Injuries resulting from an accident occurring while on a casino boat may require a lawsuit to recover for medical expenses, time off from work and other damages. The National Transportation Safety Board investigates accidents involving riverboat casinos and gambling ships. You may use the information published in an official report when submitting a legal claim.
If your accident occurred on a vessel operating on the open sea, the United States Coast Guard could lead the investigation. NTSB and U.S. Coast Guard investigators may coordinate their efforts to find a probable cause that led to the mishap.
The NTSB investigation procedure
According to NTSB.gov, it could take federal officials between one and two years to complete an investigation. Officials generally search for issues related to safety without placing blame or liability on any party.
Investigators may travel to where the accident occurred or spend time onboard the vessel to discover relevant clues. Officials could review the ship’s data, weather logs and maintenance history. They may also decide to interview passengers and employees to help determine the probable cause of an accident.
A breach of duty that jeopardized safety
General Maritime Law requires commercial boat owners to keep their vessels in safe condition for both their employees and passengers. If an accident occurred, a ship’s captain may have failed to uphold a duty of operating a vessel safely. Referred to as “unseaworthiness,” a ship falls below standards when it hires unfit crew members or operates with defective equipment.
Using malfunctioning equipment or leaving the crew unattended may create dangerous circumstances that jeopardize the safety of everyone onboard. If a ship’s owner or its crew could have prevented an accident, such as by correcting a vessel’s known defects, you may file a legal action to recover for your injuries.