Importance of Hiring a Boating Accident Lawyer
Boating is a lot of fun, but accidents happen. Boating accidents are more common than most people think. If you suffer injuries on a boat, it is best to speak to boating accident lawyers Los Angeles. For starters, it is good to be aware of your legal rights. Often, people do not pursue their claim or settle for less than they deserve because they do not take the time to learn their rights. It is imperative that you consult with boat accident lawyers near you.
Causes of Boating Accidents
The U.S Coast Guard reported 4291 boating accidents in 2017. These accidents resulted in 658 deaths. The sad reality is that most of these accidents are caused by negligent behavior that is avoidable. Most of these accidents are as a result of operator inattention or inexperience. Additionally, the state of California has consistently reported that most boaters and operators are oblivious about the immense dangers of operating water vessels. In 2014, the state reported that most of the accidents in that year were as a result of capsizing. The next cause was collisions followed by passengers falling overboard. Operating water vessels under the influence of alcohol is also a cause for concern in most states. In California, 38 percent of all boating accidents that were reported in 2014 resulted from too much alcohol intake. These fatalities also included passengers who consumed alcohol and engaged in risky boating behavior.
California Boating Laws
Boating operators and owners are expected to follow federal or state laws. These laws touch on the operation and the maintenance of vessels. Under the California laws, boat operators can be held liable for negligent or reckless behavior that endangers the lives of individuals. Prohibited actions include:
- Operating near areas used by divers or swimmers
- Recklessly cutting other boats
- Swerving dangerously
- Over speeding
- Operating boats under the influence of alcohol.
Boating operators need to look at weather conditions and visibility issues before taking out a boat to sea. Boat captains need to stay updated on the recent weather changes and plan their boating experience when it is safe. Operators are expected to adhere to safety conditions such as having the right number of life jackets on a boat, installing fire extinguishers, displaying navigation lights and having ample ventilation. California laws also apply to passengers. For instance, passengers are not allowed to ride on the gunwales, the bows and any other spot where they can endanger their lives.
If you get into an accident as a result of the negligent actions of a boating operator, get in touch with a personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles. Boat operators and the boat companies need to be held liable for their actions. The best way to do this is to seek the advice of Los Angeles boating accident attorneys.
Laws on Accident Reporting
Vessel operators are obligated by law to report boating accidents. When doing this, the boating operators should give their names, vessel registration numbers and addresses. They should also provide details of injured persons who were in their boats. These reports must be handed to the California Department of Boating and Waterways. By law, it is mandatory for boating operators to report the following:
- The disappearance or death of a passenger
- Injuries that cannot be treated using first aid
- Damage to property exceeding $500
- Injuries, death and disappearance of passengers and other vessel crew members should be done within 48 hours. Reports on the damage of property are made within ten days.
The Need for Boating Accident Lawyers Los Angeles
Boat accidents have the potential to cause serious injuries, traumas and even death. These injuries have far-reaching cost implications. If you or a loved one is involved in a boating accident, you need to bring in a personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles immediately. It is advisable to go for lawyers who have handled boating accidents before. Boating laws are complex in nature and subject to state laws. This is why you need to engage with boat accident lawyers near you who have extensive knowledge in California laws.
The major hurdle in boat accident lawsuits is proving negligence. Try to take pictures or videos of the accident. This will go a long way in proving your claim. If you have suffered injuries, it is imperative that you seek medical attention. Ask the doctor to give a detailed report of your injuries and any future medical and treatment implications.
Los Angeles boating accident attorneys are skilled in handling insurance companies. They will not be intimidated to settle for a claim that is less than a client deserves. On your own, you may not have the experience and stamina to deal with these insurance adjusters. It is in your best interest to work with a personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles.