Boating is a major form of recreation and sport in California, with nearly 900,000 registered boats in the state. Fishing trips, diving expeditions, water skiing, jet skiing, a week long cruise on a luxury ship – boats are supposed to be fun, recreational vehicles for you and your family to enjoy. However, thousands of people are injured or killed in boating wrecks each year.
According to the U.S. Coast Guard, in 2011, there were 4,588 recreational boating accidents reported in the United States, which resulted in 758 fatalities, 3,081 injuries and approximately $52 Million in property damage. Overall, carelessness or reckless operation, operator inattention, operator inexperience and excessive speed are the leading contributing factors of all reported boating accidents.
Boating accidents include capsizing, falls overboard, collisions, sinking/flooding, explosions, disappearance and fire. The most reported type of accident was a collision with another vessel. However, capsizing and falls overboard are the most reported types of fatal accidents and account for over half of all boating fatalities.
Reports must be filed within:
Boat accidents are governed by a number of city, county, state and/or federal laws. Boat operators have a legal obligation to operate their watercraft in a safe manner. If they do not, there may be criminal charges, and the people who were injured may be entitled to sue for damages. Boat owners also need to be careful about allowing other people to drive their boats. No matter who is driving, if the boat is in an accident, the boat owner may be liable for the damages.
Failure to remain on the scene, provide aid and report the accident in a timely manner is a crime. You should also report the incident to your insurance company. This is a requirement if a state or federal report was made.
Accidents involving boats often result in very serious injuries. Although most are due to unintentional operator error, other factors may also play a part in causing boating accidents. Poorly designed boats and other boating equipment and negligent, dangerous drivers are responsible for causing some boating accidents.
Civil lawsuits are frequently filed against the manufacturer when some type of failure of either the boat’s machinery or its hull caused an accident. Boat accident lawsuits also can result when a boat operator causes an injury while operating a boat under the influence of alcohol or in some other negligent fashion.
If you have been injured in any kind of boat accident that was someone else’s fault, you have the right to be compensated for a wide range of damages, including property damage, medical expenses, lost wages, permanent injury and pain and suffering. In the event that a death has resulted from your accident, a wrongful death suit can be filed.
Contact me, a boating accident attorney, as soon as possible. You may have a limited amount of time in which you can file a boating accident lawsuit!
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