Personal Injury Recovery in California Boating Accidents
California has lots of coastline, lots of boats, and unfortunately, lots of boating accidents.
Boat registrations go up and down year to year, but California has often led the nation in the number of registered boats and is routinely in the top four boating states.
Alaska and Florida have more coastline, and depending on how one measures islands and inlets, so do a few other states, but California is definitely a boater's paradise, until an accident happens.
How boating accidents happen
U.S. Coast Guard boating accident data shows some patterns as to why boating accidents happen. Some of those patterns are not that different from motor vehicle accidents:
- operator inattention,
- improper lookout, and
- operator inexperience.
These are the top three boating-accident causes. Alcohol use and excessive speed are two of the next top three boating-accident contributors.
Mechanical failure and weather conditions can also contribute to boating accidents, just as in a motor vehicle accident.
The same data shows that open motorboats produce by far the most injuries, followed by sailboats, canoes, and kayaks.
Cabined watercraft tend to be safer. Collisions with other recreational vessels are the greatest direct cause of accidents, followed by collisions with fixed objects and then the boat's swamping.
Unfortunately, boating accidents cause serious injuries and death, primarily from drowning and trauma and even carbon-monoxide poisoning of those on or about the boat.
Our Los Angeles personal injury lawyers are providing a detailed review below for recovering financial compensation due to negligence for a boating accident in the state of California.
Financial Recovery for Boating Accidents
Because most accidents, injuries, and deaths are avoidable and due to carelessness, those suffering loss stand a good chance of financial recovery with the right legal counsel.
State laws require that owners of vehicles operated on the public highways insure their vehicles to compensate those injured from careless driving.
State laws do not generally mandate boating insurance. However, other insurances such as homeowner's insurance or a business owner's commercial general liability policy may pay for injuries and property damage from boating accidents.
And many owners buy specific insurance coverage for their boat to pay for accident damages.
Just because a boating accident happens doesn't guarantee a recovery. Insurers do not simply throw money at boating accident victims.
Rather, to make a financial recovery, those injured in boating accidents must generally prove the negligence, meaning the carelessness, of the boat's owner or operator.
Proving Negligence in a Boat Accident
Proof of negligence is where our skilled personal injury lawyers come in. We can use standards like California's boating safety guide to show owner or operator negligence for failure to:
- complete required or recommended boater education;
- comply with age restrictions for vessel operation;
- comply with no-wake, low-wake, and speed restrictions;
- check and heed weather conditions and advisories;
- maintain safety communications equipment on board;
- prevent onboard fuel fires and monitor carbon monoxide dangers;
- conform to boat capacity limits;
- properly load and balance the watercraft;
- know and obey waterway markings and navigation aids;
- know and follow navigation rules and signals of the waterways;
- yield, cross, and overtake according to established conventions; and
- maintain, equip, and operate the watercraft to ensure reasonable safety.
Enforcement of Legal Rights to Pursue Recovery
When a person injured or suffering property loss in a boating accident retains our personal injury lawyers to pursue financial recovery, we can show insurers that the victim is serious about enforcing their legal rights to the law's full extent.
If we can even locate responsible owners, operators, and insurers, claimants who attempt to present their own claim without expert legal counsel quickly realize that insurers are unlikely to pay the claim's value.
Our attorneys have the skill and experience to quickly and expertly perform the necessary advocacy for boating claimants, including:
- gathering and interpreting accident reports and witness statements;
- gathering and summarizing medical-expense documentation;
- gathering and summarizing wage-and-benefit-loss documentation
- gathering and summarizing property-damage documentation;
- identifying boat owners and operators and their insurers;
- presenting required documentation and advocating its interpretation;
- drafting and filing the court complaint and obtaining the summons;
- drafting and serving discovery requests and taking depositions;
- drafting, filing, and advocating for and against court motions;
- preparing mediation and case-evaluation presentations;
- attending court conferences, hearings, and trial; and
- negotiating the settlement of the case while knowing its value.
Personal Injury Lawyers for Boating Accidents in California
Contact our top-rated California personal injury attorneys to learn how we can help you win your boating accident claim.
We will evaluate, prepare, and present claims with no fee until the claimant recovers. No recovery, no fee.
Hire a lawyer you can trust to develop your case thoroughly to recover its greatest value.
Injury Justice Law Firm are top-rated personal injury lawyers serving people throughout Southern California, including Los Angeles County, Orange County, Ventura County, Santa Barbara County, Riverside, and San Bernardino.
Our firm is located at 1999 Avenue of the Stars, 11th Fl., Los Angeles, CA 90067.
Our main office is in the San Fernando Valley area of LA County next to the Van Nuys Superior Court at 14401 Sylvan St #112 Van Nuys, CA 91401.
Contact our office for a free case evaluation at (818) 781-1570.