boating accident lawyer

Got Into An Accident In the Water?

Why You Need A Boating Accident Lawyer

When the weather warms up in California, recreational boaters flock to the nearest body of water. Sailors, rowers, swimmers, water skiers, and leisure boaters pack ponds, lakes, rivers, harbors, and seas, all anxious to get out on the water for some fun in the sun. However, as any boating accident lawyer will attest, it is not all fun and sunshine all the time. 

In 2020, the Coast Guard reported 5,265 accidents involving 767 deaths, 3,191 injuries, and approximately $62.5 million in property damage as a result of boating accidents. That is why having a boat accident attorney during unfortunate boating incidents is truly important.

Common Recreational Boats Involved in Boat Accidents

When we hear the term “recreational boat,” we may be unsure what it means. A recreational boat can typically refer to any of the following watercraft:

  • Airboats
  • Cabin cruisers
  • Center console runabouts
  • Go-Fast boats
  • Inflatable and semi-rigid inflatable boats
  • Kayaks, paddleboards, and canoes
  • Personal watercraft (jet skis and wave runners)
  • Pontoons
  • Sailboats
  • Tenders
  • Yachts

However, an experienced boat accident law firm like Farahi Law can handle any accident involving any other personal watercraft or marine craft not mentioned in the list above. At times like this, it is critical to retain a seasoned boat accident lawyer who understands how to investigate these claims and obtain just compensation from the negligent individuals and businesses. 

Farahi Law Firm has obtained significant compensation for California clients who were seriously injured in different accidents including boating incidents. We help accident victims all over California pay their medical expenses, replace lost wages, and get maximum compensation for their pain and suffering related to boating accident claims.

Boating Mishaps Are Common In California

California has a large population of boaters due to its more than 1300 miles of Pacific coastline and 200 major lakes and reservoirs. Whether the boat’s journey is for transportation, fishing, sailing, or recreation, its passengers face a significant risk of injury whenever they are on the water. That is why, more than ever, it is important to have a go-to boat crash lawyer instead of having to search for “boat accident lawyer near me” only when you are in the midst of an unfortunate boating injury.

While most Californians practice safe boating, it only takes a few irresponsible people to ruin many people’s boating experiences. When we examine the most common causes of California boating accidents, we see that human error is the leading cause of death and injury on California waterways. Having an experienced boating accident lawyer by your side is essential to prove liability since insurance companies are aware of this fact as well. 

Here are other common types of boating mishaps common in California:

  • Collisions with other boats accounted for the majority of boating accidents. The most common cause of California boating accidents, whether caused by excessive speed, alcohol, or recklessness, is also the most preventable. This is where a boating accident attorney is needed to help prove liability.
  • A collision with a stationary object is yet another common cause of boating accidents.
  • Grounding accounts for nearly a quarter of all boating mishaps. This can happen if the boater is going too rapidly in shallow places or if he is operating in an unfamiliar location.
  • A significant number of maritime accidents in California are caused by flooding or swamping of the boat. This can happen if the boat operator takes the vessel out in bad weather or uses a boat that is not appropriate for the water conditions.
  • People have also fallen overboard. In cases like this, liability can be quickly contested by the insurance provider so having an experienced boating accident law firm on your side will help you push back. 
  • There have been accidents involving water skiing.
  • Boats capsizing is common as well. Here, the manufacturer of the boat might be held liable so a boating accident lawyer will surely help you establish just that.

Boating Accidents and Liability

So who is the liable party in a boat accident? In most cases, victims or their families can sue the boat’s operator for carelessness or for failing to provide reasonable safety. 

California allows family members to pursue legal action against other members of their family for carelessness. In most circumstances, the boat owner will have liability coverage through a boat policy, or it may be protected under a homeowner’s policy.

