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Boating Accident Attorneys


Regarding Boating Accident and Injury

Any accident that involves a boat, ship, jet ski, wave runners (or other personal watercraft), ferry or other type of watercraft is considered a boating accident. A boating accident can be caused by one boat hitting another, a boat hitting someone on a personal watercraft, or a boat striking debris or obstructions in the water.

Boating accidents can also occur when someone falls overboard. Water-skiers may be injured when they lose their balance or are struck by a passing boat after they have fallen. Other boating accidents are caused by the boat capsizing, catching on fire, or flooding. The most common boating accidents are collisions with other boats, slip and falls on the boat, sinking, and boat disappearance. Regardless of the type of boating accident involved, a Sacramento attorney specializing in personal injuries from boating accidents can help recover any damages lost as a result of the boating accident.

Injuries can include head injuries, brain injuries, burn injuries, spinal cord injuries, and other serious trauma, broken bones, paralysis and fatal drowning.

In determining whether you have a claim for injuries sustained in a boating accident, it must be determined what specific activity was being performed, when and where it was performed, the circumstances of the accident, was it properly supervised, was safety equipment available, was there any special equipment being used, was the equipment in disrepair or properly maintained or otherwise unsafe or defective, was the equipment subject to any recalls, did the injured participant sign a waiver or release of liability before engaging in the activity, did government authorities investigate the accident.

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Post Accident Guidelines - What Should I Do?

If you are the person who was operating the boat, you are required to file a report, unless you are physically unable to do so. The owner of the boat is the next person responsible if you cannot prepare the report.

You must file a written accident report within 48 hours if someone is injured and needs more than first aid treatment, someone dies or disappears under suspicious circumstances from your boat or within 10 days in the case of property damage alone.

If at all possible, seek the advice of a Sacramento boat accident attorney before filling out a report. If you cannot wait, do not admit fault. You also want to provide as little detail as possible, however you do want to detail every injury you sustained, no matter how minor it seems at the time.

Even if injuries from the boating accident appear minor it is advised to seek medical evaluation. Often times an injury from a boating accident may be underestimated and the boating accident injury can later cause continued pain, further injuries, and more financial burdens.

A Sacramento boating accident attorney can seek damages appropriate to the injuries sustained, as well as further medical treatment that will be needed for the boating accident injuries.

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Common Causes of Boating Accidents

  • Operator distraction. The person operating the boat or personal watercraft failed to pay attention to what they were doing.
  • Collisions with other vessels, rocks, shoreline or docks
  • An inexperience operator
  • Reckless operation of the boat or personal watercraft
  • Negligent operation
  • Unruly passengers or reckless skiers
  • Passengers in the boat are horsing around and someone slips and hits their head, falls overboard, etc.
  • A skier tries crazy stunts
  • Alcohol consumption. If you are injured because of someone else operating their boat or watercraft while under the influence of alcohol, you have a case for negligence. It is a criminal offense to be operating a boat or watercraft while intoxicated. Furthermore, intoxicated boat operators that cause injuries to others while under the influence can be liable for damages. Alcohol leads to a lack of judgment which results in many of the other factors listed here as contributing to boat accidents.
  • Failure to post a proper lookout. Many boating accidents, especially collisions, occur because no one is watching for obstacles.
  • Boat malfunction or equipment failure
  • Weather conditions. This is a major contributor to many serious boating accidents, especially accidents that involve the loss of the vessel. It is important to pay attention to weather advisories so that you are not caught in conditions that your vessel was not designed to handle.
  • Fires on board
  • Propeller accidents
  • Improper anchoring

Boating accidents occur largely because people underestimate the dangers of boats as compared to cars. The skilled Sacramento boating accident attorneys at Crow Law Offices have the experience and resources to properly handle lawsuits against the owners and operators of private boats, personal watercraft and commercial ferries. If you have been involved in a boating or watercraft accident, you need the best representation to fight for your rights as an injured victim.

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Boating Accident Statistics

California has nearly 900,000 registered vessels. There are hundreds of thousands of private boat owners in the US. About 8000 boat accidents occur every year, with 5000 of those accidents resulting in injuries. Out of those 5,000 injuries, approximately 800 are fatalities. Two-thirds of these fatality victims were passengers. A large percentage of boating accident fatalities occur due to drowning. In the event that a death has resulted from a boating accident the survivors of that boating accident tragedy can file a wrongful death suit.

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Cruise Ship Accidents, Injury, and Mishaps

If you are injured while on a cruise ship, you must act quickly. Many cruise lines include language in the contract that limits how long you have to file a claim. While California generally recognizes a 2-year statute of limitations, some cruise lines reduce the limitation to 1 year or less.

If you are injured on a cruise ship, report the injury to the cruise line personnel, take photographs that show where you were injured and show your injuries as well, and get names and contact information from anyone who witnessed the accident.

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Financial Damages Recoverable in Boating Accidents

A boating accident injury can result in high financial difficulties. When a boat accident occurs, the consequences can be both emotionally and financially devastating, not only for the injured person but also for their dependents and loved ones. Your Sacramento boat accident attorney at the Crow Law Offices may identify possible claims for:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Life care expenses
  • Vocational rehabilitation
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium
  • Workers' compensation
  • Punitive damages
  • Wrongful death

The extent of those damages will depend on the circumstances of the boat accident. In instances where multiple parties bear responsibility, monetary damages will need to be apportioned.

Calculation of damages from the boat accident depends on factors such as the claimants injuries, current earnings and impairment of future earning capacity, marital status and dependents, the nature and extent of the injuries, and the amounts of past, present and future medical expenses. It is in your best interests that you contact a competent Sacramento boat accident attorney for assistance in calculating your damages.

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Types of Boating Accidents

  • fishing accidents
  • kayaking accidents
  • motorboat accidents
  • personal watercraft accidents
  • scuba diving accidents
  • wakeboard accidents
  • waterskiing accidents
  • whitewater river rafting accidents
  • yacht accidents

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