By:   Charles R. Lipcon

Our Ferry Accident Lawyers Demand Just Compensation for Your Trauma and Suffering

Photo of a Ferry

Boasting a remarkable 187 years of cumulative experience in maritime law, Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman, P.A. stands at the forefront of maritime litigation firms both in the United States and globally. Our firm has a long history of advocating for victims across a spectrum of cases, including cruise ship injury claims, Jones Act claims, and drowning incidents. We are also dedicated to providing compassionate and skilled legal representation to individuals who have suffered injuries on ferries, as well as to families who have endured the tragic loss of loved ones in ferry-related accidents.

Ferries are a form of transportation that serve as vital links across rivers, bays, and other navigable waters, connecting communities and providing an essential mode of transit for both passengers and vehicles. These watercraft range from small boats to larger ships and are designed for short-haul journeys, often operating on regular, scheduled services. Despite their seemingly serene and methodical pace, ferries can carry hidden risks that passengers may overlook due to the routine nature of the travel.

At Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman, P.A., we understand the potential hazards that can lead to accidents and injuries. Our firm is committed to staying informed about incidents involving ferries and other maritime vessels, recognizing that injuries on these boats occur with more frequency than is widely perceived. Whether it’s due to operator error, mechanical failure, or unsafe conditions, we are adept at navigating the complexities of these boats.

If you or someone you care about has been injured while traveling on a ferry or charter boat, you need the dedicated and experienced maritime law attorneys at Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman, P.A. by your side. Our firm operates on a contingency fee basis, which means our clients owe us nothing unless we secure a financial recovery on their behalf. Our dedication to vigorous representation and compassionate service to victims of boating accidents is one reason we’ve been named to “Best Law Firms” ® by US News & World Report annually since 2016 and three of our attorneys received an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell. Don’t let the aftermath of a ferry accident overwhelm you; contact us today to leverage our extensive maritime law experience for the benefit of you and your loved ones.

High-Profile Ferry Accidents

Ferry accidents are significant when they occur. These incidents can range from collisions and groundings to capsizings and sinkings, typically resulting in extensive damage, environmental impact, and unfortunately, loss of lives. These cases underscore the importance of safety measures and regulations in maritime travel. The following high-profile ferry incidents occurred within the last several years.

Gabon Ferry Disaster Leads to At Least 30 Deaths

March 9, 2023- A ferry disaster off the coast of Gabon led to at least 30 deaths. Sadly, not all victims have been discovered and this death toll will likely continue to rise. The ferry, carrying 161 passengers and crew from the capital Libreville to the oil town of Port-Gentil, went down at night six miles from shore in dangerous, dark waters. Gabon’s transport minister resigned over the tragedy and 33 people have been arrested under a criminal investigation. Those detained include officials at the ministry of transport, the merchant marine and the vessel’s owner, Royal Coast Marine.

Human Error Leads to Millions in Damage

July 28, 2022- The captain lost “situational awareness” on the Cathlamet ferry led to a costly error near Seattle. The incident occurred on July 28, 2022, as the ferry was approaching the Fauntleroy Ferry Terminal near Seattle after a trip from the Vashon Island Ferry Terminal. It caused an estimated $7.7 million worth of damage after it struck a piling as it approached its pier, plus injured passengers, damaged vehicles, and caused quite a bit of fear and panic. The investigation’s report concluded it was human error.

Ferry Accident in NYC

May 14, 2021 – Another ferry accident made headlines in New York City. Flooding tides were blamed for pushing a passenger ferry up against a docked barge. The impact shattered windows and sent passengers scrambling for their life jackets. While no passengers reported injuries at the time of this article, the incident serves as a reminder of how dangerous traveling on the water can be.

What Makes Charter Vessel Accidents So Dangerous?

charter vessel

Charter vessels are owned and operated by different entities, which can lead to varying standards of maintenance and safety. While some shipowners may diligently adhere to strict maintenance schedules and safety protocols, others may not be as thorough, potentially leading to equipment failures or safety hazards. This inconsistency can increase the risk of accidents at sea, endangering the crew and others on board.

When a charterer takes control of a vessel, they may operate with a crew that is not fully familiar with the specific ship’s systems and procedures. This unfamiliarity can lead to operational errors. Additionally, if the crew has not been adequately trained this can further compromise the safety and efficiency of vessel operations.

Your charter boat accident attorney may also determine whether passengers injured in the accident were hurt by failure to repair or by dangerous defects. According to maritime law, the boat owner or manufacturer can be held liable for charter boat injuries if your personal injury claim was caused by a defect in the boat that the owner or manufacturer should have prevented. These cases can be easily avoided with care and attention taken for passenger safety.

Top Causes of Charter Boat Accidents, Injuries, and Deaths

When holding the proper parties responsible for the medical care and damages you suffered because of head trauma, drowning, and other injuries, you may first need to determine what caused your charter boat accident. Injured passengers have the opportunity to recover compensation for the injuries and pain and suffering they experienced with the help of a maritime law attorney. Speak with your accident lawyer through a free consultation about some of the most common causes of accidents, injuries, and death during a charter vessel accident:

  • Collisions with other vessels
  • Allisons with fixed or stationary objects
  • Trips caused by uneven decks or raised thresholds
  • Improper crew training
  • Man overboard accidents
  • Accidents caused by improper docking

When an accident happens, our law firm can help you determine who should be held responsible. In some cases, that may be the captain, the boat operator, or the team responsible for ensuring the vessel is properly maintained. Talk to your accident lawyer about identifying the responsible party and getting the maximum compensation for your injuries.

What Can I Do Following a Charter Vessel Accident?

After a charter vessel accident, seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Your medical records can be an essential part of your recovery, and identifying the value of your medical bills helps you calculate your claim’s worth. You may also need to report the accident as soon as possible to the appropriate authorities, including the Coast Guard.

Once you have reported the accident, you may need to also speak with a maritime accident attorney about your injuries. Your lawyer can determine whether you have grounds for a lawsuit following a ferry or charter vessel accident. If you are unsure whether you are due compensation, reach out to the maritime law attorneys at Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman, P.A. for answers about your specific case.

Our Highly Experienced Ferry Accident Attorneys Help Protect Your Rights and Maximize Your Payout

You don’t have to be involved in a capsized vessel or boat crash to have a claim. If you were injured on a ferry, you should consult with an experienced maritime attorney to determine whether you have a compensable claim. Other types of ferry accidents include slip and fall accidents, passenger assault, a person overboard, and being struck with a falling item, just to name a few.

Since 1971, we have literally seen it all. Our team has won more than $300 million for our clients and has been nationally recognized for our legal representation of cases like yours. That includes being named to “Best Law Firms” ® by US News & World Report annually since 2016 and three of our attorneys receiving an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell. Let us put our experience to work for you. Don’t hesitate to call Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman, P.A. to discuss your claim. All consultations are free. Complete our quick contact form today to get started.