Leading Boating Accident Attorney in California
If you’ve been injured in a boating accident, Krasney Law’s experienced attorneys and staff can help you navigate the complicated waters of California law. We can help you recover the maximum amount in damages to get you as much as possible and to get justice in the face of negligent or careless boat captains and their insurance companies.
Unfortunately, in part because of the negligence of some boat drivers, California waterways can be dangerous. Boating can be dangerous to you and your passengers because of a number factors, including sun glare, the prevalence of drinking and boating and ignorance about boater safety. Sailing is perilous enough as it is considering all of the distractions such as contending with boats from all directions, children and other passengers yelling and playing.
If you have been injured in a boating accident, call the team at Krasney Law for a complimentary consultation.
How Can We Help?
We can help if you get injured in an accident with a boat. We can help you with your claim for compensation from the responsible captain and his insurance company for the damage or injury caused. If you are injured, call the team at Krasney Law for a free initial meeting with an attorney experienced in the area of boating accidents.
We have attorneys and investigators capable of dealing with insurance companies that try to pay as little as possible, even less than what you have coming. Also, some boating accident victims may need to file a lawsuit to get the insurance company to pay. Keep in mind, getting you back to good health is the No. 1 priority.
Krasney Law’s expert attorneys and staff can investigate the circumstances of an accident and file suit for maximum damages to see that our clients get what they need to cover medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. Or, we can negotiate with the insurance company to get you a fair settlement in exchange for your injuries.
What To Do in Case of a Boating Accident
At the scene, first check on your passengers, if you have any. Then check drivers and passengers involved. If they need medical help, summon the authorities immediately. Don’t move anyone who is unconscious or reports neck or back pain.
File a boating accident form with the California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways to report any deaths, injuries or significant property damage and request a report on the accident. Get the names and badge numbers of authorities who come to the scene. It may take a couple of weeks to get the Division of Boating and Waterways to complete the report and make it available for pickup. Most law enforcement agencies charge a fee for the report.
Ask all the boat captains for their names, driver’s license numbers, telephone and address. Take down license plates and insurance information from every boat driver involved. This is a great time to start snapping pictures on your cell phone to help you with documenting all of this information once you are calmed down. If there are witnesses, write down their version of what happened and their information too. Again, you can’t take too many pictures.
What You Should Not Do In Case of a Boating Accidents?
Make sure that you:
- Don’t admit to any degree of fault.
- Don’t speak with the other side’s insurance company without first calling our office. Please keep in mind, the insurance company will want to take a recorded statement to protect themselves, not you. They represent the people that injured you, and they are trying to reduce their financial liability.
- Don’t give a recorded statement to anyone, especially insurance companies, they will use your own word against you later on in the case
What To Do After You Go Home
When you go home or soon after, contact your insurance company and let them know you were in a boating accident. Don’t lie or misrepresent the truthful facts of the accident or they may deny coverage if you’re caught. Obtain a copy of the accident report or contact our office and we can help you with that.
Photograph your boat and any damage to it. It can help a case to show it before the accident, too.
If you are injured, make sure to record visits to doctors and other medical practitioners, the drugs and treatments they prescribe and what you spent on them. Pain and suffering are harder to quantify and qualify, but take notes on how you feel physically and mentally because of the impact of the crash.
Also write down all time lost at work, note what activities at work or home that you can no longer participate in. In your journal, tell how the aftermath of the wreck has affected your family and marital life.
When Can It Be Considered Neglect?
The driver of a boat who injures another party may be considered negligent when he acts in a careless and thoughtless manner. Negligence comes in two forms: when the driver failed to do something that would have prevented the accident, or when the driver did something he should not have done. A lot of distractions are usually considered negligence. For example, using a cell phone while driving is both restricted by law and considered negligent behavior..
California law requires drivers to be careful, and they may be considered negligent when they fail to act carefully. A person bringing a lawsuit must prove he was injured through the defendant’s actions, and that he suffered injuries or losses.
Causes of Boat Accidents
Inattention from the Operator
Although the boater should always stay vigilant about boat spread and position, even the best of them falters. For example, unpredictable weather or unseen objects submerged in the water might increase the chances of boat accidents.
Boating Under Influence
Drunk driving is a threat on both water and land, and California is no exception. However, drug use or alcohol causes the most number of boating accidents. Personal injury attorneys evaluate crash and toxicology reports apart from talking to expert witnesses to determine if alcohol was a cause behind your boating accident.
