If someone else’s negligent actions caused your injury in a boat accident, reach out to the Bakersfield personal injury attorneys of Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers immediately for legal advice and representation. We can review the circumstances of the incident and determine whether you can hold the at-fault party liable for your injury.
The beautiful weather year-round in Bakersfield makes it the perfect place to take the boat out on the water. Tourists and residents can enjoy fishing, sunset cruises, and other exciting excursions. Although boating is a fun experience, boaters can encounter dangerous situations on the water that place their safety at risk.
Boat operators must always focus on their surroundings and follow laws to prevent accidents. Distractions, speeding, and other misconduct can lead to severe injuries and death. Anyone swimming in the water or onboard the vessel can end up in harm’s way. The negligent person responsible for an accident could be financially liable for the victim’s injury and resulting costs.
The Bakersfield boat accident attorneys of Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers know how devastating it can be to get hurt in an accident while boating. One second, you’re having a good time, and the next, you’re in pain and worried about whether you’ll recover. The expenses associated with medical care can be expensive and put anyone in debt. It’s overwhelming when you can’t afford to pay your bills.
You don’t have to go through this traumatic experience alone. Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers will be there for you throughout each step of the process. We will protect your rights and fight for the maximum compensation you deserve. Our team knows how to investigate boat accidents and obtain the available evidence to prove what happened. You can count on us to prioritize you and your case and try to reach a favorable outcome.
Call Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers at (619) 233-5020 for your free consultation and learn more about your available options. We’re available 24/7 to speak with you.
Common Types of Boat Accidents
Multiple circumstances can contribute to a boating accident. Someone could fall overboard, drown, or trip on the vessel and hit their head. An operator might be under the influence and crash into the dock or collide with another boat. Anything could happen on the water to cause a person’s injury.
The most common types of boat accidents include:
- Fire – A fire could spark onboard the boat from faulty wiring or electrical components. Passengers can suffer burn injuries and smoke inhalation. Subsequent injuries can occur if the occupants must jump into the water to escape the flames.
- Contact with objects – Swimmers aren’t always visible to boaters. The operator might not see someone in the water and could pass too closely. A propeller or another part of the vessel could collide with the swimmer and cause severe injuries.
- Collisions between vessels – Operator inattention could lead to a crash between two boats. High-speed accidents often throw passengers overboard and might cause the vessel to capsize.
- Equipment malfunction – The equipment on a boat must function correctly for safe operation. A damaged or defective part can malfunction and prevent the operator from maneuvering or braking to avoid an accident.
- Capsizing – Boats can capsize if they take on too much water after crashing into land, a wave, or another vessel. Overturned boats can trap the passengers inside and lead to drowning.
- Falling overboard – When a boat moves through the water at high speeds, it can hit the waves too hard and become airborne. When the boat crashes back down, the rapid change in direction and momentum can throw occupants into the water.
- Slip and fall – Sometimes, accidents can happen onboard. Someone could slip on a surface that isn’t slip-resistant or trip on a hazard and fall.
- Collision with land or dock – An operator approaching land must slow down and proceed cautiously. The boat could run aground if the operator exceeds the speed limit or can’t slow down in time to avoid a collision.
- Drowning – Drowning incidents are common, especially if the boat owner doesn’t provide life jackets. In 2020, 75 percent of boating accident victims died from drowning. Of those victims, 86 percent didn’t wear a life jacket.
Various laws are in place to keep people safe on the water. Boat operators must meet a high standard of care while operating their vessels. Careless behavior at the wheel can put others at risk of serious injury or death.
At Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers, our boat accident lawyers in Bakersfield, CA, have the necessary experience to fight for our clients against the negligent parties that cause accidents. We can create a plan to hold the at-fault person liable and secure the money owed to you.
Common Causes of Boating Accidents
With multiple parks, canals, and other waterways, Bakersfield is the perfect destination for kayaking, fishing, swimming, and boating. Although peak season is between March and October, water activities are possible any day of the year.
Unfortunately, there is a much higher chance of an accident when there are boaters everywhere. It’s challenging to navigate the waterways around swimmers and other vessels. Additionally, many holidays coincide with boating season, increasing the likelihood of an alcohol-related incident.
Injuries can happen for multiple reasons. The most common causes of boat accidents include:
- Boating under the influence – State law prohibits anyone from operating a vessel under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Under the influence means a person has a breath or blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of at least 0.08 percent or alcohol, drugs, or a combination of the two impairs their abilities by an appreciable degree.
- Operator inattention – The operator should pay attention while operating the boat and monitor the water for potential dangers. If they allow distractions to redirect their focus, they could run over a swimmer or collide with another vessel.
- Improper lookout – A designated lookout must also focus on what’s happening around the vessel. The lookout should notify the operator of hazards and direct them to safety. Accidents can occur if the lookout doesn’t do their job due to inattention, distractions, or reckless behavior.
- Operator inexperience – Operators must be at least 16 years old and have a California Boater Card to legally operate a vessel with a motor of at least 15 horsepower. Inexperienced boaters typically don’t follow the laws or know how to react in emergencies.
- Speeding – People don’t only encounter speed limits on land. Boaters must follow the speed limits on the water. Speeding puts everyone at risk and prevents the operator from having total control over the vessel.
Whether the operator or another party caused the accident, your right is to hold them liable for your injury. You should immediately reach out to Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers to discuss whether you have a case to pursue. We can start preparing a strategy to prove fault, so you can receive the compensation you need to pay for your medical bills and other expenses.
Common Injuries in Boating Accidents
Injuries from boat accidents range in severity. Some are minor and heal quickly, while others require months of physical therapy and ongoing treatment. The most common injuries boat accidents cause include:
- Burns and cuts
- Back and neck injuries
- Traumatic brain injury
- Broken bones
- Internal bleeding
- Spinal cord injuries
You should seek immediate treatment for any injury you sustain on a boat. Even if you’re not in much pain and don’t believe your injury is severe, a doctor should examine you to determine how you should proceed. Waiting too long before your initial appointment could hinder your recovery and negatively affect your case.
Compensation Available for Boating Injuries
You could file an insurance claim or lawsuit against the at-fault party for the injury you suffered in the boat accident. The compensation you receive might compensate you for your accident-related losses, such as:
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Medical expenses
- Physical impairment or disfigurement
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Property damage
Exemplary damages might be recoverable if you file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. This form of compensation punishes the defendant for their misconduct. You must show clear and convincing evidence of the defendant’s fraud, malice, or oppression for a jury to award you.
Statute of Limitations for a Lawsuit
California law requires filing a lawsuit within the two-year period outlined in the statute of limitations. That means you have two years from the date of the accident to initiate your lawsuit against the at-fault party. This is a strict deadline you cannot miss. If it passes before you file suit, you could lose your right to pursue compensation in court.
Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers believe in representing injured clients against negligent individuals and companies. We use our knowledge and skills to prepare strong cases, so accident victims have the financial means to heal and move forward with their lives. We understand the struggles you face while pursuing legal action. Our team will take over every aspect of your case so you can focus your attention on treating your injury.
Our Bakersfield boat accident lawyers don’t want to add to your economic burdens while we’re handling your case. We take cases on contingency, so you’re not responsible for upfront fees or costs. We won’t collect our legal fees unless we secure compensation on your behalf. If we lose, you won’t have to pay us.
If you sustained an injury in a boat accident in Bakersfield due to someone else’s negligent actions, call Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers for your free consultation at (619) 233-5020.