Riverside Boating Accident Lawyers
Riverside County's proximity to the Pacific Ocean and a number of rivers and lakes makes boating and jet skiing a favorite pastime here. Although they offer adventure and excitement, boating and watercraft use comes with a unique set of risks and hazards. Boating and watercraft accidents are common in Southern California's waterways and we hear about at least one fatality or injury involving boating or water sports in Riverside County each year. Watercraft accidents may be caused by a variety of factors from boating under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs to reckless operation or dangerous behavior. Anyone who has been injured in a boating or watercraft accident would be well advised to understand his or her rights.
How to get Fair Compensation
Injured victims of boating or watercraft accidents would be well advised to carefully document all of their damages and losses. An experienced Riverside watercraft accident lawyer who has successfully handled similar cases, will be able to guide victims and families through the complex proceedings and help ensure that they are fairly and fully compensated for their losses. The skilled Riverside boat accident lawyers at BISNAR CHASE are here to provide you with the resources you need to make an informed decision about pursuing your rights. Please contact us for a no-cost consultation and case evaluation.
Boating in Riverside County
There are ample opportunities to go boating in Riverside County. Canyon Lake, Diamond Valley Lake, Lake Elsinore, Lake Mathews, Lake Perris, Prado Reservoir, the Salton Sea, Skinner Reservoir, Vail Lake and the Colorado River are the largest lakes and waterways in Riverside County where boating and watercraft use is popular. You can boat on many of these Riverside lakes year round. But these waterways can be most dangerous and risky during the summer and on weekends when they are packed with speedboats and jet skis.
Boating Accident Prevention
There is little you can do to control the behavior of other boaters, but you can reduce your chances of being injured in a watercraft or boating accident by practicing safe habits. The first rule is to never get on the water when you are intoxicated. Never get in a boat when you know that the operator may be impaired. The probability of being involved in a boating accident doubles when alcohol is involved. Studies have also shown that the affect of alcohol is exacerbated by external effects such as sun and wind.
Be weather-wise. Always check local weather conditions before you get on the water. If you notice darkening clouds, rough winds, choppy waves or sudden drops in temperature, it is best to play it safe by getting off the water. Have a comprehensive pre-departure checklist to make sure no boating safety rules or precautions have been forgotten. Use common sense. Operate at safe speed. Slow down especially in crowded areas. Be alert at all times and steer clear of larger vessels. Be respectful of buoys and other navigational aids. Make sure everyone on your vessel is wearing a life jacket.
It is always a good idea to take a boating course. It is important to be educated, aware and prepared for every circumstance that might arise. You can take a course at a local community college or utilize Online tutorials. The U.S. Coast Guard provides a free vessel check. Make use of it. They will provide a specialist to check your boat and offer helpful boating safety tips and recommendations.
Injuries Suffered in Riverside Watercraft Accidents
Injuries suffered in a boating accident can be devastating. Boats and personal watercraft do not have seat belts or airbags. So passengers can get thrown into the water in even a low-speed collision. The most dangerous scenarios, however, involve reckless boat operators who are traveling at a high rate of speed at the time of the collision. Some of the injuries suffered in boating accidents include:
Head injuries or traumatic brain injuries
- Broken bones
- Back and neck injuries
- Internal trauma
- Burn injuries
Short- and Long-Term Damages
Immediately after a boating or watercraft accident, victims will need medical attention. Those who have suffered severe injuries may need surgery or even lengthy hospitalization. They may lose income as a result of missing work while healing. Boating accident victims may also need costly rehabilitation services to regain strength and mobility or cosmetic surgery to repair scars. If the symptoms are severe, it may be a struggle to return to normalcy and the victim's family may feel burdened with their new responsibilities. In other words, a boating accident can turn the life of the victim and the victim's family completely upside down. This is why it is important for the victims of Riverside boating accidents to understand their legal rights and options.
Who Can Be Held Liable?
Similar to car accidents, boating accident liability comes down to who was responsible for the accident and whether negligence was a contributing factor in the crash. Boaters or watercraft operators who are drunk, distracted, speeding or careless may be held accountable for the damages they cause. Similarly, boat owners can be held accountable for accidents that result from their failure to inspect and maintain the vessels. In cases where a defective boat, boating part or watercraft causes or contributes to the incident, the manufacturer of the watercraft, boat or faulty party can also be held liable.
Victims of boating accidents may seek financial compensation for their losses by filing a personal injury claim against the at-fault party. Injured victims can seek compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, rehabilitation, permanent injuries, pain and suffering and emotional distress. The family of a deceased boating accident victim can also seek support for their loss by filing a wrongful death claim.