Large seafaring vessels are built for efficiency. They can carry thousands of people or hundreds of cargo containers at once. Vehicle ferries are among the most common large vessels that you will see in Puget Sound. They provide a crucial and cost-effective service to the public by helping vehicles and people get from the shore to the islands and back again.
Unfortunately, big vessels come with big risks. When the systems in a ferry fail or its crew members make major mistakes, the outcome could be a tragedy. Washington currently boasts a perfect track record, meaning that state ferries have not yet caused a single fatality.
However, a recent ferry crash highlights the risk that these large vessels create for the public.
A ferry crash caused major property damage near Seattle
Ferries help connect the islands off the Washington coast with the mainland, but they can also create risk for people and property. Mistakes by those operating the ferry and mechanical issues with these large vessels can lead to collisions and other mishaps.
Thankfully, when a state ferry crashed into the piling near Fauntleroy Dock in West Seattle, no workers, passengers or onlookers got hurt. That was quite fortunate, as the crash occurred at full speed and caused visible damage to the ferry and some of the vehicles inside. The ferry was far off course when the collision occurred.
Experts anticipate that repairs to the vessel will require months. The investigation into the situation is still underway, but thankfully the damages caused this time were solely to property and not people.
Who pays after a ferry crash?
When large boats have accidents, the losses suffered could be catastrophic. People could die. In some cases, like this recent crash, an incident with a ferry could cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage to vehicles and other personal property.
There could be insurance coverage available through the authority or business operating the ferry. Other times, those injuries or property damage losses may need to take civil action against the operator of the ferry for their losses. Understanding your rights if you get hurt on a ferry or involved in a crash that damages your property can help you pursue a personal injury claim to recover your losses.