Sailboats, yachts, and boats use cameras to ensure proper visibility around the vessel’s surroundings. It is essential to take careful note of these camera feeds, a failure of which might result in a fatal accident, including a boat grounding or collision.
Boaters or sailors should have adequate training before they start operating a boat. An amateur boater who is inexperienced in the rules and regulations regarding state law might get involved in a boating accident.
Just like speeding is extremely dangerous on land, it is also one of the leading causes of boating fatalities and accidents. Therefore, to avoid collisions and careless accidents while sailing or grounding, a certain speed should be maintained.
Failure of Equipment
Regular checks of boating equipment must be conducted when the boat is at the docks. Once the boat leaves for the sea and disaster strikes due to faulty equipment, victims of boating accidents will be eligible to sue for damages. Therefore, a detailed checklist must be maintained and checked for the boat to safely return from the sea after every sailing adventure.
Violation of Rules
Maritime laws govern almost all waters, and it is very important to abide by them. Unfortunately, although seasoned sailors are adept at following them, amateurs or enthusiasts generally make the mistake of not heeding these laws meant to keep the boaters safe. A failure to follow these laws can result in catastrophic accidents and even deaths.
California Law for Boating Accidents
California has stringent laws regarding boating accidents. California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW) is the regulating authority for such accidents. The boat owner must report a boat accident to DBW if it results in a person’s death, injury, or disappearance.
More specifically, the damage to the vehicle and the cost of injuries beyond first aid should exceed $500. Alternatively, it can also include the loss of a vehicle. The following are the periods within which you must report boating accidents:
Submission of Accident Report to DBW Within 48 Hours
- If a person involved in the boating incident has disappeared.
- The injuries sustained by the people involved go beyond first aid.
- If a death occurs within 24 hours of the accident.
Submission of Accident Report to DBW Within 10 Days
- If the person’s death occurs after 24 hours of the boating accident.
- If the accident involves property damage beyond $500 or the vessel is completely lost or has disappeared.
What Happens If I Do Not Report The Accident?
California law considers it a misdemeanor if you fail to submit a report of your boating accident. In that case, you will either be imposed a fine of not less than $1000 or imprisonment not exceeding 6 months.
Am I Eligible For Financial Compensation?
Every boating accident is unique, and there can be no guarantee that the victim will recover the damages. However, plaintiffs involved in such personal injury cases can file for damages incurred due to lost wages, hospitalization, and other medical expenses. In case of a death, the victim’s family may use an accident lawyer to file a claim due to medical expenses, emotional suffering and pain, and loss of income. To successfully sue for damages, liability must be established.
You Might Be Entitled To Compensation If You-
- Have incurred severe injuries and expensive medical bills.
- Have suffered lost wages due to the injuries you have sustained or the death of a person.
- Mental trauma, suffering, and pain
- Had to bear the funeral expenses of a person.
Who Are Liable For Boating Accidents?
Determining the liability after a boating accident can be extremely tricky. However, an experienced boating accident lawyer will determine the party who is liable apart from finding evidence before filing for damages.
The following are some of the parties that can be found liable for accidents:
- Inattentive boat operators – Operators who do not pay careful attention to the working of the boats and put their boarders at risk are likely to be most liable for the accident. Such operators either do not adhere to protocols or are extremely careless.
- Intoxicated operator – According to The Maritime Executives, around 19% of all boating-related fatalities occur due to alcohol consumption. Driving under the influence is a crime both on water and land. Incapacitated drivers put both themselves and others at risk.
- Boat manufacturer – Boats with faulty or damaged equipment or inherent design flaws are dangerous. If such boats cause accidents, the boat manufacturers are at fault.
- Boat captain and crew – Even a small error can result in a dangerous boat accident. Carelessness regarding the operation of the boat, poor communication, and upkeep of boat premises are some grounds on which the crew or the captain might be responsible.
How Soon Should I Call An Injury Attorney After A Boating Accident?
You should contact a boating accident lawyer as soon as possible after you have been involved in a boating accident. Useful evidence to prove damages and liability can be lost if reporting of the accident is delayed.
Hire Krasney Law—California Personal Injury Specialists
To get a free evaluation of your case, speak with an attorney who understands the complexities of boating accident claims. We have been winning big awards for our clients for years. We have experienced attorneys and expert staff who will go all out to represent you for maximum damages. Call the team at Krasney Law for a free initial consultation. We will charge you nothing for an initial consultation, and we may arrange payment on a