accident, hiring an attorney as soon as possible can help you protect your claim for compensation. You’ll benefit from working with an experienced attorney who can help you establish which party or parties can be held liable for your injuries. Under California law, business owners are responsible for keeping their guests and customers safe from harm.
The attorneys at Saeedian Law Group are prepared to work with expert investigators to gather evidence about the circumstances of the accident that caused your injuries. We will determine which party or parties are responsible once we understand the circumstances that led to the accident.
The Legal Responsibilities for Tour Boat Operators
In many cases, the owner of the tour boat is responsible for the accident. By law, operators must provide a reasonable safety margin for their crew and passengers. When tour boat operators fail to take the following safety precautions, they can be held liable for any resulting injuries:
- The vessel must be seaworthy with no obvious flaws in its construction or mechanical defects
- The captain must safely pilot the boat
- The captain must avoid reckless speeding and sudden, sharp turns
- The vessel should be staffed adequately but not overloaded with more weight than it can legally and safely carry
- The vessel should be equipped with enough personal flotation devices for each passenger and crew member in the event of an emergency.
Pursuing Compensation for Accident Victims
Safety aboard passenger boats, including tour boats, is crucial. Maritime law protects victims of boating accidents and may provide compensation to crew members and passengers injured aboard a passenger vessel. Victims can pursue multiple types of damages, including economic and non-economic damages.
Victims may be entitled to compensation for their past and future medical expenses, lost income, disability, loss of earning capacity, and pain and suffering. When the accident resulted from the at-fault party’s willful or wanton negligence, the victim can recover additional punitive damages.
Crewmembers of tour boats may qualify as Jones Act seamen and be protected under federal law and maritime common law. A seaman injured on the job may have a right to sue his or her employer for negligence and pursue monetary damages.
Discuss Your Tour Boat Accident Case with a Skilled Attorney
Enjoying an ocean cruise, fishing expedition, or another tour boat activity can be the highlight of your vacation. However, it only takes seconds for a tour boat accident to cause devastating, life-altering injuries or deaths. The attorneys at Saeedian Law Group have extensive experience holding business owners accountable for injuries caused by their negligence.
Don’t hesitate to contact the Los Angeles-based attorneys at Saeedian Law Group to schedule a complimentary case evaluation and learn more about your rights. You may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and more.