July 13th, 2020For many Californians, the best way to enjoy the great outdoors is on a boat, whether the vessel of choice is a sprawling, plush yacht or a humble, one-person kayak. There’s no shortage of boating options in California, but each comes with its own set of risks. After a boating accident, you might wonder how you can get compensation for the costs of the injuries you suffered. Filing a lawsuit can help get you payment from the at-fault party’s insurance company, but since boating accidents take many forms, the type of lawsuit you file depends on the specifics of the incident. Let’s review some of the most common types of | boat accidents that lead to lawsuits.
Boating Accidents Caused by Other Boat OperatorsThink of boating accidents caused by other boat operators the same way you’d think about car accidents. Any boat operator who is intoxicated, reckless, distracted, or improperly trained can be held liable if they cause someone else harm. Just as in car accidents, you file a personal injury claim after a boat accident for the costs you face because of the boat operator’s negligence. Typically, the operator’s insurance company will cover your accident-related expenses, though don’t be surprised if the insurer offers you less than you deserve or denies your claim. If that happens, contact an attorney immediately for help.
Boating Accidents Caused by Defective PartsDefective boats or boat parts can cause serious and potentially fatal injuries. If you’re injured by a faulty part, you can file a product liability claim against the manufacturer of the boat or the boat part. The manufacturer has a legal responsibility to pay for damages caused by its defective parts, though manufacturers often deny liability (just remember the last time you tried to get something repaired or replaced under warranty, and you’ll have an idea of how hard this is!). Your attorney will be able to fight for a settlement on your behalf or, if needed, make your case in court.
Boating Accidents When You’re A PassengerIf you’re injured on someone else’s boat, many parties potentially bear legal responsibility for your injuries. If the accident is caused by the boat’s operator, they can be held liable for the costs you face. Or, if the accident is caused by a third party, you can file a lawsuit against them to recover your damages. Speaking to a lawyer can help sort out who might ultimately be responsible and how to get the money you need to pay your medical bills.
Cruise Ship Injuries or IllnessesBoat-related lawsuits often stem from injuries and illnesses suffered on cruise ships. If you’re hurt on a cruise, you could file a claim against the company offering that cruise. These injuries often resemble premises liability claims in that you sue the company for injuries you sustained on their property. However, cruise ship lawsuits are often more complex than typical premises liability claims. In many cases, the companies that operate cruise ships aren’t located in the U.S., and injuries on these ships usually happen offshore. Yet another factor impacting your legal options is the fact that you likely consented to the cruise’s terms and conditions when you purchased your tickets. These contracts often contain language that constrains your ability to take legal action. If you’re injured on a cruise ship, an attorney who has experience with maritime law will help you determine the best path toward compensation.
Work-Related Boating InjuriesIf someone who works on a boat is injured, they typically have rights to seek compensation. This is often accomplished through the Jones Act, a century-old regulation that provides injured maritime workers with a pathway to compensation, similar to a workers’ compensation program.
Why File a Boat Accident Lawsuit?People file boating-related personal injury lawsuits to recover the costs of their injuries. This includes the direct medical costs (ambulatory care, initial treatment, hospitalization, ongoing care, etc.), lost income due to time missed at work or diminished work capacity, and pain and suffering caused by the accident. If someone causes damage to your boat in an accident, you can seek to recover those costs, too.
How to Find Out If You Have a LawsuitIf you’ve been injured in a boating accident, you might not be sure whether you have a viable legal claim on your hands. The best way to determine whether you should move forward with a case (and who can be held legally responsible for your injuries) is to contact a boat accident attorney. When you suffer a costly injury that wasn’t your fault, the chances are good you’ll have legal options available to get compensation for the injury-related costs you’ve encountered.
Contact Berg Injury Lawyers to Learn MoreBerg Injury Lawyers offers free consultations for many types of accident and injury claims, and we can help you determine whether your injury might warrant a lawsuit. Contact our California boat accident attorneys anytime for a free case evaluation.
