According to the California Division of Boating and Waterways, there are close to 3,000 boating accidents in the United States every year, and over 600 deaths. This doesn’t begin to come close to the number of injuries caused by land vehicles, but when accidents occur, they can cause catastrophic injuries and fatalities. There are very tight deadlines for reporting boating accidents to the California State Parks, Division of Boating and Waterways – some types of accidents must be reported within 48 hours.
That’s why it’s important to consult with an experienced Orange County boating accident lawyer if you’ve been injured in a boating accident. The Crockett Group is the most well-respected Orange County injury law firm with teams of attorneys that have successfully collected large amounts of compensation for boating accident injuries. Call (800) 900-9393 to make an appointment for a free consultation.
Orange County has some of the most scenic waterways in the world, attracting visitors from all over the world, and recreational boating is a great way to enjoy them. Not everybody out on the water is enjoying downtime, many of the people out on boats are working in fishing, shipping, and other maritime industries. Boating is generally safe, but accidents caused by high winds, submerged objects, defective mechanisms, and operator error at not uncommon.
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The Responsibilities of Boat Owners
Boat owners in California have a duty to use reasonable care in the maintenance and operation of their vessels. When they fail to use reasonable care, they breach their duty to passengers and can be held liable for injuries that result from their negligent, reckless, or intentional action or inaction. The owner or operator of the boat is responsible for reporting accidents in the following manner:
If the accident caused a death, disappearance of a person, or a serious injury, it must be reported to the California State Parks, Division of Boating and Waterways within 48 hours;
If the accident involved a person that was alive after the accident but died within 24 hours after the accident, the accidents resulted in more than $500 in property damage or resulted in the total loss of the boat, the report must be made within ten days.
If you’ve been seriously injured in a boating accident, you may also file your own report of the accident, stating how you believe the accident happened. Before filing this report, it’s a good idea to speak to an Orange County boating accident lawyer about your case. The Crockett Group is the most reputable personal injury law firm in Orange County, with a track record for getting excellent settlements and verdicts for boating accident cases. Call (800) 900-9393 to schedule a free consultation.
Commercial Boating Accidents and The Jones Act
Accidents such as equipment failures, deck fires, falling objects, and collisions happen on commercial tankers, barges, tugboats, and other commercial vessels quite often, causing injuries to their crew and other vessels on the waterway.
The Merchant Marine Act of 1920, also known as The Jones Act, allows injured employees on certain types of boats to sue their employers, in addition to collecting workers compensation benefits, when they are injured while working at sea. If you’re on another boat, and you’re injured in a collision with a commercial boat, you can sue the owners and operators of that vessel without the need to invoke the Jones Act. For more information, contact the Crockett Law Group at (800) 900-9393.
Yachting and Jet Ski Accidents in Orange County
These luxurious vessels are often operated by inexperienced owners or captains that are not properly trained to handle large vessels that can be difficult to maneuver. It’s not uncommon for owners to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol while operating these vessels and to fail to follow speed limits and navigational rules, causing injuries to passengers and crew. Jet skis are exhilarating fun, but can also be extremely dangerous, especially when they are operated by inexperienced drivers or ones that are under the influence. This can be especially tragic when weather conditions suddenly change or there is substantial traffic from large boats on the water.
Jet ski injuries can be catastrophic or fatal due to the lack of bodily protection for operators and riders. If you’re injured in a yachting or jet ski accident, it’s important to hire experienced Orange County boating accident attorneys that have successfully collected large amounts of money for boating accident injury victims. Call The Crockett Group at (800) 900-9393 to schedule a free consultation.
Pontoon and Party Boat Accidents
Pontoons are ideal vessels for a relaxing day out on the water, but don’t let the fact that they aren’t speedboats cause you to think they are without any risk of danger. You might be surprised to hear that they cause more accidents a year than jet skis, due to reckless behaviors such as sitting outside the railings hanging feet off the side of the boat – leading to drownings, run-over accidents, propeller accidents, and other mishaps that cause serious injuries.
The operators of the boat, as well as the businesses that rent pontoons to operators without proper training and without advising operators of dangers, can be held liable for injuries that result from their negligence and recklessness. Passengers on party boats are expected to drink alcohol, but it remains the responsibility of the owners and operators to take reasonable steps to maintain a safe environment on the boat. This means cutting off drinkers that are intoxicated, cleaning up spilled drinks, and providing ample security to deal with fights and other issues. If you’ve been injured in a pontoon or party boat accident, call The Crockett Group to discuss your right to right a claim.
Common Injuries From Boating Accidents
- Overboard Accidents can lead to propeller injuries, run-overs by other boats, and drowning;
- Propeller Accidents can cause severe lacerations, internal injuries, dismemberment, and scarring in a very short time, due to contact with rapidly spinning blades;
- Run-Over Accidents can cause spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, disfigurement, or death;
- Drowning Accidents occur when a passenger is unexpectedly propelled into the water without the ability to swim, are unable to swim due to injuries, or does not have a lifejacket;
- Slip and Fall Accidents occur due to wet conditions on decks and other hazards and can cause serious injuries, especially in high-wave conditions. Negligence in properly securing all objects on the deck can create hazards that cause serious injuries. Boat operators are responsible for making sure that ropes do not cause tripping hazards and that recreational equipment is put away when conditions do not permit them to be used safely.
Other types of injuries from boating accidents include burns, fractures, accidental amputations, and serious soft tissue injuries such as torn ligaments and herniated spinal discs.
Boating accident cases can be complicated, involving both California law and aspects of maritime law, that’s why it’s important to hire Orange County boating accident attorneys with a great deal of experience in this area. Contact us today to make an appointment for a free consultation.
Orange County Boating Accident Lawyer
If you’ve been injured in yachting, jet ski, party boat, pontoon, or any other type of boating accident, it’s important to hire a law firm that knows how to collect the largest amount of money damages to compensate you for your out of pocket medical expenses, lost earnings, lost earning capacity or lost business revenue, pain, suffering, and emotional anguish. The Crockett Law Group is the most prestigious law firm in Orange County, with a tracking record for successfully collecting large amounts of money for boating accident victims. We will patiently answer all of your questions and address all of your concerns. Call (800) 900-9393 to schedule a free confidential consultation to discuss your claim.