Boating accidents can occur on speedboats, jet skis, party boats, cruise ships, and private vessels. Due to the nature of accidents that happen on the water, determining damages and liability for boating accidents can be particularly complex. The attorneys at Williams Iagmin, LLP have years of experience representing boating accident victims and are here to get you the compensation you are owed for your injuries.
In 2015, the California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways reported 503 boating accidents across the state, with 232 injuries and 49 fatalities. In 2016, those statistics increased to 588 accidents, 266 injuries, and 50 deaths. In addition, property damage as a result of these accidents totaled $3,398,027 in 2015 and $3,911,886 in 2016. San Diego is routinely ranked as having one of the highest boating accident rates across the state. In 2016, the San Diego area recorded 50 accidents, with 14 injuries, three fatalities, and over $235,000 in property damage. That same year, the total number of vessels registered in San Diego, including personal watercraft, was 51,185.
Boating accidents are caused by a number of different factors, but the most common types of boating accidents include the following:
The Division of Boating and Waterways lists some of the most common causes of boating accidents as operator inattention, operator inexperience, speeding, boating under the influence, and machinery failure. In these situations, the boat owner, operator, company employing the operator, or boat part manufacturer can be held liable for damages.
Boating accidents have the potential to cause more severe injuries because of the vulnerability of the passengers, as opposed to victims of car accidents that are provided the protection of the vehicle. Some of the most common boating accident injuries include:
The California Division of Boating and Waterways enacted laws for boating accidents similar to those of auto accidents. Under state law, a boat owner or operator must report their accident within 48 hours to the Division of Boating and Waterways if the accident results in injury, death, disappearance, or property damage over $500. Boat owners and operators are held to the same standards as car drivers, and they cannot operate a boating vessel in a negligent or reckless manner. Boat operators must also abide by all state and federal regulations as well as adhere to all signs regarding boat operation near swimmers, surfers, stand up paddleboarders, or bodyboarders.
In addition, California state law requires that all boating vessels have enough life jackets on board for their passengers and fire extinguishers on board. Boats must also be maintained, so any faulty equipment like lights, navigation beacons, and fuel lines must be in good working condition or the owners face liability.
We understand the devastating effect injuries stemming from a boating accident can have on victims and their loved ones. If you or someone you know has been injured in a boating accident, contact the office of Williams Iagmin, LLP today for a free consultation.