Boats and personal watercraft like Jet Skis, Waverunners and Sea-Doos can be fun, but they can be dangerous. A collision or a malfunctioning watercraft that crashes can leave a boater and passengers injured, unconscious and in danger of drowning. Accidents we have seen involved:
- Operator error
- Improper training
- Operating under the influence of drugs/alcohol or while distracted
- Unsafe weather conditions
- Maintenance and repair failures
- Excessive speed
- Breach of navigation rules and regulations
- Right of way violations
- Failure to recognize a collision course
- Failure to maintain running lights at night
- And poor judgment such a concentrating on landing a fish and not personal safety
- Beside the operator, others may be held liable.
Manufacturers of boats and watercraft have a duty to make and sell watercraft that are safe for ordinary use. If the boat or watercraft is defective in some manner and that defect was a factor in the accident, the manufacturer and seller can be held liable for injuries. This is also true for marine repair and maintenance facilities.
For example, one company marketed as seaworthy a non-displacement boat with a high center of gravity and large windows for its main cabin. The boat made from San Francisco to Los Angeles but in a following sea, which amounted to surfing downhill. Advertised and sold as an ocean-going vessel, when exiting a harbor it encountered heavy breakers and rolled, killing two. Another manufacturer failed to use safety glass in its windshield that blinded a passenger in a collision.
Failing to protect waterskiers from shoreline hazards is common in the Sacramento delta and venturing into Tahoe’s waters in the afternoon when the wind comes up demands a displacement hull that cuts through chop and substantial free board. Depending on reversing an engine to enter a slip or approach a dock.
Boating injuries and death also occur off the water when a boat is being towed at high speed without adequate brakes to assure the trailer tracks safety when changing lanes and in cross winds.
In short there is no limit to the number of casualties that occur on water.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a watercraft accident on our waterways because of the wrongdoing and negligence of another, you should contact the experienced and courtroom-tested boating accident attorneys at Alexander Law Group, LLP. We can help ensure that you are fully compensated for your injuries and collect all available coverage.
What Must be Proven?
Unless there was criminal or intentional behavior by the wrongdoer, boating and watercraft accidents are governed by the California laws of negligence. To prevail, a victim must provide evidence and prove the four elements of negligence — duty, breach, causation, and injury/damages.
Proving duty is straightforward. All operators of watercraft owe others on the waterways the duty of reasonable care. These responsibilities include being watchful for others, not speeding or engaging in dangerous maneuvers, following the maritime rules, and more. Boating operators owe these same duties to their passengers.
What Damages are Available?
Personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits are brought to recover money damages to compensate for all of the losses that were suffered because of the accident. The damages that can be recovered include medical bills, lost earning, property damage, damages for pain and suffering and more. If there is a fatality, then damages can also be recovered for loss of society, loss of support, grief, sorrow, mental anguish, etc.
Contact an Experienced San Jose, CA Boating Accident Attorney
Alexander Law Group, LLP attorneys are available to answer questions and share our knowledge of the law and the results of our research and experience. Our goal as personal injury lawyers is to make a difference for our clients. Every day we deal with a range of health and safety issues that most people do not encounter until after an injury occurs. Call 888-777-1776 or contact us online to schedule a consultation to see how we can help you.