California Boating Accident Lawyer

Boat sinking at a pier after sustaining damage.With the many lakes, oceanfronts, islands, and other mesmerizing bodies of water, boating has become a rather common hobby for coastal residents and visitors of California. It is also a way of life for millions of California businesses. Boating can be exhilarating, but it can also come with some unexpected dangers. In a report conducted by the U.S. Coast Guard, they found that the number of boating accidents is increasing in California. In 2020, the state saw an increase of more than 150 accidents, jumping from just under 330 in 2019 to almost 500 in 2020.

The increasing number of California boating accidents only account for recreational boating, but accidents can occasionally happen on commercial boats, too. The injuries sustained in a boating accident can be severe, which is why an experienced attorney can be an essential part of protecting yourself during the recovery process.

If you have been injured in a boating accident, the trusted legal team at Singh Ahluwalia Attorneys at Law may be able to help you on your road to recovery. Call (559) 878-4958 or Contact us online to speak with a member of our team who can get you started by scheduling a consultation with an experienced attorney. We speak English, Hindi, Punjabi, and Spanish.

What Can a Boating Accident Attorney Do for Me?

A boating accident can be a scary experience for everyone involved, and the steps needed for recovery may not always seem clear. An attorney can be a knowledgeable advocate that guides you through the confusing part of your financial recovery journey, putting your best interest at the forefront of every decision. Your boating accident attorney will:

  • Manage communication and organize documents: During any type of litigation, documents must be completed, and constant correspondence with the opposing party maybe be needed. The act of reading, processing, signing, and returning long official documents is tedious, but a skilled attorney like our team at Singh Ahluwalia can efficiently conduct this process. Your attorney will always manage communication because a legal professional knows what you have to say, should say, and should never say to the other side during litigation.
  • Help you understand the laws, regulations, and standard processes around boating accidents in California: Your litigation process will look different depending on various factors, like who was responsible for the accident, what type of insurance is involved, and the extent of the damages. An attorney can clear up many of your pressing questions, help you understand which laws and regulations most heavily affect your claim, and guide you through each step of recovering your damages.
  • Thoroughly investigate your accident, including claims of negligence: An attorney can help paint a clear picture of events by investigating the details of your accident. Once we have developed an official story using evidence and facts, we can extract information that may be useful in later steps of the process.
  • Negotiate a settlement on your behalf: Arguably, one of the most difficult aspects of litigation is negotiating the final settlement. Most people do not have the extensive experience with negotiations that attorneys do, and they may fall victim to an undervalued claim without the skills of a well-versed attorney.
Call (559) 878-4958 or Contact us online to speak with one of our experienced personal injury lawyers today

Who Is Liable for My Boating Accident?

One of the first things that must be determined after your boating accident is the liable party. Many different people, or even companies, can be placed at fault for a boating accident. By investigating the evidence of your accident, you may be able to identify the liable parties responsible for restoring all damages you have suffered.

In other cases, you will have to provide evidence that proves another party acted with negligence. You must prove four things to establish negligence:

  • Duty of care: A duty of care is a person’s responsibility to act with care. Generally, the operator of a vehicle has a duty of care to their passengers and to other people that they may come in contact with.
  • Breach of duty: A failure to uphold duty of care can occur from a careless action or a failure to act.
  • Causation: The breach of care directly caused the accident and the corresponding injury.
  • Damages: Finally, the injury caused by the person who breached their duty of care led to damages that have impacted the victim in some way.

Because the injuries from a boating accident can be severe, it is essential to determine who can be held responsible for any damages incurred due to negligent actions. A California boating accident attorney can help you determine who is liable for your boating accident based on the evidence from the event.

Many parties can be liable for your accident, including:

  • Irresponsible boat operator: An operator who is inattentive or otherwise neglects their post as the operator can be held responsible for damages caused by their actions, including the damages they inflict on their passengers.
  • Intoxicated boat operator: The rule still applies to watercraft — drinking while operating a vehicle is strictly prohibited. Intoxication causes many boating accidents and puts passengers’ lives at risk.
  • Boat staff: Failure to carry out duties, inadequate communication for safety, and many other reasons can be used to hold boating staff liable for their negligence.
  • Boat designer: Malfunctions caused by the boat’s design have happened, and in these cases, the designer can be held responsible for their creation.
  • Boat manufacturer: Some parts may become defective in production, creating unsafe conditions that cause an accident. The manufacturer is responsible for producing safely functional parts, and their failure to do so can leave them liable for injuries caused due to their negligence.
  • Boat rental company: If you endured an accident on a rented boat, the rental company may hold some liability if they allowed a subpar vehicle out on the water without providing essential maintenance beforehand.
  • A passenger: If another passenger interfered with the operations of a boat, causing an accident, they might be held responsible for the damages.
  • Property owner: Hazards introduced by a negligent property owner or public entity tasked with management of a property could potentially make them liable.