December 16th, 2019As Northern Californians, we’re lucky to avoid the harsh winters that other parts of the country experience every year. We’re also only a short drive away from warm temperatures in the Southern part of the state, which means boating season can last all year long. At | Berg Injury Lawyers, it’s our goal to help people who are injured in boat accidents get the compensation they deserve, no matter what time of year their accidents occur. We know that boat accidents can happen on days when the water is crowded in the middle of summer, and also during the slow parts of the year when the ocean, lakes, and rivers are calm. Accidents don’t abide by a schedule, and they don’t discriminate when it comes to time, place, or location. Simply put—if you’ve been hurt in a boat accident, you need experienced legal representation on your side, and our California boat accident lawyers are here to help. We know that you may have suffered serious injuries that result in expensive medical bills, and you may be too hurt to go back to work. It’s important to have a law firm on your side that cares about your recovery and that knows how to maximize your chances of getting compensation. When you contact us about your boat accident injury, we’ll collect evidence to determine who was at fault and that proves your injuries were caused by the accident itself. Then, we’ll find out how much money you’re owed and negotiate with the insurance company to get you paid. Contact us today for a free consultation.
September 23rd, 2019Summer may have officially drawn to a close, but the weather remains beautiful and perfect for boating in the Bay Area. Spending a day on the water can be fun and relaxing, but it can also be dangerous if the person driving the boat you’re on, or other boaters, are negligent. Everything from boating under the influence to speeding to allowing too many people on board the vessel can all be considered dangerous and negligent behavior. At | Berg Injury Lawyers, our California boat accident attorneys are here to help people after they’ve been injured in boat accidents that weren’t their fault. The injuries associated with boat accidents can be severe, and may require extensive medical care. Affording medical bills can be a challenge, especially when accident victims’ injuries put them out of work for long periods of time. That’s why we do everything in our power to help victims recover maximum compensation. If you or someone you love was injured in a boat accident, we’ll investigate what happened find out which parties are responsible. Then, we’ll build a strong claim that the insurance company can’t ignore. In addition to providing evidence that shows you weren’t at fault, we’ll present them with a demand for full compensation for things like your current and future medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Don’t trust just any law firm with your boat accident claim. Contact us today for a free consultation to find out how we can help you and your loved ones during this difficult time.
July 22nd, 2019Although the Bay Area typically avoids the extreme heat that summer brings to other parts of California and the U.S., spending the day on the water is still a great way to cool off when temperatures rise. However, boating often involves alcohol and distractions—both of which can lead to serious accidents. If you or someone you love was recently hurt in a boating accident, you may have suffered serious, disabling injuries that require medical attention. That means big emergency room bills that you might not be able to afford. As with most types of accidents, you may be eligible to file a compensation claim against the person or party who caused the boat accident, but determining who is liable can be difficult. At | Berg Injury Lawyers, our California boat accident attorneys know which parties are often responsible for boat accidents, including:
- Boat operators—Boat operators can cause accidents when they’re impaired, distracted, or reckless.
- Boat passengers—Passengers can contribute to or cause accidents when they distract boat drivers or prevent them from safely operating their vessels.
- Boat owners—Boat owners are responsible for keeping their vessels maintained and sea-worthy. When they fail to do so, serious accidents can occur.
- Other boaters—If you were injured in a collision with another boat, the other boat operator may be held responsible for your injuries if their negligence caused the accident.
May 6th, 2019We’re only a few weeks away from Memorial Day weekend, which marks the unofficial start of summer. And with plenty of warm weather and sunshine on the way, boating season will be in full swing. If you’re planning on taking your boat out on the water in the coming weeks and months, it’s important to stay cautious to protect yourself, your passengers, and other people enjoying California’s oceans, rivers, and lakes. Here are a few tips to keep in mind before your first summer boat outing: |
- Make sure your boat is equipped with required safety gear—You should have one life jacket per passenger for every trip. You should also have multiple flotation devices that can be thrown into the water to retrieve passengers who fall overboard.
- Don’t drink and boat—Many people who would never get behind the wheels of their vehicles after drinking will combine alcohol with boating. Driving a boat while impaired is just as dangerous as driving a car, truck, or SUV. If you’re going to consume alcohol, stay on land or appoint a designated driver for your boat.
- Turn on your lights—The Bay Area is notorious for fog, and it can roll in and out at a moment’s notice. Visibility is key for boating safety, and that means making sure your lights are on when you’re out on the water.
March 11th, 2019Spring is here, and that means the return of boating season in Northern California. If you’re like most boaters, you’ve been itching to get back out on the water. But before you do, it’s important to make sure that you’re prepared for potential accidents and emergencies. Here are a few steps you should take to reduce your boating risks this spring: |
- Check your supply of life jackets—You should always have at least one life jacket for every person onboard your boat. Inspect life jackets already on your boat for signs of damage. Replace any that are frayed or damaged, as they may be less effective in the water.
