San Diego is a wonderful area for boating, but unfortunately there are risks when heading out on the open waters. Boaters could be seriously hurt or even killed if an accident happens. According to the California Department of Boating and Waterways, in 2014 there were over 63 accidents, 38 injuries, and 4 deaths in San Diego waterways.
Maritime accidents often occur as a result of the negligence of boat operators or because of defects in equipment aboard the vessel. If you or a loved one is injured in a boating accident, you need to determine who was to blame and you need to pursue a damage claim. A San Diego boating accident attorney at Injury Trial Lawyers, APC can help you get fair compensation for all losses caused by the accident. Call today to schedule your free consultation and learn more.
Your Rights After a Boating Accident
When a boating accident occurs, you may take legal action against:
- The operator of the boat you were on.
- Another boat operator who struck your vessel.
- The boat manufacturer or an equipment manufacturer if there was a defect in the vessel or any on-board equipment.
If you pursue a claim against the operator of a vessel, you will need to show that he or she was unreasonably careless or that safety rules were broken. For example, a boater may be considered negligent if he or she was:
- Driving the vessel while drunk,
- Failed to check the weather,
- Speeding too fast, or
- Did not have appropriate safety equipment on board.
If the negligence was the direct cause of the boating accident, then the careless individual must compensate victims for losses.
For claims based on defective vessels or other boating equipment, you do not need to demonstrate negligence. If the product malfunctioned and caused harm when it was being used as intended, the manufacturer may be responsible for paying damages to those who got hurt as a result of the problem.
Common Causes of Boating Accidents
While there are many causes for accidents, the top four causes in make-up the vast majority of all accidents in California and San Diego waterways. The following top four are:
- Operator Inattention: 36%
- Operator Inexperience: 22%
- Excessive Speed: 21%
- Passenger/Skier Behavior: 14%
As the data shows, most accidents are directly caused by boat operator negligence. Given these statistics, it’s in your best interest to discuss your maritime accident with our San Diego boat accident attorneys.
Common Types of Boating Accidents
- Collision with Vessel: 34%
- Flooding/Swamping: 19%
- Grounding: 11%
- Skier Mishap: 10%
As the data shows, more than one-third of accidents involve a boating collision which could result in serious injury or even death.
Get the Compensation You Deserve After a Boating Accident
Injury Trial Lawyers, APC can assist you in determining who was responsible for the boating accident that harmed you, and in deciding what legal action you should take against that individual or company.
While you may be reluctant to take legal action if you were aboard the vessel of a friend, you should not hesitate to pursue a case. Boaters have insurance and the insurance company will be the one that pays for your losses and damages, not your friend personally. The insurance company is better able than the victim to bear the costs of the serious injuries that a boating accident can cause.
When you pursue a claim for compensation, the insurance company may offer you an out-of-court settlement. Before you accept it, be sure that you have talked to a boating accident lawyer and that the money is enough to cover all losses in full. If you cannot negotiate a settlement with the help of your injury lawyer, then your case may go to court.
Speak to an Experienced San Diego Boating Accidents Attorney Today
Injury Trial Lawyers, APC has extensive negotiating experience and can help you to convince the insurer to pay a sum of money that covers your damages. Our boating accidents attorneys are also experienced litigators who can present a convincing case to a jury if your claim goes to court. Whether your case settles or you sue and go to trial, you do not pay legal fees for representation unless we get compensation for you.
To learn more or to schedule a free consultation with a member of our legal team.