California boating accident lawyer

The state of California takes boating accidents very seriously. Every year hundreds of people are killed and thousands of people are injured in boating accidents. Similar to other accidents it is extremely important that you report the accident as soon as possible in order to preserve the evidence in a boating accident. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident you should consult with an experienced California boating accident lawyer at the Amerberg Law Group immediately. Our personal injury lawyers are here to guide you through your case and make sure you receive full compensation for your injuries.

 Causes of Boating Accidents

Majority of boating accidents are avoidable, the fundamental reason for these accidents is simply negligence. Most boating accidents are caused by the operator’s inexperience or just by being distracted. Some of these serious accidents and injuries may include:

  • Grounding
  • Falling in overboard the watercraft
  • Sinking vessel
  • Capsizing
  • Drowning
  • Flooding
  • Boat collisions
  • Colliding with buoys, the shore, or any other object
  • Vessels running over swimmers in open water
  • An explosion or fire

Boating Accident Statistics

According to in the year 2016, the Coast Guard counted nearly 4,463 recreational boating accidents that resulted in roughly $49 million dollars in property damage, 2,903 injuries, and 701 fatalities.

  • In the state of California, alcohol use is the leading cause in boating accidents resulting in a fatality, where it was listed as the leading factor in 15% of deaths.
  • Where the cause of death was identified, at least 80% of fatal boating accident victims drown. Of those victims, roughly 83% were not wearing a life jacket.

Luckily there are steps that you can take to avoid becoming a statistic, you can do so by practicing basic boating safety tips and guidelines. Some safe boating tips include:

  • Always check the local weather forecast before leaving
  • Take a boating safety course
  • Learn how to swim
  • Avoid consuming alcohol if you are in charge of operating a vessel, you can still get a DUI on a boat
  • Use common sense (travel at a safe speed and steer clear of larger vessels)
  • Be aware of your surroundings while operating a watercraft (take into consideration that other people may not be paying attention while operating their boat)
  • Do not encourage risky activities or stunts while on the vessel
  • Look out for swimmers and water skiers
  • Wear a lifejacket prior to departure.
  • Never operate a vessel at night without the proper navigation lights located on the stern, port sides, bow, and starboard.

Boating Laws

California law states that it is illegal to operate a watercraft in a reckless manner as to endanger the life of the occupants on the vessel as well as endanger the life of others on the waterway.

For example:

  • Having a shortage of fire extinguishers or life jackets on board
  • Fuel leaks
  • Failure to show navigation lights
  • An unnecessary amount of water in the bilge
  • Insufficient ventilation.

California law requires the operators and owners to follow both federal and state laws in the maintenance and upkeep of their vessels. It prohibits anyone from operating any watercraft in a careless or negligent way to avoid jeopardizing the life, appendage, or personal property of an individual. California law also forbids the operation of a watercraft at improper speeds. Furthermore, passengers are not allowed to ride on the gunwales, bow, or any other place on the vessel where it puts the individual at risk of falling overboard.

The Federal Boat Safety Act that congress passed in 1971 allowed the United States Coast Guard to establish a certain set of principles on the safety equipment for vessels. Federal Law requires vessels to be prepared with specific safety tools that the United States Coast Guard has to approve of. This includes personal flotation devices also known as PFDs (life jackets), fire extinguishers, gas ventilation devices, back-fire flame arresters, sound producing devices (such as a power operated whistle or horn), and visual distress signals (flare guns).

Accident Reports

The California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways requires vessel operators to report any boating accident. They are required to provide you with their names, addresses, and registration numbers to anyone involved in the accident as well as provide assistance to those injured as a result. The owner or operator of the vessel must make a written report to the California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways if the accident resulted in:

  • Property damage that surpasses $500 to all watercraft, docks, and any other property that was involved in the accident.
  • The disappearance or death of an individual
  • Injuries that require serious medical attention (something a first aid kit can’t fix)

If the accident only resulted in property damage the report must be filed within 10 days of the accident. If the accident results in the disappearance, injury, or death of an individual this report must be filed within 48 hours of the accident.

California Boating Accident Attorneys

Here at the Amerberg Law Group, we have an amazing team of dedicated professionals that will fight the insurance companies to give you the compensation that you rightfully deserve. We are equipped to answer any legal queries that you may have relating to your case. In order to take full advantage of your chance to recover the full amount of damages for your case, you need a knowledgeable California boating accident attorney in your corner. Please contact our boating accident attorneys in order for us to understand the specifics associated with your case. Call and schedule a free consultation now at 833-338-HURT.

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Here at Amerberg Law Group we are prepared to answer any legal questions you may have concerning your case. We offer completely free and confidential legal consultation and case evaluation from one of our trusted California personal injury lawyers. Schedule your consultation by calling toll free: +14244335363

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