San Diego Boating Accident Attorneys
The experienced San Diego Boating 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.
For the past 40 years, injury victims who have obtained our legal representation have won millions in compensation. The law firm of Bisnar Chase prioritizes winning your case as well as providing you with this best client services. Our legal team members are here to take your call for any question you have regarding your personal injury.
If you or a family member have been injured in a boating or watercraft accident due to someone else's negligence, please contact us now at 1-800-561-4887 for a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation.
San Diego, CA Boating Accident Statistics
According to the Division of Boating and Waterways, in one year, there were 195 boating accidents in Southern California. 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 that year 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.
Can My Boat Accident Qualify as a Personal Injury Claim?
If you were severely injured in a boating accident you will have to prove negligence in order to make your case credible. If you prove the operator of the motorboat was negligent then your chances of winning maximum compensation will increase.
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.
Types of San Diego 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 personal injury. 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
Common Vessels Involved in Boating Accidents
San Diego is known for its beautiful coastline along the Pacific Ocean. 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 conscious of that fact. If you have been injured in a boating accident in San Diego, it is crucial that you contact a personal injury attorney to explore your legal options.
According to the American Boating Association, the common types of boats involved in boat accidents include:
Personal watercraft: Jet skis are the most common personal watercrafts that are involved in boating accidents. People who operate Jet Ski's have an increased chance of suffering from injuries due to the jet ski's lack of protection. Reports have indicated that the main victims of personal watercraft accidents are renters and not people who personally own the watercraft. Many renters are either not experienced with operating jet ski's or are underage. It is easy for someone who is not experienced to underestimate a wave or to be reckless on the water.
Motorboats: There are several types of motorboats that can range from a huge yacht to a small runabout. The commonality between all of these boats is that they are operated by a motor or engine. If the operator of the speedboat was managing the boat properly and with caution then liability can fall on the boat manufacturers and the case can qualify as a product defect.
Cabin motorboats: Cabin motorboats are cruisers that provide a section for sleeping or eating purposes. It is a general term that is used to describe various kinds of motorboats. Cabin motorboats become dangerous when there is a carbon monoxide leak in the cabin. Carbon monoxide can leak into the cabin and since most boats do not contain windows the situation can pose as a danger.
Top Causes of San Diego 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:
- Operator inattention: Boaters who were not focused on the water and their surroundings caused 581 accidents nationwide resulting in 47 fatalities and 359 injuries.
- Operator inexperience: The experience of the boat operator was the primary cause of 417 accidents resulting in 51 deaths and 303 injuries.
- 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.
- Machinery failure: Boats need regular maintenance and checkups. Mechanical failures resulted in 346 accidents.
- Excessive speed: Speed was the primary contributing factor in 310 accidents.
- Navigation rules violation: Boat operator navigation error resulted in 290 accidents.
- 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.
- Water conditions: Boaters must adjust their speeds to the conditions of the water. Waves were the primary cause of 228 boating accidents.
- 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.
- Hazardous waters: Boating when the water is not safe resulted in 184 accidents.
- Drowning accidents: According to the World Health Organization “Drowning is the 3rd leading cause of unintentional injury death worldwide, accounting for 7% of all injury-related deaths.” Experts report that the victims of drowning-related boat accidents are males. Studies have indicated that males tend to consume more alcohol and partake in risky behavior before operating a boat or swimming.
Injuries Frequently Claimed in a San Diego Boating Collision
Boat accident injuries can be deadly. The few that do survive are left not being able to move or can suffer from the long term of effects from their injuries. Some injuries are more common than others in boating accidents.
Common boating accident injuries can involve:
Dismemberment: People who slip off boats can possibly suffer from losing limbs and also risk being decapitated. Since the propeller of the boat is sharp, when a person hits the water and the propeller is still operating they can have legs, arms or parts of their body sliced off.
Electrocution: Boats have electrical structures installed and if a boat rider or owner is not careful they can be electrocuted. A person can be electrocuted if the boat is not properly maintained. If a person is standing in water and fixing an electrical system in the boat this can lead to electrocution.
Traumatic brain injury: There are several ways that brain injuries take place in boating accidents. A person drowning and experiencing oxygen deprivation can cause a severe head injury. When a person gains consciousness and is breathing again they may have symptoms of confusion, dizziness or numbness in some parts of the body.
San Diego Boating Safety Tips
Boating accidents can be serious and many lose their lives to these type of incidents. If you avoid being reckless or drinking altogether when operating a motorboat this will decrease your chances of being involved in an accident.
Steps you can take to avoid catastrophic boat accidents as well as keeping your riders safe are:
Always have safety equipment on board: There are a number of safety items that you need when riding on the water. The items that should be prioritized are the items that will physically aid a person immediately. That would include a first aid kit and life jacket. A life vest must be worn by boat riders who are 12 years old or younger. Boats that are longer than 16 feet will need to have a throw-able floatation device on board.
Make sure the weather is just right: Although the day may start out sunny and calm when are initially on the water, does not mean the weather will not change distractedly. It is important that you check the weather for the entire day. Just in case if the weather suddenly does take a turn for the worse, make sure you have a plan of action beforehand.
Be aware of the weight you are carrying on the boat: Overloading your boat past the amount of capacity can pose as a serious danger to you and your passengers. Before loading your boat you will want to refer back to the capcity plate. The boating plate should be located near the steering wheel.
Follow boating rules: Just like motor vehicle drivers, boat drivers must abide by a set of rules as well. The following link encompasses what boat laws and regulations owners need to follow.
Pay attention to fumes: It is important that after you refuel your boat that you check for fumes. If you smell fumes in the boat there can be a possible carbon monoxide leak. Do not turn on your engine if you smell carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide can collect in enclosed spaces such as the cabin quarters.
The Rights You Have as an Injury Victim
If you or a loved one has experienced a San Diego personal injury, it will be necessary to evaluate what caused the accident to 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.
Our Boating Accident Lawyers in San Diego, CA Can Help
Call us now at 1-800-561-4887 if you have experienced a personal injury from a boating accident. The San Diego personal injury lawyers of Bisnar Chase have taken on the toughest of cases no matter who the insurance company was.
We've collected over $500 Million in settlements and verdicts and we have years experience with these boating cases in San Diego.
Don't wait! Call us now.