Boating is a very popular activity in California, especially during the warmest spring and summer months. With 840 miles of coastline in the state and countless large inland lakes, it is no wonder most people would rather spend time in, on, or near the water. There are about 11.87 million registered boating vessels in the United States. With a state with this much coastline and boats abound, there is no wonder there are numerous boating accidents in California.
Suppose you or a loved one have been the victim of a boating accident. In that case, the attorneys at The Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates PC can help you determine if you should file a personal injury claim and what damages we can recover from the other party. You can set up a free, no-risk confidential consultation today by calling 888-848-5084 or contacting us online.
Common Causes Of Boating Accidents
In 2020 there were 5,265 boating accidents which resulted in 767 deaths and 3,191 injuries, according to the U.S. Coast Guard Boating Safety Division. Boat accidents are typically caused by:
- Operator inexperience or inattention
- Weather conditions
- Hazardous waters
- Machine failure
- Boating under the influence
- Improper lookout
- Navigation rules violation
Most of these common causes of accidents can be easily avoided if the proper precautions are taken ahead of time. Injuries caused by boating accidents can be numerous and widespread depending on the conditions of the accident. Many of these injuries can affect your entire way of life. Common injuries include:
Who Could Be Sued?
Depending on the type of accident you have been involved in and the facts surrounding your case, you and your attorney may be able to sue numerous parties for your injuries caused during the boating accident. The negligent party could be one or a combination of:
- Boat owner
- Boat operator
- Another passenger
- Boat manufacturer
- Another boat operator
- Jet ski operators
- Any other party around the boat
Since California is a pure comparative negligence state, you can sue any of the parties that may have had a part in your accident. Even if you had something to do with the accident, you might be able to recover damages from anyone else who contributed to the cause of your injuries. The overall amount of damages you recover will be reduced by the amount of damage you caused, but you will still be able to recover if you are at fault.
What Damages Can You Recover?
Your attorney can help you determine what types of damages would be available in your specific boating accident case. Depending on your injuries and your circumstances, you may be able to recover any of the following damages
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earnings
- Long-term medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
If a boating accident led to the death of your loved one, you might be able to bring a wrongful death claim and recover compensation for:
- Loss of financial support
- Loss of companionship
- Funeral expenses
- Value of household services provided
Consulting with an attorney will help you place a value on your case before you file it and help you understand how you could recover during the course of the lawsuit.
When Can You File A Lawsuit?
In California, the statute of limitations for boating accident injuries is two years. In other words, you have up to two years to file your lawsuit after the date of the accident. If you fail to file a lawsuit within the statute of limitations, you cannot sue the person who caused the accident. Courts in California are not forgiving with this deadline and will most likely reject your lawsuit if you file it more than two years after the date of your boating accident.
Consult an attorney soon to make sure you file your claim on time.
How To Stay Safe On The Water
In order to avoid accidents that may happen on the water in California, you can take steps to stay safe while on the water. The California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways have put together a list of boating safety courses that are encouraged for all boat owners and operators in the state of California. After an incident, some of these courses may be required by the court for the responsible party to complete.
Currently, California is phasing in a program that requires all boaters to take at least one of these classes and obtain a California Boater Card. These courses will provide information on how to safely operate a boat and basic rescue techniques to prevent major injuries from happening. To find a list of the currently approved courses and learn more about the California Boater Card, visit this website.
California Boating Accident Attorneys
If you or a loved one has been involved in a boating accident, a team of experienced attorneys can help you navigate how to get compensation for your injuries.
The personal injury attorneys at The Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates, PC, will walk you through the process of filing a claim against the boat owner or operator for your injuries. Schedule a consultation today by calling 888-848-5084 or contact us online.
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