Located just miles from the California coastline, Anaheim is home to many recreational boating enthusiasts. In the entire state, there are about 4 million people who boat recreationally. However, a day on the water – whether the ocean, a marina, a river, a lake, or a harbor – can quickly shift from fun to catastrophic in mere seconds. U.S. Coast Guard statistics for 2019 demonstrate that, in that year alone, there were 4,168 recreational boating accidents, which resulted in 613 fatalities, 2,559 injuries, and about $55 million in property damage.
If you are injured in a recreational boating accident, an Anaheim boat accident lawyer can evaluate the circumstances surrounding your case and help you determine whether to pursue legal action. An experienced attorney could inform you whether you are entitled to compensation for the injuries you suffered, especially if the party that caused the accident acted recklessly or negligently.
Boating accidents can involve any kind of maritime vehicle and cause many types of bodily injury or property damage. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the five most common types of boating accidents were:
A boat operator is considered to be reckless or negligent if they operate their vessel in a way that does not meet the standard of care that a reasonable person would take in those circumstances. Examples of reckless or negligent boat operation may include operating a boat while impaired, speeding in areas where it would be dangerous or prohibited, riding on an unprotected area of the vessel, or operating a vessel too closely to another boat. If a boat operator’s negligence or recklessness caused your injuries, an Anaheim boat accident attorney may be able to help.
About half of all fatal motorboat accidents involve alcohol, including both vessel operators and passengers. While designating a driver on land may successfully prevent automobile accidents, intoxicated boat passengers can cause dangerous accidents if they fall overboard, swim too close to a propellor, or distract the boat’s operator.
Leaving the scene of a serious boating accident in Anaheim – one that causes a death, injury, or disappearance – without providing their contact information to the other parties involved in the accident and providing reasonable care to people hurt in the accident can be held both civilly and criminally liable. A person who does so may face up to $10,000 in fines, up to four years’ imprisonment, or both. In the most serious accidents, meaning those that result in a fatality or a catastrophic injury, someone who leaves the scene may be charged with manslaughter.
Under state law, a boat operator must complete several required steps in the aftermath of an accident. At the scene of the incident, a boat operator must give their contact information and vessel registration number to any other parties involved in the accident, provide first aid to anyone injured in the accident, and report the incident to law enforcement officials immediately if anyone dies or is missing.
The California Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW) also requires boat owners or operators to file a written report of the accident, under penalty of a fine or imprisonment. If total accident damage exceeds $500 or someone involved in the incident dies within 24 hours of the accident, cannot be found, or requires significant medical treatment, the DBW must receive the report within 48 hours of the accident. Otherwise, the boat owner or operator must file the report within 10 days.
Following an accident on the water, a boating accident attorney in Anaheim can guide the parties involved in making sure they file all paperwork required by law.
If you face property damage or injuries following a boating accident, an experienced lawyer may be able to help you determine whom is to blame for your loss and prove that the party at fault caused the accident. Once liability and causation are established, a boating attorney could help you pursue a claim. Contact an Anaheim boat accident lawyer today for guidance on the steps you should take.
Benji Personal Injury – Accident Attorneys, A.P.C.