Florida businesses run ferry boats of all sizes between the coastal areas of the state, throughout the Keys and to the Bahamas and other nearby islands. In some parts of the country, people use ferries to get to and from work every day. For many people, they’re the only means to get to an out-of-the-way vacation destination or just to see the sights and marine life.
Whether you’re on a small ferry with just a dozen or so other passengers or a larger one that transports people and their vehicles, you expect the vessel to be well maintained and the crew to be capable. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.
What can go wrong on a ferry?
Things can go wrong on a ferry trip for any number of reasons.
- A boat could capsize because of improperly stored cargo, overcrowding or adverse weather.
- A boat could collide into another vessel or land.
- A mechanical or repair issue could cause it to sink or catch fire.
- An operator could be under the influence, negligent, tired, reckless or not experienced enough to handle unforeseen circumstances.
Even when something goes wrong, ferries, like other Florida vessels, are required to have the appropriate number of life jackets and preservers aboard for the passengers they’re transporting to help prevent drowning. Further, the crew should be properly trained to take charge in an emergency and put the safety of their passengers first.
Any number of parties can be liable for an incident
Unfortunately, when things go wrong on a commercial vessel, there can be a lot of finger-pointing as investigators work to determine the cause of the event. Boat manufacturers, owners and operators can try to blame each other in order to minimize their own liability.
This can be extremely frustrating for plaintiffs who have medical bills, burial costs and other expenses and damages to deal with. That’s why it’s crucial to have experienced legal guidance if you or a loved one has been the victim of a ferry accident or other incident. This can help you seek the compensation and justice you deserve.