Legal Help From a Watercraft Accident Attorney Los Angeles
With a large majority of the earth’s surface covered by water, it is no surprise that boating, cruising, and commercial boats are a pastime that millions of people participate in throughout the year. That means thousands of people die in boating accidents each year, and thousands more are injured. Our personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles could assist you if you or a loved one got hurt from a capsizing boat or unexpected collision.
According to the United States Coast Guard, 12,438,926 registered recreational vessels by the states in 2010. In the same year, 4604 accidents got linked to 672 deaths, 3153 injuries, and approximately $35.5 million of damage to property because of recreational boating accidents.
REACH OUT TO OUR BOATING ACCIDENT LAWYERS
At Grey Law our injury attorney, David Grey, has considerable proven experience in personal injury law. When you retain the services of our firm, you are choosing a legal team that is well-versed in laws regarding boating accidents in LA. We’ve recovered millions in damages over the past 35 years for our clients. While we hope you never get into an incident on the water, we’re here to help you learn more about your options and safeguard your rights.
CALIFORNIA LAWS ON RECREATIONAL BOATING
Do you know California’s boating laws?
If you enjoy spending time out on the water, there are a few requirements you must follow, according to the California Department of Parks and Recreation. Read on for an overview of age and operator restrictions:
- Boat operators must be 16 years old or older.
- All operators must have a California Boater Card for their personal watercraft.
- It is illegal to permit a teenager younger than 16 years of age.
- Qualifying vessels and personal watercrafts should have a motor of 15 hp or more.
- Anyone 16 or younger must get accompanied by someone 18 years or older (the supervisor needs to have a Boater Card as well)
- There are no age restrictions for boats under 30 ft long (wind-powered)
- All boaters must have and wear a lifejacket.
Boating accidents can happen when we least expect them. Unfortunately, the consequences can be deadly. At the moment, boat accident victims might slip and fall, get struck by an object, get a head injury, drown, or sustain internal brain damage.
Although the protocol might be similar to motor vehicle accidents, the laws that govern watercrafts are very different. If you got hurt because of a negligent boater, because of a defective part, or because someone was boating while intoxicated, give us a call. We will determine how much your case is worth.
COMMON CAUSES OF BOATING ACCIDENTS
Most boat operators are well-versed in the rules and regulations related to boating. Accidents can happen at any time, any place, and for any reason. There are a handful of common causes to blame – but each proved preventable.
- Significantly, over one-third of all boating accidents involve a driver who is under the influence of alcohol. All states have criminalized boating under the influence (BUI) and often impose heavy fines on or incarcerate those convicted of such an offense.
- Careless or reckless navigation on the water
- Severe weather, such as strong winds or heavy rains, causes boating accidents as well. Sailors may experience difficulty navigating, avoiding collisions, or keeping a boat upright and afloat under certain weather conditions. Extreme exposure to sunlight may also cause boat passengers to suffer heat exhaustion and other heat-related illnesses.
- Engines produce toxic carbon monoxide, which may cause death or injury if passengers get exposed to high concentrations of the gas.
- Boating accidents can occur when inexperienced boaters encounter dangerous or unfamiliar conditions.
- Operator inattention
- Excessive speed
- Inappropriate passenger or skier behavior
- Negligent acts which may cause boats to capsize or collide
- Collision with another vessel is the most common type of accident involving open motorboats.
- Passengers may fall overboard.
- When boat operators are careless, skiers may get struck by propellers or the vessels towing them.
California is known for its 3,400 miles of ocean shoreline, in addition to the ocean has nearly 8,000 square miles of inland water for boating, fishing, and other water sports. In 2006, according to the California Department of Boating and Waterways, there were 757 reported accidents, injuring 445 people and killing 42 people, which caused more than 8.9 million dollars in property damage.
You can pursue compensation for your injuries after a boating accident when someone else is liable. A reasonable boater would typically adhere to all safety rules, regulations, and precautions and be mindful of passengers and other boaters. The boating accident lawyers at Grey Law know how to investigate boating accidents and evaluate the validity of claims that arise from them.
