accident at sea

What should you do if you are involved in an accident at sea?

Posted on January 27, 2020, by Bob Beard

Bob Beard, Personal Injury specialist at Coodes Solicitors, advises on what you should do if you are injured in an accident at sea.

Unfortunately, commercial fishing is one of the most dangerous occupations in the country, and accidents are not uncommon. If you are injured in an accident while on board, you could be entitled to compensation if your injury occurred because of someone else’s negligence.

Equally, if you are a passenger on board a boat and injured in an accident, you could again be entitled to claim for compensation if it wasn’t your fault.

What constitutes an accident at sea?

Being on board a boat, either while working or as a passenger, can be dangerous, with many hazards and unknown elements that could cause an incident in which you could be injured.

There are many circumstances that could cause you to be involved in an accident on a boat, including:

  • Slips, trips and falls
  • Falling objects
  • Capsizing
  • Running aground or colliding with submerged objects
  • Hitting a wave
  • Negligence or recklessness.

In these sorts of circumstances, it can often be difficult to determine if the accident was completely unavoidable, or if someone’s action, or inaction, caused the accident either directly or indirectly.

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Claiming for personal injury

If you are working on a boat, as with any workplace, your employer has a duty of care towards you. According to the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, it is the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as reasonably practical, the health, safety and welfare of employees while at work. However, it is also the duty of the employee to comply with all health and safety regulations while at work.

As well as doing what they can to keep you safe, employers should also provide their employees with the correct safety equipment and the training needed to do their job, either out at sea or in dock.

Operators and owners of boats also have a duty of care towards passengers who are on board to make sure the vessel is safe.

If you sustain an injury on a boat, either as a passenger or while at work, because someone has been negligent, or if you haven’t been provided with the correct safety equipment or training, then you may be able to claim compensation.

A compensation claim can help you to get your life back on track after an accident. Any compensation you may receive can help to relieve the financial burden from loss of earnings, or to compensate for any short-term, and ongoing, pain or suffering from any injuries you have sustained.

You usually have two years from the date of the accident to pursue a claim. However, it can take a long time to get the necessary information together, so it is best to begin the process as soon as possible.

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Each compensation claim is completely different and, therefore, the amount you can claim can vary hugely depending on a number of factors, including the severity of the injury.

It is vital that you get expert advice before claiming for any compensation for injuries you have sustained as a passenger or while working on a boat. Coodes is a leading personal injury solicitors and because we are based in Cornwall and Devon, a leading region for the marine sector, we have extensive experience of handling these types of claims. We can provide a personal face-to-face service in a location that suits you, offering the advice, support and expertise you need to make a compensation claim.

For advice on any personal injury claims, or if you have been involved in an accident at sea, please contact Bob Beard in the Personal Injury team at 01326 318900 or bob.beard@coodes.co.uk

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