California has approximately 840 miles of ocean coastline and countless lakes, rivers, and other bodies of water within the state. Boating is a common and much loved part of outdoor recreation in California, especially in the coastal region of San Diego. As with any vehicle, safety must be a priority and care must be exercised to prevent boating accidents from occurring.
A study conducted by the United States Coast Guard reported that more than 4,000 injuries occur each year as the result of boating accidents, with over 600 of those injuries resulting in death. The state of California, with our vast coastline, has the fourth highest rate of boating accidents in the country resulting in a total of 369 boating accidents occurring in 2015 alone.
Accidents on the water are becoming more prevalent as congestion on waterways and on the open ocean increases. Though there are laws in place to protect recreational boaters, oftentimes these boating and recreational vehicle accidents are the result of negligence and criminal acts.Leading Causes of Boating Accidents in California
Whether on a ferry, a cruise ship, a chartered boat, a jet ski, a private yacht, etc., several factors can lead to a boating accident. While you may be a qualified pilot of your own watercraft, many boaters on the water lack the appropriate experience and education to safely operate their vessel or recreational vehicle. Most accidents on the water are largely preventable, which means that the injuries that many sustain might have been avoided if proper care was taken.
The factors listed below are the main contributors to boating accidents that occur in the state of California:
- Driver inexperience
- Driver error or inattention
- Driving while intoxicated
- Unfavorable water and/or weather conditions
- Equipment failure
- Violating navigation rules
- Insufficient lookout or vantage point
More often than not, the injuries that result from boating accidents involve collisions, either with another water vessel, fixed objects, or floating debris. Other major causes of injury when boating are: capsizing, boat patrons falling overboard, flooding/swamping of the boat, or a fire on board.
Some of the most frequently occurring harm that results from boating accidents includes:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Amputation injury
- Crush injury
- Broken bones
Though the circumstances of every claim and case differ, the best way to determine whether you are eligible for compensation for your injuries and/or your subsequent lost wages is to discuss the details of your case with an experienced personal injury and boating accident attorney in San Diego.
It is important to note that some boating accident claims can be settled outside of court through insurance companies. A personal injury attorney with years of experience can represent your interests during negotiations with the insurance company in question. Should your case go to mediation or to court, it is essential to have a knowledgeable boating accident attorney on your side who can best advise you of your rights and fight on your behalf for the financial compensation you deserve.
Regardless of the type of boating accident involved, we can assist you in the investigation, and if appropriate, help you recover the maximum amount in damages. It is important you seek the assistance of experienced counsel to help you understand the laws governing inland waters and how they differ from federal maritime laws affecting coastal waters and estuaries. If you or someone you love has been hurt because of a colliding, capsizing or sinking boat, or in a water-skiing or fishing accident, contact us immediately to protect your rights.
For a free and confidential consultation with an experienced attorney, please call us directly at (866) 338-7079, or click here to submit your inquiry online.