Boating accidents can happen instantly and be caused by factors like operator inattention or impairment, defective equipment, or even wildlife encounters.
Any unexpected issues during a maritime journey can lead to a boat accident injury. In fact, between 2019 and 2020, California boat accidents increased as much as 52% from prior years, with increases projected to continue into the future.
If you are the victim of a boating accident in California and suffer an injury, speak to a boat accident injury lawyer as soon as possible.
In this post, the Weinberg Law Offices team will explain some of the most common causes of boat accidents in Los Angeles. We will also discuss when and how boat accidents in California happen and why having a lawyer on your side after a boat accident can help you get the compensation you deserve.
What Is a Boat Accident?
A boat accident refers to an incident involving a watercraft that results in damage, injury, or loss of life. Boat accidents can happen in various bodies of water, including rivers, lakes, oceans, and other waterways.
What Are Some Common Causes of Boating Accidents?
Operator Inattention or Inexperience
An inexperienced or inattentive boater might not be paying proper attention to their surroundings, including other vessels, obstacles, and changing conditions. Additionally, inexperienced boaters might lack the skills and knowledge to navigate safely, especially in busy waters. This made operator inexperience and inattention the number three and four causes of boating fatalities in 2020.
Use of electronic devices, like smartphones or navigation systems, while operating a boat can lead to accidents caused by inattention to the waterway and inexperience with multitasking on the open water.
Overloaded or Poorly Maintained Boats
Poorly maintained boats may experience equipment failures and malfunctions that can lead to accidents. Additionally, boats loaded down with too many passengers or excessive cargo can become unstable and are susceptible to capsizing or swamping.
Traveling at a High Rate of Speed
Operating a boat at excessive speeds can make it difficult to react to obstacles, other vessels, and changing conditions, increasing the risk of collisions.
Boating While Under the Influence
Operating a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs can impair judgment, coordination, and reaction times, leading to accidents. Alcohol is the number one cause of fatal boating accidents in the U.S.
The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) tracks boating accident data nationwide and suspects that non-fatal boating under the influence (BUI) numbers are underreported, so you may be at greater risk than the numbers indicate. If you observe dangerous behavior on the water, be sure to report it to the Coast Guard. If you are injured in a boat accident, speak to a personal injury lawyer right away.
Misinterpreting navigational markers, failing to follow established rules of the waterway, and not understanding the right-of-way can contribute to accidents. Navigational errors can result in collisions with docks, piers, buoys, and other stationary objects.
Operating a boat at night presents additional navigational challenges due to reduced visibility, requiring extra caution and proper lighting, so anyone operating a boat at night should be cautious of the extra challenge.
Boating in Difficult Conditions
Unpredictable weather, strong winds, rough seas, and storms can create hazardous conditions for boaters. This is especially true if the vessel’s operator is inexperienced or nervous, or the vessel is badly maintained.
Busy waterways and areas full of dangerous marine life can also contribute to boating accidents. This risk is increased when alcohol, inexperience, and bad equipment are involved.
How Weinberg Law Offices Can Help You
If you were severely injured and are considering pursuing personal injury litigation following a boat accident in Los Angeles, contact Weinberg Law Offices.
Our attorneys were educated at some of the country’s best law schools and had their skills honed in the nation’s finest firms. Now we are ready to put those skills to work on your case. Find out how we can help you fight for the compensation you deserve.
Disclaimer: This content should not be construed as legal advice.