Boating, Jetskiing, and other types of watercraft accidents are more frequent than most people think. Southern California has a vast coastline, making it an ideal place for thousands of recreational water activities to take place every year. Throughout a typical year, boating accidents occur due to the negligence of other individuals.

When looking for a boating accident attorney in Los Angeles you need someone who is experienced in personal injury claims, has a history of representing individuals in boating accidents, and has successfully recovered millions in injury and wrongful death cases.

The boat injury attorneys at Fisher & Talwar have the experience necessary to recover the maximum compensation for your or your loved ones who have been injured in boating accidents due to someone’s negligence. Whether your accident took place in Malibu, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Santa Monica, Venice Beach, Huntington Beach, or any other shoreline community, we can help.

The shorelines of California are great places to escape to for fun and relaxation. With just over 3,000 miles of shoreline and under 8,000 square miles of space for inland boating and recreational activities, the state is a popular destination for many watercraft enthusiasts. However, the same vast space creates a large number of accidents for various reasons:

  • Alcohol-related accidents
  • Distracted watercraft operation
  • Reckless operators
  • Speeding on the water
  • Inexperienced operators

Who is Liable for a Boating Accident in California?

Liability for a boating accident will depend upon how the accident happened, and it may depend upon where it occurred. You should work with a California boating accident lawyer to determine who could be responsible for your injuries. In some circumstances, more than one party could be at fault. Examples of parties who may be liable for boating accident injuries in California include but are not limited to the following:

  • Negligent operator of a vessel, such as a distracted or intoxicated boat operator;
  • Mechanic who performed negligent maintenance work on the vessel;
  • Owner of the boat who failed to have it properly maintained;
  • Designer of a defective vessel component;
  • Manufacturer of a defective vessel component; or
  • Retailer who sold a defective boat.

What Steps Should I Take After a California Boating Accident?

After a boating accident, it is important to take steps as soon as possible to preserve your eligibility for financial compensation. If you are able to do so, you should take the following steps after a boating accident:

  • Contact the Coast Guard to seek assistance with the immediate aftermath of the boating accident;
  • Document the scene of the accident by taking photographs;
  • Get the name and contact information of anyone who was involved in the boating accident or who may have witnessed the boating accident;
  • See a doctor as soon as possible, even if you do not believe you have serious injuries; and
  • Get in touch with a boating accident attorney in California to find out more about filing a claim and seeking compensation.

How Much Time Do I Have to File a Boating Accident Claim?

Most boating accident lawsuits will fall under the California personal injury statute of limitations, which is two years. What this means is that you will need to file a boating accident lawsuit within two years from the date of the accident. Failure to file a lawsuit within that time window will result in your claim becoming time-barred, and you will be ineligible to obtain damages through a civil lawsuit.

While you might be thinking that two years is enough time you can wait before moving forward with a lawsuit, it is critical to keep in mind that valuable evidence that may be able to support your case can be lost as time goes on. Moreover, the sooner you file a claim, the sooner you may be eligible to obtain the compensation you need to cover your medical bills and to help compensate you for lost wages and any other losses you have experienced. 

Should I File a Claim Even If I May Have Been Partially At Fault?

Even if you believe that you may have been partially at fault for a boating accident in California, or the defendant has alleged that you are partially to blame for the accident, you should still speak with a California boating accident attorney about filing a lawsuit. Under California law, a plaintiff in a boating accident can recover damages from one or more at-fault parties as long as the plaintiff is not 100 percent at fault.

California uses a “pure comparative fault” system, which means that a plaintiff in a boating accident will recover damages if they can prove that one or more defendants bear some responsibility for the accident. That plaintiff will not be barred from recovery even if the defendant can prove that they were partially at fault. Rather, the plaintiff’s recovery will be reduced by their portion of fault.

What Can I Do to Prevent a Boating Accident in California?

There are many steps you can take to avoid a serious boating accident in California. While you cannot control the behaviors of other vessel operators, you can take certain precautions that may allow you to avoid serious boating accidents and injuries. Consider some of the following steps and precautions:

  • Always wear a properly fitted life jacket, and ensure that all passengers on the boat are wearing life-jackets;
  • Operate the boat at a safe speed, recognizing that there are penalties for speeding on the water just as there are when you are driving a motor vehicle on the road;
  • Never drink alcohol before or while boating, recognizing that even a drink can result in delayed reaction time and can increase the risk of an accident or injury;
  • Enroll in a boating safety course, recognizing that a high percentage of serious and deadly boating accidents involve vessel operators who have not completed safety courses;
  • Pay attention to the weather and avoid going out on a boat if weather forecasts look hazardous, and come into shore if the weather begins to turn or there are signs of a thunderstorm;
  • Have your vessel regularly inspected and maintained, and have any necessary repairs done before going out on the water;
  • Keep safety equipment and a first aid kit on board; and
  • Follow all boating rules, including any signs posted on waterways for vessel operators.

Give Us a Call

If you or your loved ones sustained injuries in a boat accident due to others’ negligence, our Los Angeles boat accident lawyers can help you. Our experience has taught us how to recover the maximum compensation for your injuries.

If you have any questions regarding your personal injury claims please don’t hesitate to contact us for a FREE consultation. We don’t charge attorney fees unless we recover for you. Call (213) 891-0777 to find out what you are entitled to.

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