Had A Boating Accident? Get A Personal Injury Attorney

Updated: Apr 30

Why Hire Top Rated Personal Injury Attorneys In Los Angeles For Boating Accidents


Los Angeles is renowned for its scenic, vast coastlines and exciting waterway activities. The Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach, also known as Long Beach’s Harbor Department, are the United States' busiest ports. Personal watercraft, pleasure vessels, offshore oil wells and commercial shipping activities inhabit every square inch of the 25-acre international port. With such a busy coast, injuries and severe accidents are bound to occur.

When they do, you need an experienced Los Angeles boat accident lawyer to help you through the nuances of these cases.


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Boat Types


There are 15 marinas within the Port of Los Angeles, situated in San Pedro, Wilmington and Terminal Island. There are even more when you look at surroundings places like Redondo Beach, Marina Del Rey and Long Beach. With more than 3700 recreational boat slips, there are plenty of opportunities for an individual to suffer a serious injury in or around a boat docked in a marina in the greater LA metro region.

When boat passengers and visitors are injured at sea, it is normally due to a person's negligence or corporation's. Ship owners and operators have a legal responsibility to maintain and operate their vessels reasonably. There are several boating incidents involving:

Yachts. Tourists who charter the boats for personal activities also enjoy these pleasure boat trips. Injuries also occur when the operator fails to maneuver the yacht properly. In these types of injuries, inexperience or the effects of alcohol are often factors.


Personal watercraft (jet skis). According to the US Coast Guard, personal watercraft was involved in about 36% of all boating accidents, with the majority of these incidents being caused by blunt force trauma rather than drowning. Many of these injuries are caused by inexperienced operators and unnecessarily high speeds.


When handled carelessly, these relatively innocuous vessels can become extremely dangerous. Because of the risk of capsizing, drowning is a common problem on sailboats. When sailors lack sufficient knowledge about how to cope with these events, they may become stuck underneath the boat and drown.


When treated carelessly, even the smallest watercraft can cause serious injury. When you retain the legal services of a California Attorney For Personal Injury, they will be able to thoroughly investigate the accident to determine the root cause. Our pre-screened Los Angeles personal injury lawyers have the expertise and experience to go after the liable party or parties to get you the money you deserve, whether it is a faulty component or inappropriate service.


California Boating Accidents


In California, boating and jet skiing are year-round sports, and approximately 1,000,000 California watercraft are registered. As a result, the Golden State has a high rate of boating accidents relative to the rest of the world. Hundreds are involved in boat collisions every year. Dozens suffer fatal injuries. An experienced boat accident lawyer in Los Angeles will help you or your family recover monetary compensation if you were injured while boating.


Types of Boating Accidents


Boating Under the Influence: Boating while intoxicated causes several accidents throughout the world, and California is no exception to that unfortunate reality. Suppose it is determined by facts such as police reports, criminal charges, toxicology reports, and witness testimony. In that case, your boat accident lawyer in Los Angeles will assist you in recovering economic damages, which in some cases involving drunk boating, may include additional punitive damages.


Boating Accidents Caused by Speeding. Operating a boat at high speeds will make the vessel more difficult to control. It also increases the risk of passenger injury or death in the event of a collision. Accident reconstruction specialists may provide evidence that excessive speed led to the injuries.


Equipment Problems. Whether negligent manufacturing or construction of the boat or a boat component caused or led to the boating accident, lawyers can consult with experts who can locate the responsible parties and testify to the unsafe equipment that played in the crash.


Ejection from the Boat. Several times in a boating accident, passengers are thrown from the vessel. This can result in devastating and debilitating injuries, including but not limited to brain injuries, or broken bones.


Capsizing. In California, capsizing is one of the most common causes of boating accidents. It can result in serious and even fatal injuries.


Propeller Accidents. Propellers may cause severe lacerations and have even ended in amputations. Propellers can come into contact with the head and ears, which can result in traumatic brain injury, facial lacerations, and scarring of the face. Often propeller accidents are caused by incompetence on the part of the boat operator.


Sailing Rules Violated. California has strict laws on who can handle sailboat and when, as well as rules on the proper operation of the sailboats itself. Deviation from these regulations will result in injuries. It is also against the rules.


Other typical boating injury scenarios involve collisions with other boats and slip-and-fall incidents on deck. Negligence can also be a factor even though the boating operator was not violating the law. An experienced California boating accident lawyer will help you decide if there are grounds for an injury lawsuit.


In response to boating accidents of all sorts, a California Attorney For Personal Injury handles Los Angeles boat accident claims regarding personal watercrafts such as jet skis and wave runners.


