Boating Accidents

Southern California Boating Accident Lawyers

Boating is a popular pastime in Southern California, but unfortunately many people drink while operating a boat, and that and other factors can be hazards to passengers, those riding smaller boats, or those in the water. In 2013 there were 237 boating accidents in Southern California. These accidents resulted in 6 fatalities and 100 injuries. Many of the fatalities are the result of drowning. If you were injured in a Los Angeles boating accident, let the experienced personal injury attorneys of the Sharifi Firm, APC represent you in a civil suit to recover damages from the at-fault boater.

Liability for Boating Injuries

In California, boaters have the same responsibility to operate their boats safely as drivers have to operate their cars safely. Boaters are expected to operate their boats at safe speeds and follow rules of signaling. Peace officers have the authority to enforce California's boating laws, including speed limits for particular areas, but accidents causing bodily injury beyond first aid, death, disappearance, property damage greater than $500 must be reported to the California Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW).

Inland navigation rules govern how boats are operated and what signals must be used on inland waters in order to prevent a boat crash. For example, sounding a short blast of the horn or whistle shows a boater's intention to move the vessel to own starboard (right) and sounding two short blasts shows a boater's intent to direct the vessel to own port (left). A prolonged blast shows that a boater has limited visibility. If two boats are moving in the same direction, and one boat wants to pass on the other vessel's starboard, the boat that's ahead must answer with one blast if the course is safe. Failure to comply with the inland navigation rules or failure to take precautions necessary under the circumstances may result in crashes. Lack of compliance can make the boater liable for any injuries that arise from the crash.

Someone injured by a negligent boater may recover damages by proving: (1) the boater's duty of care, (2) breach of duty, (3) causation and (4) damages. These must be proved by a preponderance of the evidence. There are two types of compensatory damages that can be recovered in California: special damages (economic damages) or general damages (noneconomic damages). Special damages are those tangible damages that can be documented such as medical bills, lost income, cost of household services, and vocational rehabilitation. General damages are intangible damages that may vary depending on the composition of a particular jury.

Hire an Experienced Boating Accident Attorney in Riverside

Common injuries in a boating accident include traumatic brain injury, spinal injuries, fractures and broken bones, concussion, internal organ damage, and anoxic brain injuries. The full depth of personal injuries may not be immediately apparent in a boating case, and so it is important to consult your own attorney rather than take a quick settlement from the responsible party's insurer. In some cases, accident victims discover complications to their injuries up to a year after the accident. The Sharifi Firm, APC are Riverside personal injury attorneys who represent boating accident victims in Rancho Cucamonga, Temecula, and San Bernardino. We assemble and present your strongest case to insurers and juries. Contact us at 1-866-422-7222 or via our online form for a free, no-obligation consultation.


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