San Diego is known for its beautiful beaches, ideal weather, and ample water activities including boating, sailing, jet-skiing, waterskiing, bay tours, diving and more. Occasionally, despite the fun in the sun, boating accidents in San Diego can happen, and when they do, most injured people turn to the expert advice of a boat accident attorney in San Diego.
At the Law Offices of Michael Pines, APC, we are experienced personal injury lawyers who have recovered millions of dollars for injured people in San Diego, and we can help you seek the maximum recovery for your boating accident injury caused by another person’s negligence. The laws surrounding boating accidents in San Diego are complex. Our proven injury lawyers know the intricate details of water laws and can help settle your injury claim to the maximum allowed by law.
How boating accidents happen
Unfortunately, water accidents in California are all too common considering the vast shoreline of the state and the ample water activities available to beachgoers. According to the California Department of Boating and Waterways, 686 boating accidents were reported in California in 2008 with over 350 injuries reported, 48 fatalities, and nearly $6 million dollars in property damage. San Diego came in first with the most reported boating accidents from all other counties. And unsurprisingly, Southern California ranked highest in boating accidents, injuries, and fatalities.
Boating accidents in San Diego can happen for a variety of reasons including:
Alcohol use. While it is not illegal to drink alcohol on a boat, it is illegal to operate a vessel while intoxicated. The same laws that apply to driving while intoxicated are applicable to boating as well with a blood alcohol limit of 0.08 percent. If you have been injured in a boating accident and suspect the driver of the vessel was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, a personal injury lawyer at our firm can represent you at no cost to you.
Driver’s inexperience. Driving a boat is very different than driving a vehicle as any experienced seaman can attest. But unfortunately, many boat drivers still get behind the wheel despite improper training and inexperience in operating a vessel. Inexperience can lead to serious injury as boat drivers often over-compensate on the water or underestimate the speed and velocity of their vessel.
Distraction. It’s no surprise that distracted driving can lead to a boating accident in San Diego. Just as driving a vehicle requires full and undivided attention, a boat driver must exercise the same precautions when operating a vessel.
Preventing boating accidents in San Diego
Water safety is essential for preventing a boating accident in San Diego. Because our waterways are used nearly year-round, consider these accident prevention tips every time you head out on the San Diego bay and beaches.
Have the proper safety equipment
Make sure your boat is equipped with the necessary safety equipment: life jackets for every passenger, a dingy, a first aid kit, flares, radio, and emergency flag.
Know your vessel well
Whether you are an experienced boater or just starting out on the high waters, it’s essential to not only be familiarized with your boat, but know the ins and outs of its capabilities and shortcomings. Any experienced seaman will tell you that knowing your water vessel is the first step to keeping you and your passengers safe and accident-free. Get training – if you’re not sure where or how to receive training, call the non-profit organization Sea Tow Foundation at 1-800-4SEATOW to find out what educational courses are available in the San Diego area.
A float plan is an emergency evacuation procedure recommended by the Coast Guard. Utilize a float plan even on day trips. Your float plan should include departure and arrival times, point of destination and origin, a description of the boat, passenger names and phone numbers, and a contact person on land.
Kids’ water safety
Children are particularly susceptible to the dangers of the water due in part to inexperience and the high energy level kids have while occupying water vessels. Be sure to train children on proper boating etiquette and best practices, particularly if you participate in water sport activities such as waterskiing, wakeboarding, or inner tubing.
Boat accident injury attorneys in San Diego
Many boating accidents boil down to sheer negligence. If you’ve been injured, you need an experienced boat accident attorney in San Diego to fight for maximum compensation for your claim. Don’t talk to any insurance agency until you talk to us. It’s been our experience that insurance companies often look out for their best interests, not yours. Contact a personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of Michael Pines, APC, at 1-858-551-2090 for a completely free consultation. There are no out-of-pocket costs unless we win. Contact us today or submit the details of your boat accident injury online right now.