Tender Boat Accidents
Gerson & Schwartz, PA provides aggressive legal representation for injured passengers and crew members including in tender boat accident cases. A tender is a small boat used to transfer passengers or crew members to and from a larger vessel. On cruise ships, tender boats are commonly used to transfer passengers back and forth from the cruise ship to a dock, or port of call that is inaccessible by the cruise ship. Tender transfers are usually necessary due to cruise ship size restrictions, even unforeseen weather, or other maritime navigation issues such as tidal conditions such as the water being too shallow to allow the larger ship to dock safely.
Tender boats are most commonly used by cruise lines companies like Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise lines, Celebrity, to transport passengers for shore excursions and other activities. The law that may apply in a tender boat accident case will depend on a number of factors including the legal relationship between the cruise line and the tender boat operator. Tender boats may be owned and operated by cruise line companies. But they may also be operated by third party companies that are hired by the cruise line companies to operate on their behalf.
In a tender boat personal injury claim the laws at issue will depend on a variety of factors that need to be carefully analyzed by qualified legal counsel. Passengers have no way of knowing who the tender boat operator that is selected, or a companies track record for safety. Negligent selection or negligent hiring can provide a legal basis for imposing vicarious liability against a cruise line operator for personal injury damages due to an irresponsible tender boat operating company.Tender Boat Accident Claims
Many cruise ship passengers have little to no experience getting on or off a tender boat. Unfortunately, when tender boat accidents happen serious injuries can occur. Many of these accidents are foreseeable and preventable. Tender accidents usually occur during the embarkation and disembarkation (loading and unloading of passengers) portions of the voyage. As passengers try to board or disembark the tender or cruise ship, passengers may slip, trip, or fall and sustain serious injuries. Lack of safety, careless operation of the tender boat and poorly skilled or trained employees are common reasons why these accidents happen in the first place.
Tender boat accidents may also occur due to rough weather and rough sea conditions such as wave height and from the rolling and pitching that high seas create due to rough weather. Tender fall accidents also occur due to unsafe differences in the height or transition from one boat to the next. This is especially common while navigating through a busy harbor.
Tender boat accidents may also happen due to a lack of training employees, a lack of supervision, or in instances where there is too much speed involved in the docking of the vessel. Accidents may also happen when there is a failure to provide a sufficient number of personnel to assist passengers to and from the vessel.What are Your Legal Rights After a Tender Boat Accident?
Over the years, our firm has seen numerous preventable accidents with life changing consequences. Many cruise line companies will formally deny legal responsibility in a tender boat accident when a legal claim is presented. The cruise line will likely try to deflect legal liability by arguing that the tender boat company operator is solely responsible, or argue the cruise line is not responsible for the negligent acts of the tender boat operator because they are independent contractors.
Gerson & Schwartz lawyers are here to help. As with any maritime accident, tender boat accidents can present complex legal issues such as the possibility of choice of laws that may apply and forum where a law suit must be filed. Other contractual limitations in your ticket contract, treaties, and other jurisdictional issues will need to be analyzed. For example, a common issue that arises in a maritime accident is what what law applies? If an accident occurs in intentional waters for instance, is the case governed under Florida law, federal maritime law, or even international law, or a combination of all three? The law of the flag state of the vessel is also another consideration that must be reviewed. Only an experienced cruise ship and maritime lawyer knows the answers based on the unique set of facts that each accident case presents.What to do if You are Injured in Tender Boat Accident
After any tender accident you should always document the scene and conditions as best you can. Take photos, video, and obtain the names and contact information for any potential witnesses. If you are required to fill out a report, ask for a copy.
Next, make sure you get immediate medical care and treatment. Many times, cruise lines will request you to fill out a statement. Always request copies of any forms you fill out.
Of course, it is also a good idea to seek the advice of a skilled and experienced cruise ship attorneys that have experience handling maritime accident cases.
The laws that govern in these situations are very different than what your average personal injury attorney is experienced with. Choice of law, forums whee injury victims can sue all vary from cases to cases. The legal implications in a tender boat accidents are vastly more complex than your typical injury claim. So you need legal help so you can fully understand your legal rights and remedies.Contact a Florida Cruise Ship Accident Attorney
If you have been seriously injured in a tender boat accident, contact Gerson & Schwartz, P.A. Our Miami law firm specializes in cruise ship accident case and have represented maritime clients for over 50 years from all over the world. We have the experience to achieve the outcome you deserve. Give us a call toll free at (877) 475-2905 to set up your free consultation today.