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San Diego Boating Accident Lawyers

The experienced San Diego boat accident lawyers at Bisnar Chase have helped numerous clients obtain fair and full compensation for their significant losses. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means that you do not pay any fees unless we recover compensation for you. If you or a loved one have been injured in a boating or watercraft accident, please contact us for a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation.

San Diego is known for its beautiful coastline along the Pacific Ocean. There are more than 60 waterfront restaurants in the Big Bay and the Port of San Diego even has numerous facilities where boaters can dock and dine. Boating is also popular in Embarcadero, Point Loma and Oceanside Harbor. Experiencing the beautiful San Diego coastline from a boat can be beautiful and exhilarating. Unfortunately, boating can also be extremely dangerous. Training and skill is necessary to operate a boat and not all boaters are cognizant of that fact. If you have been injured in a boating accident in San Diego, it is crucial that you are aware about your legal rights.

CA Boating Accident Statistics

According to the Division of Boating and Waterways, there were 195 boating accidents in Southern California in the year 2012. In those accidents, 77 people were injured and 16 were killed. About 41 percent of all California boating accidents occurred in Southern California, as well as 31 percent of the injuries 30 percent of the fatalities suffered in statewide boating accidents. Of the 195 boating accidents that occurred in the year 2012 in Southern California, 125 crashes happened along the Southern Coast, 48 occurred in a lake, two occurred in a river and 20 occurred in the Colorado River.

Types of Boating Accidents

It is important to wear a life jacket and to obey boating rules at all times. There are many types of boating accidents and they all can result in serious injuries. Common types of boating accidents include:

  • Collisions between boats
  • Collisions with fixed objects such as a dock, pier or submerged object
  • Skiing and tubing accidents
  • Falls overboard
  • Boat capsizing
  • Fires and explosions
  • Vessel ejection
  • Propeller injuries
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning

When to File a Report

Under California law, anyone involved in a San Diego boating accident must file a written accident report with the Division of Boating and Waterways in case of death, injury requiring medical attention beyond first aid, disappearance or property damage exceeding $500. When someone suffers a serious injury, it is important to notify the authorities immediately and for the victim to seek out medical attention.

Top 10 Causes of Boating Accidents

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security compiles boat accident statistics nationwide. According to the 2012 Recreational Boating Statistics report, the top 10 contributing factors of boating accidents are:

1. Operator inattention: Boaters who were not focused on the water and their surroundings caused 581 accidents nationwide resulting in 47 fatalities and 359 injuries.
2. Operator inexperience: The experience of the boat operator was the primary cause of 417 accidents resulting in 51 deaths and 303 injuries.
3. Improper lookout: All boat operators should have someone helping them look for other boats, large waves, skiers and swimmers. Having an improper lookout resulted in 391 boating accidents in the year 2012.
4. Machinery failure: Boats need regular maintenance and checkups. Mechanical failures resulted in 346 accidents.
5. Excessive speed: Speed was the primary contributing factor in 310 accidents.
6. Navigation rules violation: Boat operator navigation error resulted in 290 accidents.
7. Alcohol use: Alcohol may have only been the seventh most popular primary cause of boating accidents, but it was the leading contributing factor of fatal boating accidents. Only 280 boat accidents are attributed to alcohol consumption, but 109 people were killed in alcohol related boating crashes.
8. Water conditions: Boaters must adjust their speeds to the conditions of the water. Waves were the primary cause of 228 boating accidents.
9. Weather: If a storm gathers while you are boating, you should head back to dock right away. Weather was the primary contributing factor in 221 accidents in the year 2012.
10. Hazardous waters: Boating when the water is not safe resulted in 184 accidents.

Understanding your rights

If you or a loved one has been injured in a boating accident, it will be necessary to evaluate what caused the crash and determine liability. Through a boat accident claim, you may be able to recover losses such as property damage, medical bills, lost wages, suffering and other related damages. If your loved one was killed in a boating accident, support may be available through a wrongful death claim for your loss of companionship, funeral expenses, lost future wages and pain and suffering. If a defective boat caused the incident, then the product manufacturer can also be held liable.


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Newport Beach, CA 92660

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Disclaimer: The legal information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor the formation of an attorney-client relationship. Any results set forth here were dependent on the facts of that case and the results will differ from case to case. Bisnar Chase serves all of California. In addition, we represent clients in various other states through our affiliations with local law firms. Through the local firm we will be admitted to practice law in their state, pro hac vice.

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Location: 1301 Dove St. #120, Newport Beach, CA 92660 - Tel: (949) 203-3814

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