If you suffered injuries in an accident boating, contact our law firm to evaluate your case. The 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 get in touch with our experienced team at 800-561-4887 for a free consultation and a comprehensive case evaluation.
CA. Boat Accident Resources
Boat Accidents and Injuries
Thousands of people are injured yearly in accidents involving boats and other watercraft. Whether the boating collisions occur on speedboats, sailboats, jet skis, party boats, cruise ships, or privately owned vessels, these accidents can result in major injuries or even fatalities. Determining fault and liability in watercraft accidents can be challenging and complex.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a boating crash, please contact an experienced California Personal Injury Lawyer at Bisnar Chase today to schedule a free no-obligation case evaluation.
Victims and their families would be well advised to learn about their legal rights in such cases. Owners and operators are responsible for piloting the craft safely and lawfully and ensuring passengers’ safety 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.
Boat Propeller Injuries
A propeller is a rotating device that converts the kinetic energy of an engine into forward motion. Boat propellers can cause major injury.
A boat propeller can fail in a number of ways. The most common failure is when the blade tips are damaged or bent due to impact on another object, such as another boat or a person.
There are also other causes of propeller failure, including vibration and wear.
Propellers can also fail due to corrosion. Corrosion is caused by saltwater exposure and can occur in unprotected areas of the propeller shaft, such as the hub where it connects to the shaft housing.
Any defects or wear and tear in a boat propeller can harm your passengers. Also, keeping all passengers and others away from the boat propeller reduces the risk of injury.
Boat propeller injuries are very severe and often fatal because of the power and blades.
Recently, a billionaire’s son was killed by a boat propeller while attempting to rescue his fiance.
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.
If you have lost a loved one as a result of a boat accident, contact our highly experienced boat crash lawyers at 800-561-4887 for a free consultation and a comprehensive case evaluation.
Agency statistics show that 627 California boating crashes resulting in 398 injuries and 49 fatalities occurred over the course of 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
Fun But Dangerous Activities -Practice Safety
Taking family and friends out on the water can be a great time for relaxation, action sports, and fun. As most people are aware, water can make things much more slippery, difficult to stay in control, and dangerous.
Action sports and activities usually involve the use of speed, accessories (skis, rafts, boards, etc.), and the need for open water space. When the environment becomes restrictive, the maneuverability or driving of the watercraft is neglected or misused or alcohol is involved, an extremely hazardous and potentially deadly situation is created.
Here are some steps you can take to make sure your boating and watersport activities are performed as safely as possible:
- Never consume alcohol while driving. You can get a DUI just as easy on a boat as you can in a vehicle
- Don’t allow intoxicated individuals to even ride on the watercraft. Intoxicated individuals do not have a good sense of judgment, function, or perception and can pose a danger to not only themselves but other passengers and pedestrians in and out of the water
- Always make sure the captain or driver of the boat or watercraft is always at attention, not driving recklessly and following all safety precautions, rules, laws, and speed limits
- Never drive a boat or watercraft at night without properly illuminated navigation lights on the bow, stern, starboard, and port sides
- Don’t allow or encourage dangerous stunts or activities while the boat is in motion, in place or at all.
You should contact one of our Personal Injury Attorneys if you or a loved one has been injured in a boating accident. For immediate assistance call 800-561-4887.
Alcohol and Boating - A Dangerous Mix
Many times boating activities like the fourth of July, bachelor’s party, guys fishing trip, or just a Sunday of fishing, include alcoholic beverages on-board. When alcoholic substances are involved, the risk of accidents, injuries, and death is greatly increased.
Although people tend to believe drinking alcohol and driving boats is acceptable, you can still get a DUI as easily on a boat, vessel, or watercraft as you can in a vehicle because the same rules apply.
If you are caught driving a boat, watercraft, or vessel while intoxicated by drugs and or alcohol, you may be arrested, fined thousands of dollars, additional penalties, AA workshops, community service, suspension of your license, and more.
For more information on DUI laws, DUI charges, and driving laws, visit www.drivinglaws.org/
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:
- Skier mishaps
- Falls overboard
- Crashes with submerged objects
- Collisions with fixed objects
Causes of Boat Crashes
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 bodyboarders.
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.
Contact a California Boat Accident Lawyer
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 California boat accident lawyer at Bisnar Chase today to schedule a free no-obligation case evaluation.