Can I make compensation claims for boating injuries?

PUBLISHED 16 Mar 2016

Boating is a favourite pastime for many NSW residents. According to the Roads & Maritime Services, 2 million people in the state participate in this activity every year.

However, the organisation also highlighted the potential dangers of boating, with 92 enthusiasts getting seriously injured and seven dying in 2013-14. The majority of accidents occurred on recreational vessels, although there were 16 reported commercial boat incidents.

But did you know that you might be entitled to compensation if you suffer injuries while boating? Depending on the severity of the accident, you could receive a considerable payout to cover any lost wages and superannuation, medical bills and other costs related to your injuries.

The Civil Liability Act 2002 is commonly cited in cases where people are seeking compensation for boating accidents. Under the legislation, plaintiffs must show they were owed a duty of care from an individual or organisation and that this obligation was subsequently breached due to negligence.

Each public liability claim is unique, making it difficult to predict whether or not you will receive a payout for your injuries. Nevertheless, you should check with a specialist compensation lawyer in NSW to discuss your accident and explore the available options.

What constitutes negligence?

The Civil Liability Act specifies a number of ways of identifying negligence on the part of the defendant. For example, the accused organisation or individual must have failed to take reasonable precautions against foreseeable risks that were not insignificant.

Before making a decision, the courts will gauge various issues, such as the likelihood that preventative measures would have stopped injuries. The judge will also weigh up how difficult implementing the appropriate safety processes would have been.

You may also not receive compensation if the courts deemed the risk of injury obvious. The Act highlights specific exclusions for recreational activities that are likely to cause harm, including watersports. Furthermore, commercial boating companies often require customers to sign waivers, which can reduce liability in the event of accidents.

Despite these limitations, you may still be entitled to damages, and waivers do not necessarily provide complete protection for firms that fail in their duty of care. This is why you should always consult with an experienced law firm to get an honest appraisal of your case before proceeding with a claim.

If you would like more information on public liability claims for boating accidents, please get in touch with Gerard Malouf & Partners.

Call us now on 1800 004 878 to book a free appointment with one of my compensation experts, or email your enquiry.