How can a boating accident lawyer help you

April 10, 2021

Each year thousands of boating accidents are witnessed in the United States of America. Boating accidents are very common in the coastal areas of California.

Although there are several factors that are responsible for boat accidents most of the cases are due to reckless behaviours like drunk boating, speeding and trying stunts while riding a boat.

In the United States, the ownership and operation of boats and ships are governed by federal, state, local, and maritime laws. These laws can help determine the liability in case of a personal injury during a boating accident.

Facts and Figures – Boating accidents California

  • More than 12 million watercraft are registered in the United States out of which around 800,000 are registered in California alone.
  • As per the United States Coast Guard in 2010, 4,604 recreational boating accidents were reported. They resulted in 672 deaths, 3,153 injuries, and property loss of around $35,500,000.
  • California reported around 570 boating accidents in 2010, which resulted in 49 deaths and 283 injuries. It accounted for property damages of approximate $4,040,700.

If you or your family member have been involved in a boating accident in California, we at Khashan Law can help in recovering fair compensation for the injuries sustained and losses suffered. Boating accidents can be dangerous they can result in severe bodily injury.

Our team of boating accident lawyers can help you recover the compensation required to cover your medical bills, loss of income, pain and suffering etc. We specialize in handling boating accident cases, including personal watercraft accidents, cruise ship accidents, and more.

Which are the common vessels on which accidents occur?

In California, most of the boating accidents occur on personal watercraft, yachts, sailboats, cruise ships, inflatable boats, rented watercraft etc.

If a passenger or maritime worker on any sea or water vessel is injured in an accident on the vessel is eligible for compensation.

Personal injury lawyers who specialize in boating accident cases can help the victim or family to understand their legal options and what steps to take in case of a  boating accident-related injury or death.

What are the common causes of boating accidents?

Automobile drivers are required to undergo formal training and pass a test to secure a license. However, no similar requirements are required for boat operators in California.

Hence, most boaters lack the training and experience to properly operating a watercraft. They are neither qualified nor trained.

According to the statistics presented by the US Coast Guard, the main causes of California boating accidents are:

  • Lack of attention (operator)
  • Lack of experience
  • Violating navigation rules
  • Lookout failures
  • Over speeding
  • Equipment failure
  • Weather Conditions
  • Alcohol and substance abuse while driving a watercraft or boat

Alcohol has a major hand in most of the boating accidents in California. California has strict boating under the influence (BUI) laws however, having a designated driver is not enough.

Drunk or intoxicated passengers or members of the boats or ships can be equally dangerous. They can distract the operator or not allow him to carry out his duties efficiently. They may fall off overboard or get hurt under the influence of alcohol.

The number of boating accident injuries are a result of sports accidents like:

  • Water skiing
  • Tubing accidents
  • Jet skiing
  • Wakeboarding

It is important for riders to take the appropriate measures to prevent and protect themselves from a boating accident injury. The riders and passengers of watercraft should wear life jackets at all times, wear brightly coloured clothing, and ensure that all the boat’s safety systems maintained and in working condition.

California boating laws

Every boat operator in California has to follow the state and federal laws related to boating. As per the California maritime law, a boat operator is prohibited to operate any vessel recklessly or negligently, which endangers the life, limb, or property of any person.

A vessel has to be driven at a reasonable speed depending on the traffic, weather, visibility, etc. The speed or movement of the boat or watercraft should not endanger the swimmers, occupants of its vessel, or passengers of other boat or watercraft.

As per the Federal Boat Safety Act, a vessel is required to be fitted with the Coast Guard-approved safety devices like Gas ventilation devices, flame arresters, fire extinguishers, visual distress signals, sound producing devices, life jackets for each occupant.

Determining liability in California boating accident

In case of a car accident or other automobile accident either the driver of the vehicle or the manufacturer of the car is held liable. However, boating accidents are different because it involves forces of nature and several factors which may not be in the hands of the boat operator. It is difficult to establish a party’s negligence in order to recover damages for a boating injury.

An injury doesn’t mean that someone was negligent and has to be held liable. It is important to prove negligence and show that reasonable care was not taken which resulted in the boating injury.

Boat accidents are complicated with regards to establishing negligence, jurisdiction, and other factors. One may need the help of weather analysts and other expert witnesses to establish the conditions at the time of the accident and injury.

Professional California boating accident lawyers can get the answers and damages you need to recover from a boat accident injury. Khashan Law is the best attorney firm if you are looking for an experienced personal injury lawyer to handle your boat accident case.