Recover Compensation for Boating Injuries

With its many freshwater and saltwater areas and plentiful warm‚ sunny weather‚ San Diego is an ideal location for boating and water sports. Popular boating and fishing spots include San Diego Bay‚ De Anza Cove and Fiesta Island in Mission Bay‚ El Capitan‚ Lake Jennings‚ Lake Murray‚ and Lake Poway-just to name a few. Though‚ with an estimated 665‚000 registered vessels in California alone‚ according to a 2018 report by the California Department of Boating and Waterways (CDBW)‚ these areas tend to get very congested during the summer and on holidays.

Boating accidents are a reality and are especially frequent during the spring and summer months when recreational boating and water sports are at an all-time high. They are caused by the same factors as other vehicle accidents‚ but‚ being on the water‚ without brakes‚ makes boating accidents much more dangerous than accidents involving land-based vehicles. Ultimately‚ negligence is the cause of most boating accidents. Some examples of boating negligence include‚ but are not limited to:

  • Operating a vessel at unsafe speeds;
  • Boating under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs;
  • Not following safety regulations regarding life vests or other safety procedures; and
  • Inexperienced operation of a vessel.

To help keep these waterways safe‚ the CDBW has set up state regulations on top of federal laws governing vessel and vessel operations. These laws fall into four categories: equipment‚ maximum weight and horsepower‚ registration‚ and driving.

Though‚ with so much waterway traffic‚ it is no surprise that the number of boating accidents is still high. The CDBW reported roughly 590 accidents in 2016. Of that‚ over 260 people were injured, 50 people died, and there were almost $4 million dollars in property damages.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a boating accident‚ contact the experienced San Diego boating accident lawyers at Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers. We will focus on getting you the compensation you need and deserve. Call us at (888) 233-5020 to set up a free consultation.

California Boating Laws


California requires all boats to carry a Coast Guard-approved life jacket for each person on board. Vessels longer than 16 feet must also carry a throwable flotation device. On larger vessels‚ children under 11 must wear life jackets while the vessel is in operation. Vessels must also have the proper fire extinguishers‚ sound signaling devices‚ and navigation lights.

Maximum Weight and Horsepower

Motorboats less than 20 feet long and manufactured after 1972 must display capacity and safe horsepower information and cannot exceed the posted limits.


Most boats must have current registration‚ even if they are not being used. Exemptions apply to boats propelled manually‚ boats 8 feet or less in length that are propelled by sail‚ vessels with Coast Guard registration‚ lifeboats aboard ships‚ and boats with valid registration in other states that do not operate for more than 90 consecutive days in California waters.

To register your boat‚ visit your local California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). They will issue a certificate of number‚ a certificate of ownership and registration stickers. Stickers must be displayed next to the boat registration number.


Operators must be 16 years or older if the vessel is more than 15 horsepower. You must follow the speed limit. The maximum speed is 5 mph when close to a beach‚ float‚ passenger landing or swimmers. It is against the law to operate the boat recklessly and under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Violating boating laws and negligently operating a boat or other watercraft can result in devastating injuries. A boat can crash into another boat‚ it can collide with a personal watercraft‚ it can crash into swimmers‚ it can run aground‚ and it can even sink. When negligence is the cause of such accidents‚ injured victims may pursue legal action to recover financial compensation for their losses.

Boating Accident Injuries are Serious

Any boating or personal watercraft accident can result in drowning‚ but there are a number of other injuries that a person may suffer that could potentially cause permanent changes to his or her life. Even near-drowning incidents can result in brain damage and alter a victim’s ability to function normally. Other injuries can include broken bones‚ lacerations‚ traumatic brain injury‚ and even loss of limb should the injury accident involve exposing an unprotected person to an active propeller. Such injuries can require extensive medical treatment and rehabilitative care. In addition‚ a boating accident victim may not be able to work during his or her recovery‚ or ever again‚ depending on the severity of the injuries‚ creating not only physical and emotional hardships relating to the injury‚ but financial hardships as well.

San Diego Boating Injury Lawyers at Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers Are Here to Help

If you or someone you love was 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. Contact one of the experienced San Diego personal injury attorneys at the Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers immediately after an accident so that the incident can be investigated and evidence can be secured before it disappears or is altered. Our attorneys will make sure that you get the compensation you need and deserve. Call us at (619) 233-5020 or (888) 233-5020.

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