What to Do After a Boating Accident
In 2008 alone‚ the United States Coast Guard counted 4‚789 recreational boating accidents that involved 709 deaths‚ 3‚331 injuries‚ and approximately $54 million dollars of damage to property.
San Diego’s inland waters‚ San Diego Bay‚ and Mission Bay offer many of the best boating opportunities and recreational experiences in the United States. In California‚ there are roughly 900‚000 water vessels registered‚ and every year many thousands of boaters use our waterways for sailing‚ power boating‚ waterskiing‚ and fishing. All this activity increases the potential for boating accidents.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a boating accident‚ the experienced lawyers at the Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers can help you seek compensation for your injuries. Contact our San Diego boat accident attorneys at (888) 233-5020 to set up a free consultation.
Most Common Types of Vessels Involved in Accidents
- Open Motorboat (46%)
- Personal Watercraft (22%)
- Enclosed motorboats (14%)
What Is a Boating Accident?
The California Department of Boating and Waterways (CDBW) defines a boating accident as:
- The death or disappearance of a person;
- Injury requiring medical treatment beyond first aid; or
- Property damage exceeding $500 to all vessels‚ docks‚ and other property involved in the accident‚ or the complete loss of a vessel.
Types of Recreational Boating Accidents
- Falling overboard
- Collisions with another vessel or structure
- Sinking‚ flooding
- Disappearance of a vessel or passenger
Top Factors in Boating Accidents
- Careless/reckless operation
- Operator inattention
- Insufficient lookout
- Operator inexperience
- Passenger/skier behavior
Alcohol is the leading factor in fatal boating accidents‚ and California law strictly prohibits anyone from operating a boat while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Though the federal legal limit is .08% blood alcohol content (BAC)‚ you can be charged with boating under the influence (BUI) at .05% BAC.
Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers: How to Avoid Boating Accidents
10 Boating Safety Tips
- Always wear a life jacket and insist that your crew and guests do the same.
- Never drink alcohol while boating.
- Take a boating safety course.
- Stay in control by taking charge of your safety and that of your passengers.
- Understand and obey boating safety recommendations and rules of navigation before taking to the water‚ and practice them without fail.
- Operate at a safe speed and always maintain a careful lookout.
- Check the weather forecast.
- Have your vessel checked for safety – for free! The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary offers Vessel Safety Checks at no cost.
- Use a carbon monoxide detector.
- File a float plan. The U.S. Coast Guard recommends that you always tell a friend or family member where you plan to go and when you’ll be back.
If you are engaging in water sports‚ confine jet skiing and water skiing to daylight hours. Also‚ make sure you are familiar with state boating laws. By following these rules‚ you can ensure a fun and safe day out on the water for you and your family.
Contact a Boating Accident Attorney
Remember‚ waterways can get really congested during the dog days of summer. It is your responsibility to keep you‚ your passengers‚ and the people around you safe by following your state’s boating regulations.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a boating accident due to someone else’s negligence‚ you are entitled to receive compensation that covers your medical expenses‚ lost wages‚ property damage‚ and pain and suffering. If an accident occurs‚ California law requires vessel operators to report the incident to the California Department of Boating and Waterways (CDBW). Our experienced San Diego accident attorneys at Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers will make sure that you get the compensation you need and deserve. Call us at (619) 233-5020 or (888) 233-5020.