Although boating is known to be a simultaneously exhilarating and relaxing leisure activity for many Californians, the activity is also fraught with very real dangers. Do not let the scenic waterways in our state fool you—whether you are sailing, water skiing, or just cruising, negligent operators pose a real threat of causing accidents which lead to serious injuries or even loss of life for you or a loved one.
Causes of Injuries from Boating Accidents in California
The root cause of most, if not all, California boating accident injuries, is simple: negligence. However, the negligence of other drivers or people on area waterways manifests itself to produce a wide range of serious accidents and injuries, including:
- Falling overboard
- Boat collisions
- Collisions with shore or buoys
- Boats running over swimmers in the water
- Fires or explosions
California Boating Safety
According to California’s Natural Resources Agency, boating accidents and fatalities have steadily decreased over the past ten years; however, they are still very prevalent. In 2012 alone, the latest year for which data is available, there were 473 boating accidents in this state, resulting in 247 injuries and 53 deaths.
There is no reason that you should have to be a statistic. By practicing the basics of boating safety, you can help avoid California boating accidents caused by negligent people. Some of the rules of boating safety are to never drink while operating a boat, be aware of your surroundings (including other boaters who may or may not be paying attention), learn and understand rules pertaining to rights of way, always be aware of swimmers or skiers in the water, and always wear a life jacket.
California Boating Crash Injuries
If you or a loved one has been injured or even killed in a California boating accident, the first thing you need to understand is that it happens to many others. Even by practicing the safety procedures which minimize your chances of being involved in an accident on our state’s waterways, there is no way to eliminate the possibility of being injured in a boating crash caused by a negligent person.
The first practical step you should take after a serious California boating accident is to file a report. Under the rules promulgated by the California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways, you are required to report a boating accident when a crash results in:
- Death, disappearance or injury requiring medical attention beyond first aid;
- Damage to a vessel or other property exceeding $500; or
- Complete loss of a vessel, regardless of value.
Bringing a Personal Injury Claim After California Boating Accidents
Once you have reported a boating accident which resulted in serious personal injuries or loss of life, you should consider taking the necessary steps toward filing a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. Whether your accident was caused by a mechanical failure or a negligent driver on the water, you may be able to earn financial compensation for your medical bills, ongoing care, lost wages from missed time at work, and even pain or emotional suffering.
You may not consider yourself to be the suing type, but you also deserve to recover the financial damages done to you as a result of someone else’s negligence. A lawsuit against the negligent party and their insurance companies is just the tool you may need to use to reach a fair settlement or recovery via a jury verdict. Even if you are unsure of how far your want to proceed in the legal process after a California boating accident, please do not sign any papers given to you by the insurance company without at least having us review them.
Experienced California Boating Accident Injury Attorneys
When it comes to fighting the insurance companies to earn the financial compensation you deserve after an accident, it does not pay to go it alone. To maximize your chances of recovering the full amount of damages in your case, you need an experienced California boating accident attorney on your side. For more information about your legal rights and how to move forward on these claims, call the Law Offices of J. Chrisp today at 1-877-JCHRISP or fill out the case review form on our contact page for a free consultation.
The Law Offices of J. Chrisp has been voted by peers as a Super Lawyer Rising Star three years in a row, a group which consists of less than 2.5 percent of all lawyers in the state. This means we have the resources and experience to take on the insurance company, and will do everything in our power to ensure you reach the best possible outcome in your case. Call the Law Offices of J. Chrisp right now 877-JCHRISP (524-7477) or contact us online to speak with a California boating accident lawyer.