Boating injuries

Recreational Boating Injuries: Fishing Tournament

Recreational Boating Injuries

Boating injuries can happen at any time.  I am reminded of this because the world championship of bass fishing — the 2017 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods — will be held in Houston for the first time in the event’s 47-year history.  The announcement was made during a press conference in Houston’s Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Astros and where 52 of the world’s best bass anglers will weigh their fish during the March 24-26, 2017, event.

The fishing competition will take place on Lake Conroe, a 21,000-acre impoundment of the San Jacinto River in Montgomery and Walker counties noted for producing big largemouth bass.  See

I suppose it takes a personal injury lawyer to consider the implications of boating and injury accidents involved in such events. Perhaps it is because I have represented recreational boaters, as well as captains, hands and all sorts of people who work, or play on the water.  Because of the inherent dangers associated with activities on the water, the Federal Government passed a Federal Law in the 1920’s called “The Jones Act.”  Essentially, it gives ‘seamen’ a right of action (for all their damages, not just worker’s compensation) against their employer.  There are many cases on what constitutes a ‘seaman,’ a ‘vessel’ and all the other words in the law.

In other cases, the ‘General Maritime Law’ might apply whereby someone other than a ‘seaman’ was injured.  The key to all of it is that the injury must happen on navigable waters.  ‘Navigable Waters’ are also a hotly contested area of the law. Boating injuries can be more complicated legally than meets the eye.

Of course many accidents occur in lakes and other ‘non-navigable’ waterways.  On navigable waterways all sorts of things happen – boats collide, crewmen get hit with falling objects, machines fail, boats hit pilings.  Reality is often stranger than fiction in many of these cases.

I certainly hope you don’t get hurt on any boat, and boater safety should be primary.  However, if you do need an experienced maritime attorney, contact us (225) 933-1500. Personal Injury Law Firm handles injuries on the river and offshore.