Outdoor activities come with the California lifestyle. In fact, Los Angeles County boasts various places perfect for boating, from the Channel Islands National Park and its ocean environment near Ventura to numerous lakes and streams. While a day on the water can be fun and relaxing, some boaters believe safety rules do not apply to them, putting you and others around them at risk for harm.
Unfortunately, boating accidents are common in the area. Although these accidents can occur for a variety of reasons, most of them happen because someone acted negligently or carelessly. A Burbank boat accident lawyer could help you get the compensation you deserve for your physical and emotional losses. Call today to discuss strategies for your case with a trusted local personal injury attorney.
Common Boating Accidents
Although California has tightened its restrictions on who must be licensed, many boaters still take to the water without much training. Currently, all boaters who are 50 or younger must carry a California Boater Card and by 2025, boaters of all ages must have one. The card is issued after taking a short boating safety course. However, like a driver’s license, it will not completely stop accidents.
Many boaters spend time on the water with friends, often in a party atmosphere, where alcohol or other substances can impair their decisions. Boaters who speed, ignore no wake zones, and do not follow channel markers endanger other boaters, passengers, jet skiers, and swimmers. Some common types of boating accidents include:
- Fires and explosions
- Collisions with other boats
- Water skiers and swimmers caught in boat propellors
- Passengers falling overboard, sometimes because they are ejected
Our team of seasoned Burbank attorneys could review the details of a boat crash to determine its cause and who should be held liable for the damages and losses.
Boat Accident Injuries
California boaters reported 600 accidents in 2021, which includes 44 deaths. Unfortunately, boat wreck injuries are often catastrophic and can devastate a person’s life. Common injuries include:
With the help of a Burbank boat wreck attorney, injured parties could receive compensation for their numerous losses from the negligent person who caused the accident.
Proving Negligence and Collecting Damages for a Watercraft Accident
For a claim for compensation to be successful after a boating accident, an injured person must be able to prove negligence occurred. Negligence is based on the idea that all persons, including boaters, have a duty to their fellow humans to behave like a reasonable person would in a similar situation. Falling below that duty is a breach. If the boater’s unreasonable behavior is the direct cause of an accident and a person sustains injuries because of it, negligence is established.
When an injured person proves liability, they are entitled to economic and non-economic damages, those that can be calculated, such as medical bills, and those that cannot, such as disfigurement and emotional damage. Injured plaintiffs may also be eligible for punitive damages under the California Civil Code § 3294. These damages are awarded separately to thwart egregious behavior, however they are not as common. An injured person must show defendants acted with malice, oppression, or fraud, which could include piloting a boat while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Statute of Limitations
California gives plaintiffs in personal injury cases a fixed amount of time to file a lawsuit against the party or parties who caused their injuries. The statute of limitations confines them to a two-year window to ensure evidence and witnesses are fresh and available. Working with a Burbank attorney as soon as possible after a boating accident is the best way to ensure a case meets all time limits and other legal requirements to maximize potential compensation.
Let a Burbank Boat Accident Attorney Help You Seek Compensation
While boating on California’s pristine waterways can be enjoyable, many people are not paying attention to their surroundings. If you are injured in a boating accident someone else is responsible for causing, we may be able to help you get your life back in order.
We could assess the facts in your case by reviewing police and medical reports, interviewing witnesses, and listening to your recollections to build a claim for compensation. Call a Burbank boat accident lawyer today to learn more about how we could help you hold the responsible party accountable.