En Español

California Boat Accident Lawyer

California Department of Boating and Waterways sealThe experienced California boat accident lawyers at Bisnar | Chase have the skill, knowledge and resources to hold negligent watercraft operators and defective product manufacturers accountable.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a boating accident, please contact us at 949-203-3814 for a free consultation and a comprehensive case evaluation.

Boat Accidents

Each year, thousands of people are injured in accidents involving boats and other watercraft. Whether the accidents occur on speedboats, sailboats, jet skis, party boats, cruise ships or a privately owned vessel, these accidents have the potential to result in major injuries or even fatalities. Determining fault and liability in watercraft accidents can be challenging and complex.

Victims and their families would be well advised to learn about their legal rights in such cases. Owners and operators have a responsibility to pilot the craft in a safe and lawful manner and to ensure the safety of passengers at all times. Boating injuries usually occur because of a reckless or careless operator, operating the vessel under the influence, boat malfunction, or an inexperienced operator.

California Watercraft Accident Statistics

There are close to 1,000,000 watercraft registered in the State of California including pleasure boats, sailboats, powerboats and personal watercraft such as jet skis. California also has the second highest accident rate involving watercraft in the United States. The most common boating accidents are collisions with other boats, personal injuries while on the boat, sinking, and boat disappearance.

According to the California Department of Boating and Waterways (DBW) accident report, 244 boating accidents occurred when a boat was just cruising and another 72 crashes took place while a boat was drifting in the water. Many of the most devastating boating accidents involved high-speed collisions and water skiing accidents, but any type of crash can prove fatal when it occurs on the water.

The agency states that 627 California boating accidents resulting in 398 injuries and 49 fatalities happen in a single year. The most popular locations for California boating accidents include:

  • Southern Coast: 203 accidents, 11 fatalities, 96 injuries
  • Northern Lake: 185 boat crashes, seven fatalities, 143 injuries
  • Delta: 81 watercraft accidents, 10 fatalities, 60 injuries
  • Southern Lake: 69 crashes, six fatalities, 41 injuries
  • Colorado River: 30 boating accidents, three fatalities, 30 injuries

Types of Boating Accidents

The majority of California boating accidents involve a collision with another vessel. Some of the other most common types of watercraft accidents include flooding, skier mishaps, grounding, sinking, falls overboard, capsizing, crashes with submerged objects and collisions with a fixed objects.

Causes of Boating Accidents

The Department of Boating and Waterways reports that operator inattention is the most common cause of California boating accidents. Operator inexperience and excessive speed are the second and third most common causes of boat accidents. This means that the top three causes of California boat accidents involve operator negligence. In such cases, the at-fault boat operator can be held accountable for the victims' injuries, damages and losses.

Operators are not solely responsible for all boating accidents. In the year Machinery failure is responsible for nine percent of all crashes. When a defective boat part causes an injury accident, it may be possible to hold the manufacturer accountable for the victims' losses. Victims of mechanical malfunctions would be well advised to preserve their boats for a thorough inspection by a qualified expert.

California Boating Laws

Owners and operators of boats in California are required to follow state and federal laws when it comes to the maintenance and operation of their vessels. Similar to car drivers, boat operators are prohibited from driving in a reckless or negligent manner, which may endanger others. Operators must not drive near or through areas designated for swimmers, surfers or body boarders.

All California boat operators must have an adequate number of life jackets and fire extinguishers onboard. They also must display navigation lights, fix fuel leaks and ensure that there is proper ventilation. It is also vital for all boat operators to remain completely sober. Impaired driving is a particularly common cause of boating accidents. Many boat operators make the mistake of thinking they are allowed to drive drunk because they are on the water. This is a tragic error that leads to many fatalities each year.

If You have been Injured

If you or a loved one has been harmed in a watercraft accident, it may be possible for you to seek compensation for your injuries, damages and losses. It is important that you act quickly so that the incident can be properly investigated before evidence is lost. Similar to car accidents, the authorities should be notified whenever someone has been injured in a California boat accident. It is also advisable to:

  • Write down specific details regarding how and where the crash occurred.
  • Take photos of the damaged boat and of the injuries suffered.
  • Collect contact information from anyone who may have witnessed the crash.
  • Get your side of the story into the official report.
  • Seek immediate medical attention.

Depending on the cause of the accident, you may be able to seek financial support for damages including medical bills, lost wages, hospitalization, permanent injuries, pain and suffering and emotional distress.

Please contact an experienced boat accident lawyer at Bisnar | Chase today to schedule a free no-obligation case evaluation.

call now for free help 949-203-3814
Share this:

See All Ratings And Awards

The BISNAR | CHASE Difference

  • “I was in a serious auto accident when I was in law school. I had to hire a personal injury attorney and had a really bad experience.”

    John Bisnar

    on what made him want to become a personal injury attorney

  • “I went to law school knowing I wanted to be a personal injury attorney. I wanted my life’s work to have a positive impact on other people’s lives.”

