There are dozens of reasons to go boating in San Diego. Sunshine, ocean beaches, and general fun are just a few. Unfortunately, a beautiful day on the water can turn tragic when boating adventures are destroyed by boating accidents.
The damage and injuries sustained in a boating accident are typically extensive, and the consequences reach deep into the physical, financial, and emotional lives of victims. A San Diego personal injury lawyer can help mitigate that damage. If you have been hurt in a boating accident, reach out to Simmrin Law Group, and speak with an experienced San Diego boating accident lawyer as soon as possible.
California Boating Accident Numbers
There were 4,439 recreational boating accidents reported by the United States Coast Guard (USCG) for a recent full year of data collection. These accidents produced:
- 658 fatalities
- 2641 injuries
Operator inattention and operator experience are the two major causes of these accidents. However, the main reason for fatalities is alcohol use. Boat operators who are under the influence put all others in danger, but impaired passengers are also more likely to engage in risky behaviors or be unable to take action to help or save themselves if involved in an accident.
In California, there were 454 recreational boating accidents totaling $6,306,080.00 in damages. Of these accidents:
- 37 produced 39 deaths
- 190 produced 235 injuries
- 227 caused property damage
For a free legal consultation with a boating accidents lawyer serving San Diego, call (310) 896-2723
Regulations for San Diego Boaters
California has established regulations to keep boaters and others on the water safe. Boat operators must comply with all regulations. Among other laws, California has established:
- Operators must be 16 years or older and be in possession of a California Boater Card when operating a boat or personal watercraft (PWC) with a motor of 15 hp or more.
- Individuals aged 12-15 can operate a vessel or PWC with a motor of 15 hp or more only if supervised by a person holding a California Boater Card and is 18 or older
- Boat operators and owners must uphold all regulations enacted by the California Division of Boating and Waterways
- Boat or PWC operators must uphold all elements of California’s Harbors and Navigation Code
Often, counties and municipalities create additional boating regulations for their areas. Boat owners and operators must know and act in compliance with these additional rules.
San Diego Boating Accident Lawyer Near Me (310) 896-2723
Why San Diego Boating Accidents Happen
Boaters have accidents for as many reasons as other motor vehicles have accidents. Pinpointing the reason or reasons for an accident is a critical first step in filing an injury claim. Your San Diego boating accident attorney will examine the situation with great care and consult with experts such as accident and boating experts to determine the cause and identify the at-fault party for your accident.
Common reasons for boating accidents include:
- Malfunctions: Boats have steering systems, fuel and power sources, safety equipment, and other elements that can malfunction. When they do, operators may lose control, fires can break out, passengers can be ejected, or the boat can crash or overturn entirely.
- Operator Inexperience: It is easy for new boaters to make errors in judgment or fail to comply with operational protocols and regulations, colliding with other vessels, buoys, or docks
- Speeding and Recklessness: Speeding on the water is as dangerous, if not more so, than speeding on a road. Speeding boats can flip or create explosive crashes with other vehicles. Any form of reckless boat operation puts others sharing the water in danger
- Driving Under the Influence (DUI): It is illegal for boat operators to drive while impaired by alcohol or other mind-altering substances. California boaters with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher can be charged with DUI.
- Rough Weather or Water: Wake from other vehicles, choppy water, stormy weather, high winds, or other dangerous conditions are boating hazards. Even experienced boaters can be taken by surprise by a fast-forming storm
A Boating Accident Attorney in San Diego Can Help
Boating accident injuries can leave victims badly burned, with crushed bones, organ damage, traumatic brain injury (TBI), spinal cord injuries, and a host of other serious consequences. Injuries require recovery time, which comes with time away from work and lost wages, and bring other costs. To cover these costs and recover your losses, partner with a boating accident lawyer in San Diego from Simmrin Law Group.
Identifying the Culpable Party
The first step your attorney will take is to investigate the accident to determine whose negligence caused the accident leading to your losses. If the at-fault party is a private boat owner, your lawyer will gather evidence to prove their culpability and file a claim against their insurance.
If you are injured on a tour or charter boat, filing becomes a more layered process and needs the skillful eye of a San Diego boating accident lawyer. Your lawyer will discern the cause of the failure, which could be failures in operator training, vehicle maintenance, or failures in compliance with safety standards.
When the accident happens on a government-owned boat, such as a ferry used for public transportation, there are additional complexities. The laws governing cases against government entities differ from those applying to accidents with boats owned by private citizens or companies. You need an attorney who can navigate the specifics of your case with efficiency and with a full understanding of the legal process involved.
Your lawyer will evaluate the severity of your injuries and their consequences and demand a settlement amount to cover your losses. Though amounts vary depending on the circumstances of the respective case, settlements typically include:
- Coverage for medical expenses and future care costs
- Recovery of lost earnings and lost future wages and benefits if you cannot go back to work
- Coverage for the value of property damaged
- Acknowledgment of physical and emotional pain and anguish
- Recognition of diminished quality of life
Your lawyer will factor in any other accident-related expenses into the settlement demand. For example, if you need to hire outside help for duties you can no longer manage, such as childcare, household maintenance, or transportation, your lawyer will hold the at-fault party accountable for compensating you.
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Get the Compensation You Deserve
Do not risk a fair settlement. To get the compensation you deserve and that you need to recover and restore your financial future, you need high-quality legal representation.
To connect with an experienced San Diego boating accident lawyer, contact Simmrin Law Group today. We are ready to fight for you.