Duck boats were originally used as amphibious military vehicles that could traverse water and transport troops once on land. The boats have wheels and canopies that are meant to protect troops from assault from above. As decades have passed since the boats were created and needed, it would stand to reason that the design would change over time, but it has not. Today’s duck boats are still as clunky as they were years ago, and the accidents that can happen because of that are very dangerous. The canopies prevent people from being able to escape the boat and may cause drowning and other injuries. Our team of duck boat drowning incident lawyers at the Downtown LA Law Group has been at the forefront of such cases for years. We know the best tactics and methods to succeed and we will stop at nothing to secure you every penny you deserve if a loved one drowned while on a duck boat.
Dangers with Duck Boats
There have been various duck boat accidents over the years, some resulting in numerous deaths. Duck boats sit low in the water and sink very quickly if they take on water. This is because they have not been updated in years. Most boats have some kind of ballast to allow them to sink slower and not rapidly take on water.
Additionally, duck boats have canopies that block people from exiting quickly. If a regular boat sinks, passengers can simply go off the side or wait for it to get lower so they can safely jump. The problem with duck boat canopies is exacerbated by the fast-sinking nature of the boat itself. That is, once the boat starts to sink, there is next to no way for the passengers to leave. The boats already sit low in the water, so passengers would essentially be underwater very quickly. The canopy would then prevent them from swimming upwards and leaving.
There was an accident that resulted in 13 deaths in Hot Springs. After an investigation, it was recommended that duck boats remove the canopies. This did not go into law, though, and duck boats still go on trips with the canopies intact. Passengers are equally as at risk now as they were back then.
To make matters worse, some trips do not have enough life jackets for everyone on board, or they do not have any life vests at all. This is a huge red flag, and if your tour guide does not give you a life jacket, you should not go on the duck boat.
Liability in Duck Boat Drowning Accidents
There are companies that have duck boat tours, as well as small businesses that hire boaters and others to give the rides. The owners of the boats and operators of the business must ensure that the passengers are completely safe and are not at risk for injuries or other damages. In the event of an accident, the company or owner can be held liable.
Liability can be proven in personal injury claims if you can show these four points of negligence:
- The company or owner owed the individual a duty of care
- The duty of care was breached or violated in some manner>
- The breach of duty led to an incident
- The incident resulted in physical harm
These four points are simple to prove in some cases, but generally just for a lawyer. The boat owner or operator must ensure that the duck boat is up to code and does not have any notable defects or problems. He must also have enough life jackets for the individuals on board. A boat can sink if there are holes in it or if a severe storm hits during the ride. Operators should have briefed all people on board with proper evacuation tactics and what to do in the event of a sinking.
Of course, this is not always enough, and drownings still occur.
Filing a Claim for a Duck Boat Drowning Accident
If your family member or loved one drowned in a duck boat accident, it is important that you gather as much evidence as you can to prove that there was negligence involved in the incident. We recommend getting physical proof if possible. This can include photos of the defect with the boat, pictures of any errors, videos of the storm or accident happening, reports of any problems with the boat, impending weather reports, and more. Of course, this can all be very difficult to gather, especially with the fact that the boat sank.
You will also greatly benefit if you have eyewitness testimonies for your claim. The more people you have supporting your case who saw the incident happen or who can testify that there was a problem, the more likely it is that your case will be a success. There is also the possibility that you could have numerous plaintiffs come forward and express support, which may include the families of those who also lost people in the incident. You could prompt a class action lawsuit against the duck boat operator or company, which would result in a large amount of people seeking compensation from one entity.
It will be important for you to hire an expert duck boat drowning accident lawyer to help with the case. You will be able to rest and grieve while our attorney find expert witnesses to testify on your behalf and look for any history of complaints or infractions against the duck boat company. We will be able to find every piece of evidence that works in your favor, and we will compile your evidence package and submit the demand letter. You may not have any leal experience, and if you try to handle the case alone, you may find yourself overworked, tired, and unable to continue. We will take care of the claim all the way through for you.
Statute of Limitations for Duck Boat Drowning Accident Claims
In California, there is a 2-year statute of limitations on personal injury claims. This is true of wrongful death claims as well. If your loved one passed away, you have up to 2 years to sue – if you fail to sue within that time frame, you won’t be able to collect any restitution at all afterwards, and your claim will be void. The sooner you file your claim, the more likely it is that your evidence will not be corrupted and that any eyewitnesses will have clearer memories and recollections.
It is possible that your statute of limitations can be extended beyond the 2-year limit. The most common reason for this lies in the presence of the defendant. If the defendant has left the state, the lawsuit cannot be filed, and the statute of limitations would thus be suspended until he returns. You should speak with a lawyer to determine if there are any other exceptions possible for your claim.
Too often, individuals fail to file claims because they are unaware of the statute of limitations. If you want to ensure that your case is handled on time, you should call an experienced attorney. We will have your claim filed appropriately on deadline.
Earnings from a Duck Boat Drowning Accident Lawsuit
A wrongful death claim allows you to collect compensation on behalf of the deceased person. Family members and loved ones surviving the deceased can ensure that their expenses are taken care of. Some of the restitution you could receive includes:
- Funeral and burial fees to pay for grave plots, casket, cremation, services, and more
- Pre-death medical bills if your loved one needed medical care but passed away
- Pre-death pain and suffering to account for the mental and emotional trauma
- Loss of income, inheritance, savings, and other earnings
- Loss of sexual relations, consortium, and more
We will stop at nothing to secure you every penny you need. It is our goal to make sure you and your family are properly compensated if a loved one died in a duck boat drowning incident.
How We Help
The Downtown LA Law Group
has handled numerous drowning claims throughout the years. We have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for our clients. If you have a loved one who tragically drowned in a duck boat incident, we can help you recover ample compensation. We have a history of success and our method for winning claims is unmatched. We are known for our commitment to our clients and our aggressive attorneys. If we have to go to court to fight for your rights in front of a judge and jury, we are more than willing to do so.
To set up a free legal consultation for your duck bot drowning claim, call our law offices today. All consultations are confidential, and we invite you to ask us anything you wish. We will give you details about the legal process and tell you how much we think your claim is worth. If you want to hire us, our zero fee guarantee will allow you to spend no money at all on legal fees. We won’t get paid unless and until we win, and if we lose, we receive nothing.
For the best representation in your duck boat drowning accident lawsuit, get in touch with the Downtown LA Law Group at (855) 339-8879