Boating is a favorite activity of many Californians who love to spend their leisure time on the water, exploring, fishing, and enjoying the company of family and friends. No one is prepared when the fun turns to tragedy and someone else’s negligent act causes an accident that results in a serious injury or death. California is among the states with the highest number of boat owners. With well over 800,000 boats registered in the state, it is inevitable that there will be some boating accident injuries, especially when recreational boaters add alcohol to the equation.
California had 473 boating accidents and 53 fatalities in 2012 according to the California Department of boating and waterways. Drownings and near-drownings, amputations, and head injuries are among the most common injury types.
California boating accidents include those that involve personal water craft —”wave runners” or “jet skis”— which cause a disproportionate number of the state’s boating accidents.
When a boating accident takes place on navigable waters, in the ocean, admiralty and maritime law usually apply. On non-navigable waters, like California’s interior lakes and rivers, California state law applies when making a personal injury claim.
Causes of Boating Accidents in California
These are some of the most common causes of boating accidents in California for which another party may be held liable:
- Lack of experience operating a boat
- Alcohol use
- Operator distraction
- Ignoring regulations
- Watercraft design defects
- Equipment failure
Boating Accident Attorneys Safeguard Your Legal Rights
Whether you are recovering from an injury, caring for a family member who has been badly hurt, or grieving the death of someone you loved, having an experienced California boating accident attorney working for you can ease the burden you’re facing and improve the potential outcome of your case. Hiring experienced legal counsel is the best way to ensure that your right to a full and fair recovery is being protected.
Boating Accident Damages
At the Shepard & Haven law firm in Sacramento, we offer superior legal representation by providing a thorough investigation of the circumstances of your accident, using experts to provide analysis, professional opinions, and testimony when required to prove that the other party was negligent and liable for your accident, and that your injuries were serious. We obtain complete medical and employment records along with documentation of all of your expenditures related to the accident, to prove your economic damages. We will also demonstrate your non-economic damages—those losses in your quality of life that are more challenging to quantify in terms of dollars and cents, but nevertheless deserve to be compensated, including your pain and the inability to enjoy many activities that were important to you before your accident.
How to Get Help
Call the law offices of Shepard & Haven in Sacramento for experienced representation in your boating accident injury or wrongful death claim. Partners Ken Shepard and Ron Haven are two of Northern California’s most experienced personal injury attorneys, with 35 years each practicing law and winning impressive awards to compensate their clients for damages caused by the negligent or deliberate wrongful act of another person.
We offer a free consultation and will advise you on your legal options. Our practice is centered on the needs of our clients, and we provide honest answers to all your questions, keep you informed about the progress of your case, involve you in the decision-making process, return your phone calls, and answer your emails. We’ll take your serious accident case on a contingency basis, so payment is only due after you’ve won a monetary award. If you don’t win, you owe nothing.