Boating is a popular pastime in California, but unfortunately, the state ranks among the highest in the nation for boating accidents. In 2014, 286 boating accidents occurred in Southern California resulting in 121 injuries and 12 fatalities. 54 of those boating accidents occurred in Los Angeles County , resulting in 22 injuries and 6 fatalities. These numbers show an increase in every category over the previous year, with fatalities increasing by 100%.

If you’ve been injured in a boating accident, a Los Angeles boat accident attorney can help evaluate your case. California boaters are required to follow specific laws concerning the operation of their watercrafts. If you were injured as a result of someone’s negligence or recklessness, a claim may be brought against the boat’s owner and/or operator. Depending on the operator’s behavior, criminal charges—such as boating while intoxicated—may be brought. To learn more or discuss your case, consult with an injury attorney in Los Angeles today by calling 323-999-HELP.


Damages

Your boat accident attorney in Los Angeles may also be able to help you file a civil claim to recover damages that include the following:

  • Medical bills;
  • Lost wages;
  • Pain and suffering;
  • Loss of property, such as damage to your boat.

Common Causes of Boating Accidents

The following conditions commonly contribute to boating accidents and may warrant contact with a boat accident attorney in Los Angeles:

  • Operator inexperience;
  • Operator inattention;
  • Excessive speed;
  • Boating under the influence—according to the California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways, this is a factor in about 50% of the state’s boating fatalities.

California Boating Laws

Boating operators are required to follow safety rules and procedures in regard to their passengers, other boats, water-skiers, people riding personal watercrafts, and people on docks or on the shoreline. They’re required to look out for situations that are potentially hazardous, including traffic on the water, wakes, waves, and submerged objects.

They’re also required to have various safety devices onboard. In some cases, such as boating at night without navigation lights, being unequipped could easily result in a crash with other watercrafts, the shore, or unseen objects and barriers in the water. In other instances, lacking basic first aid equipment or a delay in transport to land after an injury might make the victim worse after an accident. The specific safety devices required can depend on the size of the boat and whether it’s being operated in a lake, river, or coastal waters, but requirements include:

  • Life jackets;
  • Navigation lights;
  • A fire extinguisher;
  • A way to make a sound signal;
  • Ventilation ducts on the boat.

Hiring an Los Angeles Boat Accident Lawyer

Some boating accidents may be unavoidable, but many are caused and/or made worse by a boat owner or operator’s action or inaction. The result can be serious injury or even death.

Contact a Los Angeles boat accident attorney today at if you’ve been involved in a boating accident in Southern California. We offer a free consultation and will work with you to determine your best course of action.