Others who may be held liable for boating accidents include the boat’s owner, the manufacturer, the boat rental company, or other passengers who acted negligently or recklessly, such as throwing someone in the water without a life vest despite knowing the person cannot swim or pushing someone overboard (even jokingly) and then causing spinal cord injury or broken bones. 

In some cases, government agencies may be held liable because warning buoys were not properly placed to warn of shallow conditions or other dangers. Knowing this, it is essential to be able to accurately find a boat accident lawyer to handle the intricacies of a personal injury case involving a boating accident.

What To Do When A Boating Accident Happens

If you or a loved one are involved in an unfortunate boating accident, a boating accident lawyer would advise you to do the following:

Take precautions. 

If someone else is in the water after the accident, only assist them if you are physically capable of doing so despite your injuries. If you’re not sure you can help, don’t jump in the water. Instead, try using flotation devices to assist the other person – a panicked swimmer could take you underwater and cause you to drown.

Call the cops. 

A police officer is required to arrive on the scene, inspect the damage, take statements, and prepare a report. If you suspect your boat’s driver, another boat’s driver, or an object on someone’s property contributed to the accident, you must report what you saw as evidence of carelessness to the authorities. 

According to the Coast Guard, being under the influence of alcohol is the biggest known contributing factor in fatal watercraft accidents. Other prominent causes contributing to watercraft accidents include operator inattention, incorrect lookout, and operator inexperience.

Take pictures. 

You should take as many pictures as possible of the disaster. Take pictures of the boat(s), your injuries, other people’s injuries, and any things your boat may have collided with. Keep your medical records as well. You will need these if you want to file a compensation claim against the responsible party.

Obtain insurance information. 

Know the insurance policies for the boat you were on, as well as any other vessels involved in the collision. Obtain information about homeowner/land insurance from anyone who owns property that contains an object that your boat collided with. You should learn who is covered, what boat or property is covered, and which business issued the coverage. If at all feasible, obtain a policy number as well.

Do not use social media to discuss the accident or your injuries. 

It may be tempting to inform everyone that you survived a boating accident, but don’t. If you’ve been injured in an accident, you should assume that your every move on social media is being watched by an insurance company. Don’t put your case in jeopardy from the start.

Seek medical attention. 

Treatment should be sought as soon as feasible. When claimants don’t seek treatment right away, insurance companies are suspicious. If you’re debating whether or not to seek medical help, you should do so. Go to an emergency room if your doctor or chiropractor cannot see you right away.

Consult your boating accident lawyer before speaking with an insurance company. 

Insurance companies, in general, are not on your side. Insurance adjusters frequently try to settle matters as quickly as possible by paying as little as feasible. If an insurance company contacts you regarding an accident, tell them you need to consult with your lawyer before making a statement. Keep in mind that whatever you say can be used against you in court and to downplay your right to monetary compensation.

Contact a trusted boating accident lawyer

If you were injured in a boating accident, there is most likely a stipulation under your insurance policy that will compensate you for your injuries. 

A skilled boating accident lawyer is well-versed in safety laws and can determine whether or not you have insurance coverage and work to get you compensation. We recommend contacting someone who has a track record of trying cases because insurance companies will sometimes pay more to people whose attorney has a history of taking cases to trial. 

It is also important that you contact a lawyer immediately because the statute of limitations in California is two years. 

We Provide Support For Boat Accident Victims

Farahi Law Firm is here to help you recover from physical and financial losses and achieve the best settlement given the unfortunate situation that you are in.

We assist people who have been injured in a variety of personal injury claims, including those involving boats and other types of water vessels. We have obtained millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts by demonstrating that our clients were seriously injured as a result of someone else’s negligence. We will go after the insurance company and at-fault parties for you, so you can focus on recovering. 

Contact an experienced boat accident lawyer today at (844) 824-2955. Consultation is FREE.

Don’t worry about medical bills. We work on a No Win-No Fee basis, so you don’t have to pay a single cent until we get the justice that you deserve. We speak English and Spanish.

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