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California boasts 3,400 miles of shoreline and more than 8,000 square feet of rivers and lakes, all offering excellent recreational opportunities for kayakers, jet skiers, and boaters.
Unfortunately, boating accidents are all too common in California. According to the California Department of Boating and Waterways¹, every year there are almost 500 boating accidents that result in nearly 250 injuries and over 50 deaths. Of the 12 million registered watercrafts in the U.S., over 800,000 are registered in California. If you or someone you love has been injured in a boating accident caused by someone else’s negligence or recklessness, you have the right to seek compensation for your injuries and damages. A California boat accident injury attorney can help you understand your legal options.
Causes of Boating Accidents in Los Angeles
According to the U.S. Coast Guard², the leading causes of watercraft accidents in California are:
- Inattentive driving
- Improper lookout
- Operator inexperience
- Alcohol. According to the Coast Guard, boaters with a BAC of .10 are ten times more likely to be killed in a boating accident than boat operators who have not been drinking. Alcohol is involved in about one-third of fatal boating accidents in California, and most victims are passengers.
Auto drivers are required to complete testing and examination, but there are no similar requirements for boaters in California. This means many boaters on the waterways lack the experience and training necessary to operate their boats properly. Boating accidents often lead to serious injury as boaters do not have the protections that auto drivers have. In the event of a ship collision, boaters usually have no more than life vests and onboard safety systems. Many people sustain serious injuries in boating accidents that include traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, paralysis, and fractures.
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Boat accidents can be emotional, physically, and financially devastating. Many injury victims are not boat operators but passengers or riders on jet skis. Boat collisions also present unique challenges for the prosecution of an injury claim. Unfortunately, most boat owners in California do not have sufficient insurance coverage and insurance companies frequently offer very low settlements or deny settlements for injured riders. If you have been injured in a boating accident in California, an experienced personal injury attorney can help investigate the accident, establish who was at fault and build a case to seek the maximum compensation for your damages. Contact the Los Angeles Injury Group for a free consultation with a Los Angeles boat accident attorney to discuss your case and explore your legal options.
California Department of Boating and Waterways¹ – http://www.dbw.ca.gov/
U.S. Coast Guard² – https://www.uscg.mil/