Boat Accident

Inexperienced Boaters Put Others at Risk

by Staff Blogger | April 3rd, 2017

Now that spring has officially sprung, it won’t be long until it’s prime boating season in the Bay Area. For boating enthusiasts, there’s nothing better than spending a day out on your favorite California lake or waterway. Unfortunately for some San Franciscans, fun afternoon outings on the water have turned into nightmares when other boaters failed to adhere to boating safety.

Unlike operating a motor vehicle of any kind, you do not need a license to operate a boat in California. That means there are a lot of inexperienced boaters out on our waterways, many of which don’t know (or don’t care to know) important safety procedures every boater should learn. That puts everyone else on the waterway at risk, and the results can be deadly.

At Berg Injury Lawyers, we know how difficult it can be to establish fault in a boating accident. It takes years of experience and a strong knowledge of the boating world to determine what happened and whether it could have been avoided. That’s why if you’ve been involved in a boating accident, you need to call an experienced San Francisco boating accident attorney today for a free consultation. We’ll fully investigate your case and fight to hold the responsible party accountable for their actions. Contact us today.

5 Boating Safety Tips

by Staff Blogger | January 25th, 2016

Boating is one of the best parts of living in San Francisco. From the Waterfront to open Bay, we have some of the most beautiful waterways in the country. However, before you get out on the water this year, consider the following boating safety tips to make sure your trip is both fun and safe:

  • Have a pre-departure checklist—There are several things to attend to as you’re preparing to depart. Make sure you don’t forget any step by developing and following a pre-departure checklist.
  • Use lifejackets properly—Lifejackets should be worn as specified every time you set sail. Don’t make the mistake of assuming you’re safe inside the boat or simply don’t need a lifejacket. Hundreds of drownings each year could have been prevented if only the victim were wearing one.
  • Avoid alcohol—Drinking and boating can lead to tragedy. Respect the water and refrain from drinking while operating any watercraft vehicle.
  • Learn to swim—If you’re going to be out on the water, you need to know how to swim. There are a number of local organizations that offer basic swimming safety classes. You don’t need to be a professional swimmer, but you do need to know how to survive in the water.
  • Consider the weather—Before you set out on a boating excursion, check the weather to make sure it’s safe to be out on the water. Just because the skies are clear when you set out doesn’t mean they’ll stay that way. If you do experience inclement weather on the water, don’t attempt to wait it out. Get to shore immediately.

Sometimes even with proper preparation, you can’t avoid a boating accident. If you or someone you love was injured on the water, call our San Francisco boat accident lawyers today for a free consultation.

California Boat Accident Leaves Child With Injuries

by Staff Blogger | September 28th, 2015

Anyone riding in a watercraft is at risk of injury due to an accident or negligence, but statistics show children are at an especially high risk. Our California boat accident attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers explain an incident that occurred this past weekend along the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta underscores the risks children face on the water.

The boat carrying the victim was on the water at approximately 6:48 p.m. on Sunday, September 27, when it suddenly struck an object in the water. The impact of the collision was so immense, it disabled the boat and caused the child to be thrown and injured. An article from NBC Bay Area News says the victim was transported to a local hospital in order to receive treatment.

The incident highlights the need to keep three key safety tips in mind at all times when on the water.

  • Operate Defensively– Obey speed limits and eliminate distractions that could prevent you from keeping your eyes on the water.
  • Always Sit Down– When a watercraft is in motion, it’s important that you stay seated until the vessel has come to a complete stop.
  • Wear a Life Preserver– There should be one lifejacket on board the boat for each passenger and each person should wear their life preserver at all times.

At Berg Injury Lawyers, we want boaters to be safe and have fun at the same time. That’s why our California personal injury attorneys hope this information helps you to remain safe anytime you are on the water.

California Boat Accident Attorneys Discuss Traumatic Brain Injury Risks in Sailing

by Staff Blogger | August 11th, 2015

Due to San Francisco’s close proximity to the Pacific Ocean, sailing is a popular hobby in the Bay Area. It’s important for boaters to be aware of the risk of injury sailing can pose.

One of the most common types of injuries reported in sailing are traumatic brain injuries. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be the result of a boater coming into contact with the vessel or it’s parts. The boom of a vessel may pose a particular risk because of how heavy and hard the aluminum part can be, coupled with the fact the part moves across the vessel at almost eye level.

An article from Scuttlebutt Sailing News points out several ways you can reduce your chances of suffering a TBI. One is to install taller and lighter booms on your vessel. This can reduce the chances of contact with the part and lower the likelihood of injury in the event an accident occurs. Wearing a helmet can also significantly reduce your chances of suffering a TBI while sailing.

The article goes on to explain that these changes were adopted at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) sailing events and have been effective in reducing the program’s injury rates.

Promoting safety is important to our legal team at Berg Injury Lawyers and our California boat accident attorneys are hopeful that these tips can help you and your loved ones stay accident-free while on the water.

California Boat Accident Attorneys Discuss Summer Safety

by Staff Blogger | June 8th, 2015

With temperatures reaching above 100 degrees in the Bay Area over the last several days, it’s safe to say that summer has arrived. For many Californians, this can be a wonderful time of year to get boats out on the water. Our California boat accident attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers explain that there are several safety tips boaters should keep in mind while on the water this summer, including:

  • Use Floatation Devices– One of the best ways to save lives in the event of a California boat accident is to ensure there are life jackets and floatation devices on board for each person. Life jackets should have a snug fit to prevent slipping and should be worn at all times when the boat is in motion.
  • Get Educated– One of the leading causes of California boat accidents today is a lack of operator experience. That’s why the California Division of Boating and Waterways offers safety courses that provide instruction on how to operate a boat safely.
  • Don’t Drink and Boat– A large portion of California’s boating accidents are the result of a boat’s driver drinking too much alcohol. So if you plan to drive a boat, also plan to stay sober.