Common Injuries Sustained in a Boating Accident

Every accident is different, and the severity of your injuries heavily depends on the unique details of the incident. Injuries sustained in a boating accident can be severe, which makes the financial recovery process all that more serious for the victim. But, if someone else is to blame for your boating accident, the financial burden may not fall on you.

Some of the most common injuries seen in boating accident victims are:

  • Neck or spine injury, including paralysis
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Broken bones
  • Concussions
  • Drowning
  • Burns
  • Nerve damage

What Are the Steps to Take After a Boating Accident?

A boating accident can be difficult because there is typically a lack of resources like third-party witnesses to help clarify gray areas of the story. Following the steps listed below can prevent many speculations or uncertainties about your side of the story.

Seek Medical Attention

It is essential that boating accident victims receive medical attention for their injuries. During an accident, the body releases adrenaline which may block any sensations of pain, leaving you unable to recognize your injuries for lack of pain. Walking around with a severe injury that you cannot pinpoint, like a broken rib or a concussion, can lead to the worsening of a condition, which is why it is typically advised by first responders for all victims of serious accidents to receive medical attention.

The hospital report and doctor analysis of your injuries and condition can also play a vital role in proving the extent of your physical trauma while connecting it to the accident event.

Report the Accident

While not all boating accidents must be reported, severe accidents that result in the death, disappearance, or injury of a person that requires more than general first aid must be reported to the California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW). These reports must be made within 48 hours of the accident.

In accidents that result in death more than 24 hours after the actual accident or such incidents that cause more than $500 of damage or the complete loss of the vehicle, you are given ten days to report to the DBW.

Document All Evidence

If you are physically capable, taking photos or videos of the accident is yet another excellent way to establish your side of the story. It is beneficial to remember that after the accident, photos and videos are the only way to go back to the scene and see the true events. This makes visual documentation such a valuable category of evidence. On top of photos and videos, you should keep documentation of any contact with other parties involved in the accident, as this could be valuable information for your representation.

Call a California Boating Accident Lawyer for Guidance

While our services are here to protect your financial recovery, the valuable services of a legal team can also help you save time and energy, which lets you focus on other parts of your recovery journey. The injury claims process can be strenuous, especially when you are fighting alone without support or knowledgeable resources easily available. A California boating attorney can make litigation simpler to manage by overseeing each step, helping you focus on the road to recovery.

Top 5 Causes of a Boating Accident

A boating accident can be caused by a wide variety of factors, but some instances are seen more than others. In 2020, the U.S. Coast Guard released a report documenting the most common causes of boating accidents nationwide the previous year.

According to the report, the most commonly seen causes of boating accidents are:

  • Operator inattention
  • Improper lookout
  • Operator inexperience
  • Excessive speed
  • Alcohol

On top of these causes, it is important to note that alcohol was the most significant contributing factor in fatal accidents that year.

What Damages Can I Recover from a Boating Accident?

A personal injury settlement is typically made up of two types of damages, economic and non-economic, with a possibility of a category called punitive damages, as well.

Economic damages have a standard monetary value or can be otherwise measured. Non-economic damages are damages sustained without a fixed monetary value attached. Non-economic damages are harder to secure because of their uncertain nature, but they can be justified by documenting things like an inability to enjoy life or perform tasks to the extent previously possible, either temporarily or permanently.

Punitive damages are designed to be awarded to victims with the intent of punishing the defendant and deterring others from their negligent behaviors.

Common examples of economic damages include:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Continued treatment costs
  • Other out-of-pocket expenses

Generally, the most frequently seen noon-economic damages include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of companionship
  • Mental anguish

Injured in a Boating Accident? Call a Boating Accident Lawyer at Singh Ahluwalia Today!

Recovering after a boating accident can be a scary process, but the financial recovery doesn’t have to be. When you have an experienced attorney on your side, you gain a team of professionals whose job is to thoroughly understand your accident, then extract information from the evidence that supports your story and advocates for your best interest.

To schedule a consultation with a California boating accident lawyer who can help you better understand what your litigation process might look like, Call (559) 878-4958 or Contact us online today!