Riverboat Accidents: Navigating Legal Waters

Riverboats, often associated with leisurely cruises and scenic voyages, can be precious experiences and an intimate way to experience a landscape. Riverboats can and have often also been the scene of accidents resulting in serious injuries. According to Grandview Research, “The U.S. river boat market size was valued at USD 95.4 million in 2022”. Some of the main causes of riverboat accidents are:

  • Navigational Errors: Riverboats rely on skilled navigation to safely traverse waterways. Errors in navigation, such as misjudging currents or failing to account for hazards, can lead to accidents.
  • Mechanical Failures: Like any vessel, riverboats can experience mechanical failures. Issues with engines, steering systems, or other crucial components can contribute to accidents on the water.
  • Collisions: Riverboats may collide with other vessels, structures, or submerged objects. These collisions can cause significant damage to the boat and result in injuries to passengers and crew.
  • Adverse Weather Conditions: River travel is susceptible to weather changes. Heavy rain, strong winds, and storms can create hazardous conditions, increasing the risk of accidents.

Overcrowding and Safety Violations: Overcrowded riverboats can compromise safety. Failure to enforce safety protocols, provide adequate life-saving equipment, or conduct regular safety drills can contribute to accidents and injuries.

Common Injuries from Riverboat Accidents


Riverboat accidents can lead to a range of injuries, including:

  • Drowning and Near-Drowning: Accidents on the water may result in passengers or crew members being submerged, leading to drowning or near-drowning incidents.
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs): Collisions or falls on a riverboat can cause head injuries, ranging from concussions to severe traumatic brain injuries.
  • Musculoskeletal Injuries: The impact of an accident can cause fractures, sprains, strains, and other musculoskeletal injuries.
  • Emotional Distress: Witnessing or experiencing a riverboat accident can lead to psychological trauma, affecting mental well-being.
  • Burns and Scalds: Fires or accidents involving hot surfaces can lead to burns and scalds, requiring immediate medical attention.

How We Can Help

Your Rights and Legal Recourse

If you’ve been involved in a riverboat accident, it’s crucial to follow a specific protocol that our team of experienced personal injury attorneys have developed for victims of potential negligence. The first Aronfeld Trial Lawyers recommends is that you seek appropriate medical attention. It is imperative that you prioritize your health by seeking immediate medical care for any injuries sustained during the accident. The second step we advise you to follow is to preserve evidence from the incident. Collecting evidence, which may include photographs, witness statements, and any available accident reports, might serve to bolster your claim and lead to greater compensation. The third step is to contact Aronfeld Trial Lawyers. Reaching out to our experienced maritime personal injury attorneys as close to the date of the incident as possible allows us to help guide you through the complicated legal processes of riverboat accident cases. We will work to assess the full extent of your damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.