Spending the day on a boat is a great way to pass the time and create memories. Unfortunately, boating accidents cause a fun day on the water to become a life-altering event. These accidents are especially damaging because they can cause catastrophic or fatal injuries to anyone involved.
San Pablo Bay, Sacramento River, and other bodies of water are popular among residents in the Bay Area.
There are many types of watercraft you can encounter on the water like:
- Jet skis
- Paddle boats
Since the waterways are so spacious, people also regularly swim without being on a watercraft, making them vulnerable to boating accidents.
When you suffer an injury involving a watercraft, you need a San Mateo boat accident lawyer from Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos on your side. We will negotiate with insurance companies to reach a fair settlement or garner a favorable trial verdict.
You cannot trust insurance companies to protect your rights after a boat accident. One of our clients initially received a $300,000 settlement offer from an insurance company following a serious boat accident and injuries. With our help, the case ended with a $4.5 million settlement. This is only one example of how we at fight for boat accident victims in San Mateo.
How Do Boat Accidents Happen?
Boating accidents happen too often, and negligence is often the cause. Whether the accident was the fault of the boat operator or someone else, the liable parties should compensate all injury victims for their losses.
Here are some negligent actions that lead to boat accidents in San Mateo:
- Operating a boat without experience
- Splashing other boats
- Violating low wake rules
- Slippery boat decks
- Improper boat maintenance
- Lack of safety gear
- Not seeing other watercraft in the vicinity
- Not keeping a safe distance from other vessels
- Inattentiveness and distractions to the operator
- Too many passengers or cargo
- Not yielding to other vessels
- Operating while intoxicated
- Failure to know and follow the rules of the water
- Ignoring weather warnings
- Collisions with underwater objects or other vessels
The list of boat accident causes is not exhaustive but is a start when determining how boat accidents happen. It also shows how preventable these accidents are.
You will need a boat accident lawyer in San Mateo to investigate how the crash occurred and who caused it. If it was another boat operator, they will be the responsible party for your injuries and compensation, among other possible parties.
California Boating Laws
To keep everyone safe on the water, California has various laws. Boat operators must know what they are and adhere to them. A boat operator failing to follow these regulations can cause an accident and lead to liability for any resulting injuries.
Boat operators must report accidents, especially in cases with significant property damage, severe injury, or death.
Reporting requirements are:
- There is more the $500 of property damage due to an accident
- There was a death or disappearance
- An injury that requires medical attention other than the use of a first aid kit
If a boat operator does not report these incidents to the Division of Boating and Waterways, they can face criminal charges. It is a misdemeanor, and the boat operator will face a fine of $1,000 and six months in jail. The state will also revoke boating privileges.
Reporting a crash is also critical for victims since officials might investigate and issue a report on the cause of the crash. This can help a boat accident and injury claim.
Boat Operators Must Protect Passengers
Boat owners and operators are responsible for anything that happens on the vessel, good or bad. Operators cannot use an unsafe boat, and if there is a dangerous condition, they are responsible for remedying the situation before heading on the water.
Passengers are under the care of the boat operator. They must address any dangerous conditions when the operator becomes aware of them. If they do not and an accident occurs, they will be liable for any injuries.
Many people suffer injuries because of the negligence of the person operating a boat while they were passengers. As a passenger, you do not have the same restraints or safety features as a car or truck. You can easily go overboard or suffer other traumatic injuries.
While many accidents result from a negligent boat operator, there can also be a malfunction with the boat due to a negligent rental company or a product manufacturer.
You must discuss your case with a San Mateo boat accident lawyer, whether you were an operator or passenger when a crash occurred. If someone else was negligent, you have the same legal rights to compensation.
Boat Accident Damages
Catastrophic injuries require extensive medical care, and you will need compensation during recovery and beyond, depending on your prognosis.
Through a successful boat accident claim, you can get compensation for:
- Pain and suffering damages
- Past medical bills
- Future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Mental anguish
- Permanent disability
You will need a San Mateo boat accident lawyer’s experience to determine your compensation eligibility. They must decide who is liable because that party must compensate you for your losses.
Some possible parties who can be liable for a boating accident in California are:
- Boat owner
- Boat manufacturer
- Boat operator
- Boat rental company
You can also file a wrongful death claim if your loved one dies in a boating accident.
Since these cases can be very complex, you need the help of a lawyer who knows how to find the negligent party, evaluate your claim, and get you the compensation you deserve.
Hire an Experienced San Mateo Boat Accident Lawyer
When you hire a San Mateo personal injury lawyer, we will look for all possible sources of compensation for your injuries. We will fight with the insurance company on your behalf while you focus on your health.
Boating accidents result in catastrophic injuries that alter the victim’s life forever. You need a law firm with experience with boat accident cases in San Mateo. Over the years, GFF has recovered millions for our clients. Contact Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos at (650) 345-8484 for your free initial consultation today.