Commercial Boating Injuries: What Are My Legal Rights? By Steve Charpentier on January 01, 2018

A large shipping vessel filled with cargo containersBoating accidents and other kinds of collisions on the water need to be taken seriously, particularly when commercial vehicles are involved. When a negligent captain or crew causes an accident on the water, the lawyers of Charpentier Law Firm, P.A. can help. We're well acquainted with maritime law issues, and have helped countless accident victims in and around the Melbourne, FL area.

The kinds of injuries people may experience during a commercial boating accident can vary depending on the nature of the collision. Below are some of the different types of injuries people may experience in a boating accident.

Contusions and Lacerations

Collisions with other boats and water vessels can result in serious bumps, bruises, and contusions. It's possible that these kinds of nautical crashes can also lead to breaks in the skin and severe cuts as well.

Broken Bones

With commercial boats and ships, it's possible for the collisions to be so severe that the impact results in minor fractures and broken bones, such as compound fractures, or open fractures in which the bone fragment breaks the skin.

Head Trauma and Brain Injuries

The risk of head injuries is high following boating accidents, particularly given the force of impact and the kinds of objects that may strike someone while on a vessel. A forceful blow can result in a concussion and subsequent brain damage. Brain contusions can also occur if the blow to the head is particularly strong.

Spinal Cord Injuries

There are different kinds of spinal cord injuries that may occur during a boating accident, the most severe of which can result in partial or total paralysis (paraplegia or quadriplegia). Even if a spinal injury does not cause paralysis, the harm to the spine can lead to problems with stability, balance, and range of motion.

Damage to Internal Organs

Boating accidents can lead to harm to your internal organs. This might include a collapsed lung or other kinds of harm. The type of trauma can vary depending on the nature of the collision and the severity of impact.

Amputation and Loss of Limbs

Limbs getting crushed or pinched during a boating accident can lead to the loss of limbs. It's possible to lose a hand, an arm, a foot, or leg during a commercial boating accident. Even if you do not have a limb amputated during an accident, you might lose use of the limb due to the severity of the injury you have experienced.


It's estimated that almost 70 percent of victims in fatal boating accidents die from drowning. The chances of a fatal drowning increase if the person knocked off of a boat by a commercial vessel is not wearing a life jacket.


A commercial vessel may be leaking electrical current, which makes the water around the vessel dangerous if not deadly. Swimmers and anyone knocked into the water near the commercial vessel may be severely or fatally electrocuted.

Fire and Burns

Gasoline, fuel, and other flammable items may be ignited on a commercial boat during a collision, causing burn injuries. Caustic substances on a boat can also lead to chemical burns following a crash on the water.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide poisoning can occur when commercial boats are not properly ventilated. Exhaust from your motor can accumulate and poison passengers on the vessel. Carbon monoxide poisoning can prove fatal, and it's also difficult to detect.

Learn More About Your Legal Options

To learn more about your legal rights following a boat accident or any other kind of incident involving nautical vehicles, be sure to contact a skilled injury and accident lawyer today. The attorneys at Charpentier Law Firm, P.A. will be here to offer expert counsel and legal advice.

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Charpentier Law Firm, P.A.

Since 1981, Stephen G. Charpentier has been protecting victims' rights. Mr. Charpentier:

  • Is a recipient of an AV rating, the Martindale-Hubbel® National Law Directory's highest honor
  • Earned Florida Legal Elite status in 2010
  • Handles cases in many practice areas including medical malpractice, auto accidents, and wrongful death

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