Who is Responsible for a Boating Accident in California?

Finding The Liable Parties For Your California Boat Accident Claims

The California coastline is vast. That's why it draws a lot of people, from marine and maritime workers, casual tourists, and savvy boat owners. Unfortunately, this also means California has also seen a lot of boating accidents throughout the years. A recent report shows that an increased interest in boating has also led to more accidents and death. In 2020, there was a 25% increase in boating fatalities compared to 2019.

Even if there are no fatalities, there are still high risks for physical injuries, emotional distress, and property damage associated with boating accidents. All of these pose economic and non-economic damages to the victim.

However, if another party caused your accident, they are legally liable to pay for your injuries and losses. After all, if it hadn't been for their negligence, you wouldn't be experiencing the losses you sustained in a boating accident in California.

That said, you can't blame just anyone to get compensation. You need to present evidence and a solid case that proves a specific party is indeed legally liable to pay for your damages. Hence, here's a quick guide on how boating accident lawyers in Los Angeles identify liable parties for a boating accident lawsuit in California.

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Common Causes Of Boating Accidents In California

You can get injured on a boat in several different ways. This could include the following:

  • Collisions. Boats, like automobiles on the road, can collide with one another. Speed, conditions, and events leading up to the accident all raise the chance and severity of an accident. Boating accidents frequently result in serious injuries, and some even result in death.

  • Courts have the authority to apportion fault based on the facts of the case. Boating collisions are usually caused by speed, driving under the influence, and distracted boating.

  • Wakes of Speed Boats. High-speed boats leave 'wakes' behind them as they travel over the water's surface. Wakes contain a lot of energy and volume; colliding with them can cause a boat to turn, capsize, or crash.

  • However, if the other boat operator is driving carelessly or quickly through a no-wake zone, they may be accountable for your injuries.

  • Failure to keep and maintain proper safety equipment onboard. If a boat operator or driver fails to have safety equipment on board, they may be held accountable for a boating accident harm.

  • Some essential tools you need to keep on your boat include jackets, life preservers, flare guns, first aid kits, fire extinguishers, whistles, horns, etc.

In most cases, boating accident lawyers in Los Angeles start by looking at the leading cause of the accident. However, some common boating accidents might have different causes and perceived liable parties.

This is the best way to identify whether the fault of the accident is yours or someone else's. Then, your boating accident attorney in Los Angeles will be able to help you find the proper evidence, file the correct paperwork, and build a solid case that defends your interests.

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How Do You Define Fault In California Boat Accident Claims?

According to California personal injury laws, a party is liable for your injuries if they've been in some ways negligent. Although the accident is unintentional, negligent behavior is enough for someone to be in some ways legally liable to compensate an injured party.

Your boating accident attorney in Los Angeles will identify the responsible party according to the following requirements:

  • The defendant had a "duty of care". For example, boat owners have to get a license, follow maritime rules, and keep their passengers safe. Likewise, shipping and fishing companies need to keep their employees well-trained and safe from accidents.

  • The defendant failed to execute the duty. If the defendant was unable to perform their duty, then they can be considered negligent. For example, if the defendant operated a boat without a license, they can be blamed for the accident.

  • You were injured due to the failure to execute duty of care. Finally, you and your California personal injury lawyer need to prove that the act of negligence has directly caused your accident.

The above criteria allow boating accident lawyers in Los Angeles to identify at-fault parties. Remember, you can't just file claims against someone involved in a boating accident in California. You need to prove that the defendant is directly responsible for your injuries, financial loss, and property damage for them to be considered liable to compensate you.

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Additionally, anyone who fits these criteria can be considered liable. For example, it could be the boat operator, the operator of another boat, the boat owner, a shipping company, etc. Therefore, you and your boating accident attorney in Los Angeles can file boat accident claims long as your identified liable parties can be proven responsible for your accident.

This means you can also file claims against multiple people or groups. For example, if a shipping company fails to maintain its boats and equipment, it can be sued for accidents and the injuries they cause.

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