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Boating Accidents

Millions of people — Californians and tourists alike — take advantage of California’s beautiful lakes, rivers, marina and oceans each year.  With gorgeous weather practically year round, it is little wonder that water sports are so popular in the state.

With this popularity comes some dangers, however: boating accidents.  A fun day on the water can quickly turn to disaster if the driver of a boat is not careful or if a piece of equipment fails.  Thee types of crashes can lead to serious injury or even death.

If you have been injured in a boating accidents, the Law Offices of Michael A. Kahn can help.  With more than 50 years of experience helping people who have been hurt in a range of personal injury cases, we have a track record of success when it comes to achieving justice. Contact us today at (310) 209-1600 or info@michaelkahnlaw.com to schedule a free initial consultation.

How Do Boating Accidents Happen?

A collision with another vessel is one of the most common types of boating accident that may occur, both in California and across the country.  However, there are many ways that a boating accident may happen, including:

  • Collision with another vessel
  • Crash into a fixed object
  • Flooding
  • Fall overboard
  • Fall on the boat
  • Capsize
  • Grounding
  • Wake damage
  • Striking underwater object
  • Sinking
  • Fuel fire or explosion
  • Equipment failure
  • Excessive speed
  • Operator negligence

In many cases, the driver of the boat simply fails to pay attention to where they are going, causing an accident. Alternatively, they may be inexperienced at driving a boat — or operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  Most fatal boating accidents involve the use of drugs or alcohol.

California Boating Laws

In California, there are specific laws that everyone must follow if they are planning to ride or operate a boat.  These rules and regulations are designed to keep everyone on the water safe.

First, every vessel must have a Coast Guard-approved wearable life jacket on board for each passenger.  While only children under the age of 13 are required to wear their life jacket at all times, these life jackets must be appropriately sized for the wear and easily accessible.  Similarly, anyone being towed by a boat or on board a personal watercraft must wear an approved life jacket.

Second, no person under the age of 16 can operate a boat that is powered in excess of 15 horsepower or a sailboat that is longer than 30 feet.  There is an exception for children between the ages of 12 and 15 who are supervised by an adult.

Third, personal watercraft and boats cannot be operated while a driver is under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.

Third, when participating in a towing sport, there must be both an operator and an observer who is at least 12 years old in the vessel.  Towing of boarders, skiers or floaters is prohibited between sunset and sunrise.  Similarly, personal watercraft cannot be operated between sunset and sunrise.

Fourth, if two vessels are approaching each other head-on, one should signal the other with a short blast, and then be answered by the other.  After that, both vehicles will change course to the right.

Work with a California Boating Accident Attorney

Boating accidents can cause devastating injuries.  You deserve compensation for your losses, which may include property damages, past and future medical expenses, lost wages, reduced earning capacity, loss of enjoyment of life, and pain and suffering.

The Law Offices of Michael A. Kahn represents clients who have been hurt in boating accidents and other types of personal injury claims.  We understand how difficult this time is for our clients — and we are devoted to helping you get a fair settlement or award for your losses.  Contact us today at (310) 209-1600 or info@michaelkahnlaw.com to schedule a free initial consultation with a California boating accident attorney.

Need Help? Call us anytime at (310) 209-1600