At The Law Office of Melinda J. Helbock, A.P.C., we represent people that are injured in accidents that occur on private and commercial boats, jet skis and any other type of watercraft in the San Diego area. If you’ve been injured in a boat accident, contact us for a free review of your case.
Boat Accidents and Negligence
Assuming that operating a boat is easy and requires no instruction is a false and dangerous assumption among those who own or rent boats. The U.S. Coast Guard recorded 4,604 boating accidents in 2010. In those accidents, 3,152 people were injured, 672 died, and property damage amounted to $35.5 million.
According to the Coast Guard, the primary contributing factors to boating accidents are:
- Operator inattention
- Improper lookout
- Operator inexperience
- Excessive speed
- Use of alcohol
- Force of wave/wake
- Hazardous waters
- Machinery failure
- Rules of the road
Types of Boating Accidents
The most common type of recreational boat accidents occur on:
- Motorboats — 46 percent
- Personal watercraft — 20 percent
- Cabin motorboats — 14 percent
- Other — 20 percent
There are numerous types of accidents that occur every year, including:
- Grounding, overturning, sinking, flooding/swamping
- Falls in or overboard a boat
- Fires or explosions, either when the boat is underway or moored
- Collision with another boat
- Hitting some object under the water
- Someone being hit by a boat, propeller, propulsion unit, or steering gear
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Swimming accidents off of a boat that is not moored
Numbers of Deaths and Injuries
The following are the accidents recorded in 2010:
- Collision with a recreational vehicle — 1,088 accidents; 64 deaths; 747 injuries
- Collision with a fixed object — 456 accidents; 38 deaths; 332 injuries
- Flooding/swamping — 448 accidents; 72 deaths; 158 injuries
- Skier mishap — 447 accidents; 15 deaths; 471 injuries
- Capsizing — 335 accidents; 180 deaths; 199 injuries
Of children who died in boating accidents, 42 percent died from drowning and only 44 percent of those were wearing a life jacket despite the fact that state law requires children to wear life jackets.
Among persons who were drowned in boating accidents, eight of every ten were on boats shorter than 21 feet in length.
Contact a San Diego Boat Accident Lawyer
If you were severely injured or if your loved one was killed in a boating accident, you might be eligible for financial compensation. To find out if you have a claim, contact the San Diego boat accident lawyers at The Law Office of Melinda J. Helbock, A.P.C.