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Charles R. Lipcon

Charles R. Lipcon is the firm's founding attorney and has been handling personal injury, cruise line sexual assault and wrongful death claims for over 40 years.Read More »

Jason R. Marguiles

Jason R. Margulies is an experienced maritime lawyer and an active trial attorney handling personal injury, cruise line sexual assault and wrongful death claims.Read More »

Ricardo V. Alsina

Ricardo V. Alsina is an active trial attorney, handling personal injury, cruise line sexual assault and wrongful death claims.Read More »

Michael A. Winkleman

Mr. Winkleman is an active trial and appellate attorney handling all personal injury, cruise line sexual assault and wrongful death claims, as well as complex business disputes.Read More »

Articles Posted in Boating Accidents

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Human trafficking, boating accident, migrants, boating accident, boating accident attorneys, LMAWOur boating accident attorneys here at LMAW have recently learned of a terrible tragedy in the Mediterranean. According to news reports, a 70-foot boat capsized around midnight Sunday just south of the Italian island of Lampedusa, carrying over 700 migrants who were being smuggled from Libya to Europe. The accident occurred as a large merchant ship approached the small vessel. So far, only 28 victims have been rescued and 24 have been confirmed dead.

According to news reports, several maritime authorities have been called to action to assist in the rescue mission, including the Italian navy and coastguard, the Maltese Navy, and several others. Following the maritime tragedy, the International Organization for Migrants explained that three other migrant vessels sailing in international waters may also be in distress as of the moment. So far, two of the victims who were rescued have been arrested on suspicion of human trafficking after arriving in Sicily.

The International Organization for Migration Already also explained that this year alone, over 35,000 migrants have attempted to cross the Mediterranean in an attempt to flee the turmoil and crisis in their homelands, many of which are migrating from sub-Saharan Africa. And out of the 35,000 migrants, over 900 are believed to have died while trying to seek a better life. Desperate to escape their situation, the migrants are exploited by traffickers organizing the voyages to Europe and charging migrants exorbitant fees.

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boating safety, children, boating accident lawyersBoating with your kids can be a great way to connect. By giving children age-appropriate responsibilities, they can not only learn how to be safe boaters themselves, but also gain important leadership experiences they can carry with them for the rest of their lives. Yet, before parents go out and share their love of boating with their children, there are some things to know and do. Check out these five important safety tips from our boating accident attorneys here at LMAW that can help reduce the chance of your children getting hurt while in open waters.

 

Make sure your kids (and everyone on your vessel) wear a life jacket

First and foremost, when heading out on a boat trip with kids, make sure children have an appropriate, fitting life jacket and make sure that children (and everyone else on the boat) wear them while out in open waters. A life jacket that may have fitted your child last boating season may be too small this year, so make sure you are properly equipped. Children’s life jackets should be able to turn the child over so that if the child lands in the water, they won’t remain face-down. Ideally, you should choose brightly colored jackets that will increase the child’s visibility should they fall in the water, as well as life jackets that are equipped with a whistle, so they can signal for help.

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hypothermia, hypothermia treatment, boating accident lawyersIn our last blog, our boating accident lawyers discussed one of the most common, yet treatable conditions that can arise at sea and pose a deadly situation for boaters – heat exhaustion. Heat exhaustion results when an individual becomes dehydrated while experiencing hot temperatures. But while it can be fatal if left untreated, recognizing the signs of heat exhaustion and understanding the steps that can be taken to both treat and prevent this condition can lead to a successful recovery. The same applies to other common conditions that boaters may face while out in open waters.

On the other end of the spectrum from heat exhaustion is another condition that can threaten the lives of boaters – hypothermia. Hypothermia results when the body’s temperatures cool down to dangerous levels. This can happen, for example, if a boater falls into cold water.

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first aid, cpr, boating safety, boating accident lawyerOur boating accident attorneys here at LMAW recently discussed the importance of learning CPR and first aid techniques before going out into open water. These techniques can keep boaters and their passengers safe while also ensuring that boaters are self-reliant when they head out to remote areas on their boats. Heart attacks, drowning, and excessive bleeding are extreme medical emergencies that require stabilization of the victim and then hospitalization. Yet, there are some more common medical situations boaters might encounter while at sea that are both easily preventable and manageable—if caught early.

One of the most common conditions that individuals sailing on a boat may face is heat exhaustion. While this is actually a condition that can be treated successfully if caught in time, unfortunately, not many people are aware of the simple steps they can take to do so. Let’s take a look at some of the ways heat exhaustion can be treated.

First, it’s important to actually understand what heat exhaustion is. Heat exhaustion occurs when a person suffers from dehydration while experiencing hot temperatures: conditions that can easily arise when people are riding on a boat. Continue reading

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mayday, boating, boating accident lawyers“Mayday!”

The word conjures images of the worst-case scenarios that can happen at sea: a passenger is overboard, the boat is sinking, there’s a fire, or someone on board has fallen seriously ill. No one likes to think about these terrible scenarios, but as any boating accident attorney at our firm can tell you, knowing what to do when disaster strikes can mean the difference between life and death.

Knowing how to properly call for mayday is a key skill for any boater to have. It can ensure that the Coast Guard is dispatched swiftly and arrives quickly to help you and your crew in the event of an emergency. Continue reading

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first aid, cpr, boating safety, boating accident lawyerBoaters may not realize it, but when they leave the shore and head out into open water, they are venturing out into a wilderness situation where help can be miles away and where self-reliance is key. There are many basic things boaters can do to be safer, among them requiring all passengers on board to wear safety vests and also ensuring that the boat has all required safety equipment in accordance with current Coast Guard regulations. One additional thing that boaters can do to be safe and keep those around them safe is to learn CPR and first aid skills.

