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Summer Boating Accidents - Stay Safe at the LakeHot California summers are the best time to go boating. Boating accidents increase the summer months. During the hot summer months, countless people will take a road trip to the nearest lake all throughout the state, especially in Southern California, and rent a boat for the weekend. Lake vacations have become quite a popular getaway for many families and groups. It is a great, inexpensive way to cool down and engage in various boating activities, like parasailing, wakeboarding, and many other kinds of water sports.


Consuming alcohol is also common while engaging in these water activities on lake vacations. With all the excitement, intoxication and loud music, lake safety has become less of a priority. This can result in serious or even fatal boating accidents. If you or a loved one was injured in a California boating accident caused by the negligence of another party, you may be entitled to monetary compensation.


How to Stay Safe While Boating on a California Lake

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, 4,291 boating accidents were reported in 2017, resulting in 658 deaths, 2,629 injuries and approximately $46 million in property damage. Staying safe, being prepared, and using the right equipment while enjoying a water sports activity is the key to avoiding, or at least reducing, the risk of a serious injury.

Below are some important tips for safely enjoying water sports activities during your next lake vacation in the Golden State:

1. Wear a life jacket. Wearing a properly fitted life jacket is essential for a safe boating experience. The U.S. Coast Guard reports that 75% of boating deaths in 2017 were due to drowning, and 84% of the victims were not wearing a life jacket.

2. Get educated. According to the National Safe Boating Council, being educated about the following boating safety tips can significantly minimize risks: 

  • Take a National Association of Boating Law Administrators safety course
  • Become familiar with your state’s boating laws
  • Know the “Rules of the Road”
  • Know about the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning associated with operating a motorized boat

3. Exercise good judgment. Just as you would exercise good judgment while operating a motor vehicle, the same should be done for boating. You should, amongst other things:

  • Respect your limits and keep within your limits to avoid injury
  •  Never drink and drive a boat because alcohol affects judgment, vision, balance and coordination
  • If you notice storm clouds, a sudden temperature drop or wind speed increasing, play it safe and get off the water


Top Causes of a California Boating Accident

The U.S. Coast Guard lists the following as the top causes of boating accidents:

  •  Operator inattention
  • Improper lookout
  • Operator inexperience
  • Excessive speed
  • Alcohol use
  • Machinery failure

Regardless of what caused your boating accident, if it was caused by the negligence of a third party, you may be entitled to compensation for:

  • Past and future medical bills
  • Loss of wages
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  •  Out of pocket expenses related to the accident


Important Steps to Take if Injured in a Boating Accident

Make sure you follow these important steps if you have been injured in a boating accident while on any of California’s lakes:

1. Prioritize medical treatment – It is important to get immediate medical attention. If you are not treated at the scene of the accident, it is in your best interests to seek medical attention as soon as possible after leaving.

2. Make sure you are not in harm’s way – You need to make sure that everyone, including yourself has been moved to safety, if possible.

3. Contact the Coast Guard – You need to contact the Coast Guard to report the accident and ask for help. Provide them with your location and the severity of the accident.

4. Gather evidence at the scene of the accident – This step includes taking pictures, gathering contact information for all parties involved and any witnesses to the accident.

5. Contact an experienced boating accident attorney.


Contact an Experienced Boat Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one has been injured in a boat accident in California caused by the negligence of a third party, you may be entitled to compensation.  The Orange County boat accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates advocate for their clients’ full financial recovery through hard work and an aggressive approach. With multiple offices located in Irvine, Los Angeles, El Segundo, San Diego and Riverside, our boat accident attorneys represent personal injury victims across Southern California. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our attorneys, please call 949-727-9300.