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Boat Accident Lawyers

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If you or a loved one were injured in a boating accident, call Wilshire Law Firm at 1-800-522-7274 right away for a FREE consultation.

Boating is a wonderful way to experience California’s beautiful coastline. But due to their nature, a boating accident can result in catastrophic injuries and even death.

Don’t wait, call the boating accident attorneys at Wilshire Law Firm. We’re available to take your call 24/7, 365 days a year. Call us now.

Get expert advice about boating accidents from Wilshire Law Firm

Boating accidents can happen to even the most experienced sailor. The water is unpredictable, and so are other boaters. Whether you have been boating for years or are a novice, it’s important to understand your rights and responsibilities while boating. We’ve put together a guide to help you learn about boating accident prevention, safety, and what you can do in the event of an accident on the water.

Most Common Risk Factors

While boating is a fun pastime, it can also be dangerous. Several factors can lead to catastrophic accidents:

  • Lack of proper training – This accounted for the majority of boating accidents and deaths in California in 2017. Because of that, a new law requiring boaters to take a safety training course and carry a California Boater Card was enacted on January 1, 2018. Boaters under the age of 20 must now take a safety course and obtain a vessel operator card before taking the helm. This new law will gradually expand to include all age groups by the year 2025.There is one notable exception to the current law: boat renters are exempt. That’s something to keep in mind if you do go out on the water, especially with the large number of tourists who visit the Golden State every year.
  • Speeding – As with motor vehicles, speed kills. Whether the cause is inexperience, recklessness, impairment or all of the above, speeding is another leading cause of boating accidents here in California.
  • Lack of attention – There can be many distractions while out on a boat. Some are beyond our control, such as bad weather, but often, the human factor comes into play. Loud music, too many passengers and drinking can all distract the operator long enough to cause an accident. Even a few seconds can have severe consequences.

More Personal Watercraft = A Recent Rise in Boating Accident

Boating accidents and fatalities dropped significantly from 804 in 2007 to 588 in 2016. This can partially be attributed to less registered boats on the water over that time period, but there are other factors that contributed to this drop. New boating laws and better enforcement have also helped. But there is one troubling trend: the number of boating accidents has slowly started to rise from a low of 473 in 2012 to 588 in 2016.

One reason for that is the growing popularity of personal watercraft over the last few years, especially among younger people. Even though personal watercraft operators are required to be over the age of 16 to operate the vessel by themselves, many flaunt that law. It is not uncommon for personal watercraft operators to skip any training and get out on the water right away. What’s worse, these vessels provide zero protection in the event of an accident, which can mean serious injuries.

If you’ve been the victim of a boating accident, navigating the legal system can be challenging. To find out your options for filing a claim, call the expert attorneys at Wilshire Law Firm today.

Boating Accidents Come in All Shapes and Sizes

Just like motor vehicles, boats come in all shapes and sizes. While land vehicles can only be so big because of road limitations, bridges, overpasses etc. – boats can be as big as we want them to be. The size difference can significantly impact the severity of an accident. That’s why smaller boats are advised to keep their distance when bigger boats are nearby.

Boating accidents don’t just involve motorized boats. They can also include water skiers, canoes and kayaks, paddle boats, water parachutes and more. In a heavily congested body of water, smaller vessels may be contending for space with large tankers, cargo ships, and other huge commercial vessels. What’s more, the speed at which these ships, boats, and vessels travel can vary greatly.

The experts at Wilshire Law Firm have seen the results of boating accidents firsthand. Without the proper guidance, boat owners may not know how to proceed following a boating accident and won’t have all the information they need to submit a claim against the at fault party.

What You Should Do If You’ve Been in a Boating Accident

If you have been in a boating accident, through no fault of your own, it’s important to call the boat accident lawyers at Wilshire Law Firm as soon as you can. If you have collided with another vessel, you’ll want to exchange insurance information the same way you would if you were in an accident with another motor vehicle.

The same rules apply here: while you might be inclined to apologize, do not apologize or admit guilt. This can be used against you and weaken your claim.

Do not speak to the other boater’s insurance company. They might try to get you to take a payout or cash settlement to avoid having to put a claim in against them, especially if there have been physical damage and/or injuries.

The sooner you call Wilshire Law Firm following your accident, the better off you’ll be. With years of experience litigating boating accidents, we understand what it takes to fight for your rights and make sure you get the maximum compensation possible.

Some people might be inclined to defend themselves if they believe they are not at fault, but that’s never a good idea. There are many complicated factors to consider and legal procedures that need to be followed.  One misstep can mean the difference between winning or having your case thrown out. You don’t have to go it alone, work with the boat accident lawyers at Wilshire Law Firm instead.

The Unique Nature of a Boating Accident Claim

One of the most critical aspects of any boating accident is the collection of evidence. Unlike accidents on land, some evidence can be lost at sea, or worse, entire boats can sink and be lost. If evidence can’t be collected, witness accounts and a timeline of the incident are the next best options. In addition, if there are doubts about the functionality of the vessel at fault, we would request a copy of the vessel’s maintenance records.

Boating accidents must be reported to the California Division of Boating and Waterways if any of the following situations occurred:

  • Death or disappearance to any of the parties involved within 48 hours of the accident
  • Any injuries that required more than just first aid, also within 48 hours
  • Property damage over $500 to any vessels and nearby infrastructure (dock, pier, slip, etc.). The parties involved have 10 days to submit a report

The expert boat accident lawyers at Wilshire Law Firm will:

  • Negotiate with defense attorneys and insurance companies on your behalf
  • Obtain official reports and other documentation vital to your case
  • Work with accident reconstruction experts
  • Ensure you get the support you need as you go through this challenging time

We know your mind will be racing and you won’t be sure of what to do immediately following an accident on the water. When a devastating injury occurs, either to you or one of your passengers, we can provide you with everything you need to help you during this difficult time.

Work with Experienced Boat Accident Lawyers

If you or someone you know has been the victim of a boating accident, contact the professional lawyers at Wilshire Law Firm today. We’ll walk you through the process and make sure you get the justice you deserve. With our expert and professional help, you can concentrate on getting your life back in order. Contact Wilshire Law Firm today for a FREE consultation.

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Carlos Melgar

Overall a great experience.

I was referred by a family friend. I have had them represent me for two cases where I was rear ended in both. My experience has been awesome!!! I would recommend Wilshire Law to anyone. The entire staff was extremely helpful and always made themselves available, overall a great experience.

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Bobby is SOOOO Awesome .

Bobby is SOOOO Awesome . I need consulting for a wrongful death case and he personally talked to me for a half hour and gave me great advice!
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