CPR, or Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation, is a form of first-aid that is administered to a victim whose heart has stopped. While a great majority of heart attack victims die before they reach the hospital (92%), The American Heart Association suggests that many more of these victims could have survived if people around them had known CPR techniques. For heart attack victims, CPR allows blood to keep flowing to the brain, ensuring that the brain stays alive, even after the heart has stopped. If a person can be kept alive long enough for doctors to discover what is blocking or stopping the heart, the person has a far greater chance of survival. If a heart attack victim receives CPR, his or her chances of survival increase by twofold or even threefold amounts. Medical advances in heart care make it possible for medical practitioners to keep victims alive in the hospital long enough to discover the heart problem, and, if possible, fix it. Unfortunately, many heart attack victims arrive at the hospital dead because those around them were not able to administer immediate first aid.

When individuals go out on boats, CPR training is even more critical because help can be miles and sometimes hours away. The American Heart Association reports that as many as 70% of Americans don’t know how to react in a cardiac emergency. Unfortunately, many of these emergencies take place at home or at places where immediate medical care is unavailable.

But as any boating accident lawyer at our firm can tell you, when individuals go out to sea, heart attacks are not the only risk. Continue reading

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boating season, boating accidents, boating safety, boating accident lawyersSpringtime is here, which means that boating season is back in full swing. Temperatures are warming up around the country, and eager sailors are ready to hit the waters and take advantage. Unfortunately, while boating season brings a host of exciting opportunities to experience the beauty of the great outdoors, the thrill of sailing, and the pleasure of spending quality time with loved ones, it also brings with it a greater number of dangers that can lead to serious accidents.

During boating season, you’ll naturally see a huge increase in traffic on waterways. What makes this an issue is that not everyone operating a boat or water craft is experienced or careful to abide by proper maritime safety laws. Because there are a greater number of people occupying waterways, there is a larger chance of finding reckless boaters who will disregard safety regulations. There will be a greater number of boaters who will speed, drink while boating, fail to ensure their vessels are properly maintained, and engage in a slew of other unsafe actions.

Though our boating accident lawyers here at LMAW have offered several tips on how to stay safe while out on a boat or personal water craft, there are some boaters who don’t understand the gravity of engaging in reckless actions in open waters, and place themselves – and everyone within their radius – in harm’s way. It’s important to remember that even the most prudent and experienced of boaters can fall victim to an accident, whether due to their own or someone else’s careless actions or because of unforeseen circumstances.

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Safe docking, boating accidents, boating accident attorneysAs any boating accident attorney at our firm can tell you, docking in a crowded marina can be a stressful experience. Unlike maneuvering out in the open water, there are many obstacles you’ll need to navigate, including other boaters. It can be challenging enough to navigate around stationary objects. Navigating around other moving vessels can raise the blood pressure of even the most seasoned boaters.

Boat owners and operators are responsible for any damages they cause, and can face steep bills if serious damage is inflicted upon docks or other boats. These costs don’t take into account the human toll that docking accidents can exact. Every year, countless individuals are injured or killed in boating accidents that could have been easily prevented.

So, how can you become a safer boater at the dock, and avoid costly accidents and repair expenses?

For one, before any captain tries to dock a boat, he or she should become familiar with maneuvering the vessel in open water, where there are fewer hazards and obstacles. Every boat handles differently. Just because you are good at handling your parents’ dinghy doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be able to safely dock your best friend’s motor yacht. The more confident you are at handling your vessel, the less likely you’ll be to find yourself hitting a dock or other boaters in the marina.

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Safety tips, fishing, boating accident lawyerFishing is often seen as a relaxing sport that allows participants to enjoy time in nature, and maybe get a nice meal or two out of it in the process. But with fishing season is fast-approaching, it’s important to remember that though fun, any activity in open water carries a risk of danger – even fishing. Any boating accident lawyer at our firm can tell you horror stories of fishermen that can leave you cringing, but the best way to avoid a tragedy is through awareness.

So, before you take out your tackle and hit the coast, shore, or high seas, be sure to take the time to brush up on safety laws and tactics. Below are seven important safety tips that will help reduce your risk of accident and injury while fishing, whether you are an experienced angler or novice fishing enthusiast: Continue reading

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maritime law, admiralty law, admiralty lawyer, boating accident, boating accident claimIn February, a federal judge sent a boating accident case down to state court, arguing that, in this instance, U.S. maritime law didn’t apply. Matthew Ficarra was riding on Bruce Germain’s 38-foot boat in Oneida Lake’s Three Mile Bay, when he performed a back flip off the boat, hit his head in shallow water, and was paralyzed as a result of his injuries.

Germain claimed that federal courts had jurisdiction over the case because the case fell under U.S. maritime law. Germain sought federal jurisdiction, because, had maritime law held, Germain would have only been liable for Ficarra’s accident up to the value of the vessel. According to the New York Law Journal, the value of Germain’s vessel would have set an upper limit on the amount Germain would have to pay Ficarra.

Generally, maritime law applies to commercial vessels. Yet, maritime law can also apply in cases where accidents occur in interstate waters. Interstate waters are generally defined as navigable bodies of water that border two or more states. This means that injuries and accidents that take place in oceans, lakes, or rivers that border states can fall under admiralty law.

The judge wrote in the ruling that the accident would not have caused any disruption to commercial shipping. The fact that the body of water is located centrally in New York state and not along a border and the fact that the body of water where the accident took place isn’t frequently used by commercial shipping vessels likely resulted in the case being sent to state court.

For anyone who has been injured in a boating accident, it’s important to understand the difference between cases that fall under state law and those that can fall under admiralty law, and whether a case can be filed under both. Continue reading