    Brian Chase

    on what made him want to become a personal injury attorney

  • “Whatever the philosphy of the management is, is going to be carried through by the employees and it’s going to reflect on the experience the clients have.”

    John Bisnar

    on his philosophy on running a law firm

  • “Everybody either drives in a car or rides in a car, so when I do the auto defect cases I really feel like I’m making the world safer by making vehicles safer.”

    Brian Chase

    on why he focuses on auto defect cases

  • “The first thing we want to do with our clients is to relieve the stress. Make them feel comfortable. Treat them as an honored guest.”

    John Bisnar

    on how he would define superior client representation

  • “Corporate greed is a reality in our world and I see it time and time again. Especially, with the auto defect cases we focus on.”

    Brian Chase

    on corporate greed and how it affects the consumer

  • “You are dealing with people who are seriously injured or have lost a family member...Compassion is understanding someone else’s situation.”

    John Bisnar

    on the role compassion plays in his profession

  • “There are many, many defects in vehicles that can lead to life or death that could be fixed with a mere $40-$50 [on the assembly line].”

    Brian Chase

    on the shocking facts about the vehicles we drive

  • “...if [manufacturers] build a dangerous product and someone is seriously injured from that, some personal inury lawyer is going to call them on the carpet about it.”

    John Bisnar

    on how Bisnar | Chase has helped make the world a better place

  • “I’m convinced, because of all the lawsuits...the auto industry finally found out it was cheaper to fix the problem than to keep paying in the litigation.”

    Brian Chase

    on making the world a safer place

  • “I bring in the best employees that I can and I want them to have a workplace that is condusive to them doing their best work.”

    John Bisnar

    on the work environment created at Bisnar | Chase

  • “When you have a client come in that’s in a wheelchair...or you meet a wife who has lost their husband or they’ve lost their child, it’s diffucult not to get emotionally involved.”

    Brian Chase

    on the biggest challenges he faces as a personal injury lawyer

  • “...it is part of our civic responsibility and it is our great fortune to be in a position to be able to help support our community...”

    John Bisnar

    on the importance of giving back to the community

  • “My motivation of going to law school to have my life’s work help other people...when I see that come to fruition, I’m very pleased and very happy with that.”

    Brian Chase

    on the accomplishments he is most proud of

  • “Seeing the growth of my employees, seeing them mature professionally, personally, and grow into the great professionals they have become is tremendous.”

    John Bisnar

    on the greatest satisfaction derived from his work

  • “I was always jealous of doctors. They get to save lives and they get to heal. I don’t get to do that but I get to have a very big impact on another person’s life...”

    Brian Chase

    on the greatest satisfaction derived from his work

  • “There’s going to people that you meet, that you can mentor...You can make a difference in their lives, you can make a difference in their client’s lives.”

    John Bisnar

    on mentoring young attorneys

  • “I’m the president-elect this year and I’ll be the president next year of the Consumer Advocate Attorneys of California and I find that to be a rewarding thing...”

    Brian Chase

    on being an advocate for the people of California

  • “The Lakers have always been a winning organization, a class organization. I’ve used the Lakers as kind of a model for how to run my practice as well.”

    John Bisnar

    on his passions in life

  • “We try to figure out how we can help [our clients] get through what they’re going through emotionally. Because just getting them compensated is only part of the job.”

    Brian Chase

    on the role compassion plays in his profession

Bisnar | Chase • 1301 Dove St #120
Newport Beach, CA 92660
local: (949) 203-3814
Get Directions

California Personal Injury Blog

General Motors Recalls 800,000 Vehicles For Various Defects

GM has announced another 6 recalls that compile the problems they are already facing with their major ignition switch recall. This brings the total recalls for the year to 60, covering over 29 million

read article

Ignition Flaw Leads to Chrysler’s Recall Of Jeep SUVs

Automaker Chrysler is recalling hundreds of thousands of older-model Jeep SUVs to fix an ignition-related stalling problem similar to the deadly flaw that has plagued General Motors vehicles this year

read article

Chrysler Says It Will Fix Recalled Jeeps Sooner

Chrysler is telling government safety regulators that they may be able to add trailer hitches to fix an issue that led to the recall of over 1.5 million Jeep SUVs.

read article

Connect

Copyright & Disclaimer

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 other states through our associations with local law firms. Through the local firm, we will be admitted to practice law in their state, pro hac vice, meaning "for this particular occasion." When in our client's interest, we employ the local law firm (at no additional cost to our client) to assist us with routine court appearances and discovery proceedings to more efficiently pursue our client's cause.

Copyright © 1999- Bisnar | Chase Personal Injury Attorneys, LLP - All rights reserved. Location: 1301 Dove St. #120, Newport Beach, CA 92660 Tel: 949-203-3814

SLS Consulting