John R Spencer Attorney in Mobile, AL FREE Consultation: 251.445.0590

Over one million boaters enjoy Alabama's one million acres of lakes, 1,600 miles of rivers and 53 miles of coastline each year.

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Committed to vigorous and thorough representation of injury victims throughout Alabama while exercising the highest degree of professional, ethical and moral standards.

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Boating Accidents

Accidents can occur anywhere – including on the navigable waterways and the high seas. The injuries and damages resulting from water-related accidents can be just as severe and debilitating as those suffered on land. But the laws that apply can be very different.

In maritime law, the measure of recovery is dependent on the status of the injured person at the time of the accident. When a passenger is injured, the law of negligence applies, just as it does on land. When crew members are injured, the Jones Act, the common law doctrine of un-seaworthiness, and other laws may apply. If you’re a victim of a water-related incident, you need an attorney with experience in this area.

Any injury that occurs on or with a boat, ship, ferry or jet ski is, by Alabama law, considered a boating accident. Today, the rivers, lakes and waterways of Alabama are busier than ever with commercial vessels of all sizes carrying passengers and transporting freight. This traffic combined with the increasing popularity of leisure boating often creates crowded waterways that increases the chance of an accident.

Most Common Cause of Boating Accidents
Many boating accidents are caused by the negligence of the operator. Sometimes, laws are violated. In Alabama, for instance, the Alabama Boating Safety Reform Act of 1994 made it illegal to operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol (a.k.a. Drunk Boating or BUI). If you were injured as the result of someone driving a boat while drinking, you may be entitled to a financial recovery.

The captain or operator of any vessel – be it a sailboat, motorboat, jet ski or charter fishing boat – is responsible for the safety of all on board, the same as if he were driving a car. The decision to take a group of friends out in the lakes, rivers or waterways of Alabama can sometimes result in serious injury. Collisions with other boats commonly leads to serious injury or death when occupants fall or get tossed overboard. Other injuries occur when a boat runs into a dock, bridge or other structure.

Built for speed and intended for fun, jet skis, wave runners and other recreational watercraft are inherently dangerous. The vehicles do not have brakes and cannot be reliably steered when the operator lets go of the throttle. Common jet ski accidents include collisions with other watercraft, passengers thrown off or struck when their jet ski flips and lands on top of them, swimmers run over by watercraft, or operators crashing into obstacles.

Water related accidents are not just related to personal watercraft. Cruise lines have come under fire in recent years because of injuries suffered by cruise ship passengers while onboard. Passengers have become ill because of poor sanitation. Others have suffered injury from lack of security or safety precautions. Common cruise ship accidents include assault by crew members or other passengers, food poisoning, sexual battery, slip and falls, trip and falls, and injuries on excursions.

Cruise Ships
The cruise ship industry frequently restricts when and where you can file a claim. Those restrictions appear in the fine print of the ticket. Again, you need an attorney with expereince in this area. For example, many tickets make a stipulation that you must notify the cruise line within a specific time from when cruise ship accident occurs. The ticket may also have a provision that requires you to file your claim within one year of the time the cruise ship accident occurred, and they also require that claims be made in a certain geographical place – usually in Miami, Florida. Because of these limitations, it is important to have legal representation by an attorney who can ensure you take the necessary steps in case of cruise ship accidents.

Cruise ship lines have a responsibility to ensure there are no dangerous conditions on board that can cause serious injury to its passengers. When cruise ship accidents occur because of poor maintenance, incompetent staff members, or improperly trained employees, the cruise ship owners can be held legally responsible for negligence. Owners can also be held liable for cruise ship accidents that are caused by inadequate safety equipment or emergency precautions. Victims of cruise ship accidents may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Many victims of water-related accidents believe that they can’t afford to fight for what is right because the other side will have deep pockets and can quickly outspend them. But, you don’t need a large bank account. Just an experienced attorney in your corner to fight for you. In most cases we can represent you on a “contingency” basis, which means you’ll only pay a legal fee if we make a recovery for you. If we don’t get results in your favor (through a cash settlement or a jury verdict) you don’t owe us a fee for our services.

At John Ronald Spencer, P.C., there is never a charge to meet with you. We’ll determine whether you have legal rights that must be protected. The initial consultation is always free. You have nothing to lose if you make the call. But, you may lose all of your legal rights if you do nothing. Call (251) 445-0590 today to schedule an appointment with an experienced trial attorney.


  ©2020 All rights reserved. John Ronald Spencer, P.C. The content of this website is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Nothing contained herein shall establish or create an attorney-client relationship. No opinions regarding the value of a particular legal claim or future results are intended. Every case is different and must be evaluated upon its individual facts and circumstances. “No representation is made that the quality of legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers.” Alabama Rules of Professional Conduct.  

John Ronald Spencer, P.C.
205 N. Conception Street, Mobile, AL 36602 | tel. 251.445.0590 | fax. 251.432.7817

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  John R. Spencer, P.C. practice areas include:

Akka, Alabama Port, Allenville, Barnwell, Battles Wharf, Bayou La Batre, Bay Minette,  Bayleys Corner, Belforest, Bellfountaine, Blacksher, Blakeley, Bon Secour, Bridgehead, Bromley, Bucks, Calvert, Carney, Carpenter, Caswell, Cedar Grove, Chastang, Chickasaw, Chunchula, Citronelle, Clay City, Coden, Creola, Crichton, Crossroads, Daphne, Dauphin Island, Dawes, Delchamps, Dixon Corner, D’Olive, Douglasville, Dyas, Eight Mile, Elberta, Ellisville, Elsanor, Fairhope, Fairview, Farnell, Faustinas, Fernland, Foley, Fort Gaines, Fort McDermott, Fort Morgan, Fort Studdard, Fowl River, Gasque, Gateswood, Georgetown, Grand Bay, Gulf Highlands, Gulf Shores, Gulfcrest, Hatters, Heron Bay, Houstonville, Irvington, Jackson Oak, Josephine, Kushla, Latham,Laurendine, Lillian, Little River, Lloyds, Lottie, Loxley, Mackies, Magazine, Magnolia Beach, Magnolia Springs, Malbis, Mann, Marlow, Mauvilla, Mertz, Miflin, Millertown, Mobile, Moffet, Mon Louis, Montrose, Mount Vernon, Movico, Navco, Neely, Nenemoosha, Neshota, North Mobile, Oak Grove, Orange Beach, Orchard, Palmetto Beach, Park City, Pennsylvania, Perdido, Perdido Beach, Phillipsville, Pinchona, Pine Grove, Pineola, Plateau, Point Clear, Prichard, Rabun, Redtown, River Park, Robertsdale, Romar Beach, Rosinton, Saint Elmo, Salco, San Souci Beach, Saraland, Satsuma, Saraland, Seacliff, Seminole, Semmes, Serange, Seven Hills, Sibert, Sidney, Silverhill, Smithport, Smithtown, Spanish Fort, Stapleton, Steelwood, Stockton, Summerdale, Sunny Cove, Tacon, Tanner Williams, Tensaw, Theodore, Tillmans Corner, Toulminville, Turkey Branch, Union Church, Vaughn, Volanta, Whistler, Warley, Wheelerville, Whitehouse Forks, Whistler, Wilmer, Yupon