Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Chris Thayer
Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Chris Thayer
Handling Personal Injury Claims in the Seattle Area and Throughout Washington Since 1995

My name is Chris Thayer and I am a personal injury attorney practicing in downtown Seattle. I handle personal injury, medical malpractice and wrongful death claims throughout the greater Seattle area, including Issaquah, Mercer Island and Kirkland.

I am here to help you.

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Ferryboat Injuries: Who is Liable?

Posted Friday, July 5, 2019 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextMany residents of Seattle and the surrounding areas are used to either using a ferryboat or seeing them out in the water. The state of Washington has the largest fleet of ferryboats in the United States. Additionally, Washington has the third largest fleet of ferryboats in the entire world. It is a pleasant sight to see the many ferries floating in the water. Many individuals even use a ferryboat as their means of commuting to work in the city. However, it is not just commuters and natives to Washington who utilize the ferryboat system. Seattle is a growing tourist destination and tourists love to take a ride on the ferries to experience something that might not be available in their home cities. There are a wide variety of ferryboat trips available – some as short as 30 minutes or longer rides all the way to Victoria, British Columbia.

With ferryboats being an attractive mode of transport for tourists and locals alike, it is not hard to imagine that issues might arise when someone gets injured. There are any number of injuries that can occur on a ferryboat, from slipping down the stairs, falling on the deck of the boat, or even an equipment malfunction that results in injuries to multiple passengers aboard the vessel.

It might seem that an injury incurred aboard a ferryboat would be treated the same as any other injury in the eyes of the law. However, there are some complications that arise when a ferryboat rides results in injuries to passengers or crew:

Registration of the Ferryboat: As mentioned above, some ferryboats take passengers to Canada, a foreign country. Similarly, Canadian ships could be docked in the United States. When a ship is registered in the United States, but docked in Canada, it can be difficult to determine which country’s laws apply to the injury or incident. Location of the ship: Not every injury takes place at the dock. If the injury occurs out in international, open waters, there can be some question as to which laws apply. Maritime law often applies when injuries are incurred on the water in the United States and usually differs from state law.

In general, it can be difficult to determine which parties are liable for an injury after it occurs. These difficulties are only compounded when international waters and foreign countries are involved. Nevertheless, there are two basic steps that you should take if you have been injured on a ferryboat:

The personal injury attorneys at Pivotal Law Group are here for you. We know that it can be scary and confusing to sustain an injury onboard a ferryboat. We are here for you to calm your fears and help seek the recovery you deserve. Contact us today for a consultation.

(image courtesy of Patrick Robinson)