- Check your lights—If you take your boat out during times of limited visibility, such as at night, in the rain, or when it’s foggy, your lights may be the only way for other boaters to see you. Check your battery and your lights to ensure everything is in proper working condition.
- Check your registration and boating license—Are you legally allowed to take your boat out on the water? If your boating license or your boat registration have expired, the answer may be no. Make sure those documents are up to date to avoid troubles when you launch your boat this spring.
September 5th, 2018Labor Day has come and gone, and for many people, that spells the unofficial end of summer. But warm weather and pleasant boating days will remain in the Bay Area for many more weeks. If you’re planning on taking your boat out, it’s important to be cautious and prepared for emergencies. A few things you can do to reduce your risks on the water include: |
- Never operating your boat after drinking alcohol—Driving a boat while intoxicated is just as serious and dangerous as driving a vehicle while impaired. If you plan on drinking, appoint a designated driver for your boat or leave it at the dock.
- Not heading out when visibility will be reduced—One component of safe boating is being able to see where you’re going. When visibility is reduced due to rain or fog, you’re more likely to be involved in a serious boating accident.
- Stocking your boat with necessary safety equipment—By law, you’re required to have life jackets for every person onboard your boat. You should also have a throwable floatation device that can be used in the event of an emergency. A fire extinguisher, a distress flag, and a radio or cell phone are also essential to call for help if necessary.
May 21st, 2018Memorial Day is Monday, May 28, and that means this upcoming weekend is one of the biggest boating weekends of the year. If you’re a boat owner, you may already have plans to spend the day on the water. But with so many other vessels around, it’s important to keep a few important safety tips in mind throughout the day, including: |
- Don’t operate your boat after consuming alcohol. Safe boating requires a sober mind and body. As with driving a vehicle, safely operating a boat and consuming alcohol just don’t mix. California’s legal limit for alcohol intoxication while operating a boat is 0.08 percent—the same as it is for driving a car, truck, or SUV.
- Avoid distractions while your boat is in motion. Boating is a social activity, and it’s common for boat owners to have multiple passengers on their boats when they take them out into the water. But the more passengers you have, the greater your risk of being distracted. When you’re operating your boat, stay focused on where you’re going and getting there as safely as possible.
- Stay home if the weather or water aren’t cooperating. Boating can be dangerous during inclement weather or in choppy and rough water. Keep an eye on the weather forecast and tide conditions before you head out on your boat, and if conditions look too rough, stay home—it could save your life.
March 19th, 2018Spring is here, and that means many boat owners in California will be taking their vessels out over the coming weeks and months. Whether you’re an avid boater or only hit the waters a few times per year, it’s important to remember that boating comes with many dangers and risks, especially when you don’t follow all of the necessary safety precautions. You can make your next day out on the water safer and more enjoyable for yourself, your family, and your friends by following these safety tips: |
- Stock up on life jackets. Life jackets can save lives in the event of an emergency, and it’s essential that you have at least one on board for every person on your boat. In addition, you’re also required to have a throwable floatation device if your boat is more than 16-feet in length.
- Never operate a boat after consuming alcohol. Just as it’s important to abstain from drinking alcohol before driving a vehicle, it’s also vital that you avoid drinking before or during a boat outing when you’re behind the wheel.
- Keep your eyes and mind on the water. Distraction isn’t just a problem when you’re driving on four wheels—it’s also a significant problem for boaters. Because boating is such a social activity, it’s easy for drivers to become distracted, but you should always keep your full and undivided attention on steering the boat safely.
August 21st, 2017Summer is winding down, but one of the major perks of living in Northern California is enjoying great boating weather for most of the year. Whether you’re out for a solo cruise or entertaining friends and family, it’s hard to beat a beautiful day on the water. But boats can be dangerous if you’re not cautious. Boats don’t have the same safety features as cars, trucks, and SUVs, which means accidents can put occupants at high risk of suffering serious injuries. To reduce your chances of being hurt on your boat or anyone else’s boat this summer and fall, follow these tips: |
- Never drive a boat while or after drinking alcohol. Boating while intoxicated is just as dangerous as driving a vehicle while intoxicated. When you’re over the legal limit, you’re more likely to lose control of your boat and collide with other vessels, docks, or sea walls.
- Pack enough life jackets for everyone on board. California law requires that all boats 16 feet or longer contain one life jacket for every passenger, as well as a rescue flotation device such as a ring, cushion, or horseshoe buoy. Life jackets are essential in the event of an emergency.