What You Need to Know About Sacramento Boating Accidents
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento personal injury lawyer. Many Californians agree that the opportunity to go boating in the Golden State is one of the pleasures of living here. However, hundreds of boating accidents happen each year that include personal watercraft such as jet skis and waverunners and result in many injuries and fatalities. When negligence caused an injury or the death of a loved one, it can be compensated through a personal injury lawsuit. Let’s look at boating accidents, the role of negligence and common injuries.
In 2016, there were 36,498 vessels registered in Sacramento County. Of those, 2,588 fell into the category of personal watercraft. With this high number of vessels registered, it isn’t surprising that accidents happen. Northern California saw 266 boating accidents in 2016 that caused 150 injuries and 36 deaths, according to the California Division of Boating and Waterways.
Although motor vehicle collisions can cause injuries in all types of accidents, in a boating accident, those on board are not protected by the use of seat belts or air bags, although a life jacket may provide some protection. Under California law, boat owners are expected to:
- Maintain a lookout both visually and audibly to avoid collisions
- Travel at a safe speed
- Take action to avoid a collision
- Comply with applicable regulations
- Avoid drinking and drugs while on the water
- Not allow those who are inexperienced to man the tiller
Negligence in Boating Accidents
Just as in other personal injury claims, negligence on the part of another individual or entity must be proven in order to claim compensation. Some causes of boating accidents that are attributed to negligence include:
- Defects in a boat and equipment failure, which falls under the category of products liability
- Overloading of a boat
- Following another boat too closely
- Failure to use the horn when necessary
- Failure to use lights when required
- Accidents caused by entering the no-wake zone
When an Injury or Death Through Negligence Is a Personal Injury
Boating accidents are covered under two different jurisdictions, depending on where they happen. Accidents that occur on waters where there is tide or that can be navigated such as the open ocean fall under the jurisdiction of federal law. Those that occur on lakes within the state come under California state law. However, because this is a complex issue, it is advisable to contact an attorney who is experienced in boating accidents to determine jurisdiction and handle your claim.
Injuries From Boating Accidents
Injuries in a boating accident may be severe, just as they are in a motor vehicle accident. However, drowning and near-drowning are two injuries that are fairly exclusive to boating accidents. Other injuries are:
- Traumatic brain injury can occur as a result of an individual’s head being struck against something in the boat. It can also happen if someone is thrown overboard by the impact of a collision. Traumatic brain injury can depend on the force of the impact and range from a concussion to bleeding inside the head.
- Amputation can happen if someone is run over by a boat, hit by a propeller or in numerous other ways.
- Broken bones are common injuries in boating accidents. Bone fractures may range from simple breaks that heal in a few weeks to compound injuries that require surgery to repair.
- Spinal cord damage can occur when an individual is thrown by a collision with another boat or the boat strikes something else.
Best Personal Injury Attorney in Sacramento
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento personal injury lawyer. Boating can be great fun, but when an accident happens, you may find yourself worrying about medical bills and lost wages while trying to recover from your injuries. Under these circumstances, you may need the assistance of an experienced attorney to obtain the compensation you deserve. Call me at (916) 921-6400 in Sacramento or (800) 404-5400 outside the area. I’ll be here to give you free and friendly advice. If it is easier, you can contact me online on our contact us page.
I’ve helped many people who live in Sacramento in all types of car accidents, pedestrian incidents and traumatic brain injury in the 36 years I’ve been in practice. I’ve also assisted those who lost a family member to negligence file a wrongful death lawsuit.
I am a member of the Million Dollar Advocates, a forum of attorneys from around the country. This group represents those trial attorneys who have won in excess of $1 million for a client.
If you would like to know more about me and my practice, go to the following pages to read client and peer reviews. You can also check out how I resolved previous cases at:
Photo Attribution: https://pixabay.com/en/adventure-boat-canoe-fun-kayak-1867074/
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