Boating Accident Reports


California law requires that watercraft operators report boating accidents. The reports must provide names, contact details, and vessel registration numbers for all individuals and watercraft involved in the accident and those that rendered help to an injured individual. Additionally, the boat owner or operator is needed to undertake a signed statement to the California Department of Boating and Waterways when the accident resulted in either of the ones that follow:

  • A person goes missing or dies

  • An injury that needs medical treatment beyond first aid

  • More than $5000 in property damage to all vessels or other property involved.


Where injury or death are suspected, the report must be submitted within 48 hours after injury. If the accident ended in destruction of property only, the report must be submitted within 10 days of the accident.


California Boating Laws


State regulations regulating maintenance and operation of watercraft apply to owners and operators. California law forbids the use of watercraft negligently or recklessly that could endanger another person or his/her property. Among other items, the legislation bans boating in an area used by swimmers. It also forbids the movement of a vessel erratically or in such a manner that causes the vessel to cut speed or suddenly swerve to avoid a collision.


California law also has boating speed limits. Operators are prohibited from driving at an improper speed - meaning faster than prudent and fair based on traffic, visibility, weather conditions, or other hazards. Passengers are forbidden from sitting on the bow or gunwale, or anywhere else that poses a risk of falling overboard. The law forbids a boat's operation with hazardous conditions, which includes providing an insufficient supply of fire extinguishers or life jackets, having a fuel leak, not showing navigation lights, excessive accumulation of water in the bilge, and inadequate ventilation.

Any boat operator in California is required to abide by both state and federal regulations

Maritime law in California prohibits the conduct of any vessel in a careless or negligent manner, or in a manner that endangers the life, limb, or property of any person.


A boat operator must also move the boat at a safe speed, taking into account traffic, weather, visibility, and the existence of other hazards. You must not put swimmers, your boat's passengers, or the occupants of any other boat in risk.


Any vessel must have the following Coast Guard-approved safety equipment, according to the Federal Boat Safety Act:

  • Ventilation machines for gas

  • Fire extinguishers

  • Extinguishers are used to put out fires.

  • Visual signs of distress

  • Devices that produce sound

  • Each individual should have a personal floatation device (PFD) or a life jacket.


Boating Laws in the United States


The Federal Boat Safety Act, passed by Congress in 1971, gave the U.S. The Coast Guard is in charge of determining watercraft safety equipment requirements.


According to federal law, vessels must be fitted with Coast Guard-approved safety equipment, such as flame arresters, visual distress signs, gas breathing systems, fire extinguishers, and sound warning devices. The life jackets or personal floatation devices that must be worn by all on board the vessel are also defined by federal law. Consider one of our prescreened California Lawyers in your California Attorney Search.


Boating Accidents and Injuries: An Overview


Boating incidents are injuries that occur while on or in a boat. This form of mishap may occur on a cruise ship, a jet ski, a ferry, or a private yacht. The general rule is that the boat operator and owner have a responsibility to take reasonable precautions to avoid injuring others.


Don't forget that incidents involving non-motorized boats do happen. Sailing, canoeing, kayaking, rowboats, and inflatables like rafting are all examples of this. Changing water or weather conditions, cold water, and underwater debris are also warning signs of impending disaster.


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Non-motorized boats often have a lower profile in the water, which reduces visibility. As a result, they are often targeted by larger, motorized vessels. Aside from interactions with motorized boats, non-motorized boating accidents are often caused by an overloaded vessel, overcrowding, a lack of life jackets, and inexperience.


In addition to the loss of innocent lives and significant injury to unsuspecting victims, watercraft and boating collisions cause about $50 million in property damage per year. When a boat or personal watercraft collides with another vessel or a fixed object, there is a high risk of serious injury. The following are some of the most common injuries sustained in boating accidents:

  • Near-drowning or drowning

  • Amputations resulting from trauma

  • Injuries to the brain

  • Back and spine injuries

  • Visual impairment

  • Injury to the neck and back

  • Bones that have been fractured or broken

  • Ligaments torn

  • Burns

  • Injuries caused by crushing (especially to hands and feet)

  • Wrongful death

Despite the fact that emergency facilities for treating traumatic accidents are costly, health care expenses make up a small portion of the overall costs of a boating or watercraft accident. Victims can also experience income loss, property harm, and emotional distress.


In a boating accident, determining who is at fault is difficult


When someone gets hurt in a car accident, it's normally because at least one (if not both) of the drivers should have done something differently to prevent the collision. Boating is unique in that it often involves powers of nature, which are more prevalent than in a non-weather-related car accident.


Who is to blame if you or a passenger is hurt when your boat collides with another boat's wake, is struck by a wave, or collides with a submerged object such as a rock or land mass?

In order to recover damages for a boating accident, you must first prove the other party's negligence.

However, a single accident does not imply that anyone was careless. A individual must have acted or failed to act with due caution in order to be deemed negligent, and that action or failure to act was the cause of the injury.