After a boating accident occurs, the operator is responsible for filing an accident report. The accident report must get submitted to either the applicable state agency regulating boats, the United States Coast Guard, or both. California law requires that the boat operator must file an accident report. If the operator can’t file this report, the owner is responsible for filing an accident report.
DETERMINING LIABILITY IN A BOATING ACCIDENT
For victims to prove their case, it is essential to have a boating accident attorney on your side. A lawyer will do whatever it takes to investigate the accident and determine liability to get you the maximum settlement possible.
The boat operator is often the most liable for your injuries. They have a duty of care to ensure the vessel has been appropriately maintained, everyone obeys water laws, and follows all safety protocols. If more than one party shares responsibility for the accident, we will name them in your injury claim. Other defendants include:
- Other passengers
- Boating operators
- Boat manufacturer
- Anyone else involved in the accident
Because boating accidents are very complicated, it is in your best interest to have a trusted attorney handle your case from start to finish.
SUPPORTING ARTICLES ABOUT BOAT ACCIDENTS IN LOS ANGELES
WHAT TO DO AFTER A BOATING ACCIDENT
Boating accidents are very complex. You must know what to do after a boating accident to protect your health and your rights as a victim. These types of accidents can be terrifying and build your adrenaline.
You must seek medical help as soon as possible, even if you don’t have any visible injuries. Usually, when people are involved in an accident, they do not feel immediate pain until a few days after. Never take the chance of not seeking medical help. It is also imperative that you ask an experienced boat accident lawyer in Los Angeles for help. Our team has successfully represented victims of boating accidents and has gotten them the compensation and justice they deserve.
THE IMPORTANCE OF HIRING A BOATING ACCIDENT LAWYER
When a boating crash happens, a boat owner or operator must report it to the police and California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW) if it results in someone’s death, disappearance, or injuries. Additionally, the statute of limitations on cases filed against defendants, you have a 48-hour time frame to report what happened. If the accident only caused property damage, the report must get filed within ten days of the accident.
If you fail to report it, it will be considered a misdemeanor and may impact your claim for compensation for damages caused by other people involved. At Grey Law have represented and successfully handled cases for our clients. Choosing a lawyer well-versed in wrongful deaths or injuries sustained from watercraft and water sport accidents is vital to winning your claim.
We can help you evaluate your case today to determine who is at fault for maximum compensation.
BOATING ACCIDENT FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- After an accident, should I converse with insurance companies?
No! Not without legal guidance. Insurance companies will not look out for your best interests and will attempt to settle before you know the full extent of your damages. A boat accident lawyer can safeguard you from their manipulative ways and deal with insurance companies on your behalf. That way, you avoid making a mistake that can jeopardize your case.
- Is pursuing compensation for a boat accident like a motor vehicle accident?
Not always!Like all personal injury claims, the basis of your case would get based on the negligence of another. In both circumstances, plaintiffs are strongly encouraged to hire a lawyer to investigate and represent their needs in court.It differs in the sense that you can only file on boat-specific issues. That includes poor boat maintenance or acting recklessly on the water under the influence, or operating while distracted.
- How often do boat accidents happen?
Los Angeles is one of few locations with a consistently warm climate year-round. That means more people may spend an afternoon or day on their boat. According to The Department of Homeland Security. and the US Coast Guard of all the accidents:
- 66% ended in injuries
- 12% caused fatalities
- What is the statute of limitations for boating accident claims in Los Angeles?
In Los Angeles, you have two years after the accident to file a claim. We recommend acting sooner than later. Waiting can hurt your chances to recover maximum compensation and hold the negligent party accountable.
- Do I have to pay upfront to retain legal services at Grey Law?
No! We work on a contingency fee basis, meaning no fees unless we win! There are no upfront fees. You entrust us to handle your boating accident claim, and we will make sure your settlement includes legal fees to minimize the expense.
CONTACT A LOS ANGELES BOAT ACCIDENT ATTORNEY
If you or a loved one has been injured or died due to a boating accident and would like to learn more about your legal rights, contact our boating attorneys at Grey Law. During a free consultation, we can help determine liability in a boating accident. Call us at 323-673-3655. We offer a free legal case evaluation.