Fun Activities on the Water Can Result in Serious Injuries – Contact an Experienced boating Accident Attorney for Help

California waters can be fun and exciting for various water sports and activities. However, both boating and personal watercraft (“PWC” brand named Jet Ski, Wave Runners) use can be very dangerous and result in thousands of accidents each year with catastrophic injuries. According to the U.S. Coast Guard annual statistics report, in 2014 over 4,000 accidents involved in excess of 2600 injuries and 600 deaths.

Boating Accident Causes

Boating and watercraft accidents can be caused by numerous factors, including:

  • Operator inattention and inexperience
  • Improper lookout
  • Excessive speed
  • Alcohol use
  • Machinery failure
  • Navigation rules violation
  • Severe weather and hazardous water conditions
  • Boat fire or explosion

In the most recent statistical report, operator inattention was the number one cause for accidents and injuries. However, alcohol use resulted in the greatest number of deaths. Just as on the road, alcohol and boating do not mix, and while illegal and irresponsible, alcohol use is nevertheless a common practice among many recreational boaters. Operator inattention, inexperience, speeding and intoxication can result in groundings and collisions with other boats, docks, piers or other fixed or floating objects, as well as passengers falling off the boat (especially if overloaded), or swimmers or jet skiers in the water getting struck by a vessel or propeller.

If you are a guest on a boat or yacht and are injured aboard, including injuries from a slip or trip and fall, you may be embarrassed by the incident and blame yourself when someone else should be held accountable. Boat decks can be slick and often injuries aboard boats and yachts are caused by the owner’s negligence in maintaining the vessel or by a manufacturing or design defect.

Jet Ski Accidents Causes

Personal watercraft injuries can be caused by various factors, including operator inattention, speeding, inexperience, reckless driving and intoxication. Inexperienced operators often cause accidents by seemingly reacting naturally when facing danger by cutting the power to the Jet Ski. However, unlike a vehicle on the road, a Jet Ski cannot be steered without power. When the throttle is not being applied, the steering ability is significantly reduced and the inability to maneuver often results in collisions with other vessels, fixed objects or swimmers. At time, Jet Skis are rented out by inexperienced users who receive little or improper instruction on the use of the craft from the companies renting them out. These companies can be held responsible for accidents caused by the renter of the Jet Ski for their negligent instruction and entrustment.

Boating and Personal Watercraft Injuries

Boating and personal watercraft accidents can result in catastrophic injuries including:

  • Bone fractures
  • Concussions
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Lacerations
  • Burns
  • Amputations
  • Hypothermia
  • Death

An experienced boat accident attorney can determine the cause of the accident and who can be held liable. The accident could be caused by a number of factors, including the negligent operation of the vessel, negligent entrustment, negligent maintenance of the vessel by the owner, negligent repairs by the owner or a repair facility, as well as manufacturing or design defects of the vessel or its parts by the manufacturer of the vessel.

Whatever the cause may be, if you are involved in a boating or watercraft accident you need to contact an experienced boating accident attorney who can protect your rights and obtain the compensation you deserve. Accidents that occur on navigable waters are governed by maritime law as well as state boating laws. An experienced maritime attorney will be able to determine the laws applicable to your accident and identify all responsible parties to ensure you are properly compensated. You may be entitled to the recovery of pain and suffering, past and future medical expenses, past and future lost wages, permanent disability and disfigurement and emotional distress.

Attorney Aksana M. Coone, as a boat owner and operator, understands the risks associated with boating and is an experienced maritime attorney that can help you navigate through the complexities of boating laws. Contact the Law Offices of Aksana M. Coone for a free consultation today.

Helpful Resources