At Berg Injury Lawyers, we’ve seen the devastating results a boating accident caused by negligence can have. That’s why our California personal injury lawyers encourage all boaters to brush up on their boating skills and to keep safety in mind at all times when on the water this summer.

California Boat Accident Attorneys Offer Tips to Prevent Crashes on the Water

by Staff Blogger | April 7th, 2015

The seasons are beginning to shift in Northern California, and as warmer weather makes its way into the region, you can expect to see a greater number of boats on the water. The California boat accident attorneys with Berg Injury Lawyers say that with a greater volume of boaters on the water, it’s important to keep safety in mind at all times. Here are a few things you can do to help prevent boating accidents from occurring:

  • Get Trained– A majority of the individuals who are involved in California boat accidents have never received any sort of formal education as to how to safely maneuver a water vessel. That’s why it’s important to take a boating safety course before taking the helm.
  • Wear a Life Preserver– The California Division of Boating and Waterways says that in 2009, an estimated 84 percent of boat accident fatalities were not wearing life preservers at the time of their accidents. The law states a vessel should be equipped with enough life jackets for each person who is on board, so be sure to wear this piece of safety equipment anytime the boat is in motion.
  • Don’t Consume Alcohol– Alcohol plays a factor in more than its fair share of boating accidents that occur each year in The Golden State. If Assembly Bill 539 passes during an upcoming legislative session, boaters may be required to submit to blood alcohol testing, much the way drivers of motor vehicles are. So, be sure to stay sober if you’re in charge of operating a boat for the day.

Our team of California personal injury attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers is hopeful these tips help keep you safe throughout the coming boating season!

San Francisco Boat Accident Leaves 10 Seriously Injured

by Staff Blogger | October 20th, 2014

California is a state with hundreds of miles of coastline and several major cities nestled near bays and beaches. Boating is an important means of transportation for both people and goods. There are laws in place to ensure the safety of travel along the water, but accidents can happen.

San Francisco Ferry Accident Injures Ten

Take the San Francisco boat accident that occurred last week that left a total of ten people seriously injured. Reports indicate the incident occurred on Sunday, October 12, at around 6 p.m. near Pier 41.

According to an article from ABC 7 News, the Ferry that was involved was on its way to Oakland carrying 230 passengers when it struck a piling jutting out from the water near the pier. The collision caused around a dozen people to be knocked from their feet, where around 10 passengers sustained minor neck and back injuries.

An investigation into the incident has been launched and officials are considering whether impairment or operator error is to blame for the crash.

What to Do Before and After a California Boat Accident

Incidents like this leave many wondering what they can do to stay safe from harm when on a boat. That’s why the California personal injury attorneys with Berg Injury Lawyers are offering a few tips to remember next time you are on the water.

  • Stay Seated- Remember to sit anytime a watercraft is in motion. Doing so can prevent loss of balance in the event a sudden turn is made or contact is made with an object.
  • Wear a Life Preserver- Officials have stated many of those who die each year in boat accidents might have been saved if they were wearing life jackets.
  • Get a Lawyer- If you’ve been injured in a California boat accident that wasn’t your fault, you may be entitled to compensation. Speaking with a California boat accident attorney will help clarify your legal rights.

We hope these suggestions help keep you and your loved ones safe next time you’re out on the water.

Family Sues to Recover Costs From Maritime Rescue

by Staff Blogger | July 22nd, 2014

It’s no secret that being rescued at sea because of a boat accident or other emergency can be extremely costly; however, many sailors and citizens ask, “Who is responsible for covering these costs?” One family is working to hold their satellite phone provider liable for the estimated $660,000 it cost to pluck them from the Pacific Ocean after their service was inexplicably cut off during an emergency that arose while on a six-week adventure from French Polynesia to Mexico.

Just weeks after the family set sail with supplies that included food, water, a satellite phone, an emergency beacon, and antibiotics for a child recovering from an illness, the young girl began to experience health problems again. The family attempted to use the satellite phone to call for a doctor, but found the SIM card had been turned off by the phone’s provider despite the bill having been paid.

An article from The Maritime Executive says this forced the family to call for an emergency rescue that required them to sink their ship as well. Now, the family has filed suit against the phone’s provider claiming their negligence resulted in the costly rescue and seeking compensation to cover the damages that resulted. The family has also urged the organizations that used resources to rescue them to join in on the suit.

At Berg Injury Lawyers, our team of California personal injury attorneys understands how devastating costs associated with an accident or rescue can be. That’s why we are hopeful a decision in this case will help bring closure to the incident for the family that was rescued.

Discovery of California Boat Accident Wreckage Sheds Light on San Francisco Bay’s History

by Staff Blogger | April 28th, 2014

Remembering history and learning from the mistakes of the past is one of the best ways the attorneys with Berg Injury Lawyers have found to prevent accidents. This is why the discovery of wreckage from a historic California boat accident is so important.

An article from Reuters explains that in August of 1888 in the San Francisco Bay, the 202-foot passenger liner, named the City of Chester, collided with another liner, called the Oceanic, carrying Chinese immigrants. As a result of the collision, the City of Chester sank, claiming a total of 16 lives.

The wreckage was lost for more than 100 years, until a group of researchers scanning the floor of the bay for an upcoming Regatta noticed some peculiarities in an area they were searching. Further research confirmed the mass at the bottom of the bay to be the City of Chester.

The finding is so important because it highlights new evidence that shows the wreckage may have been caused by the City of Chester’s Captain, rather than the Oceanic’s. The discovery also touches on a darker piece of history, in which the Chinese ship was named responsible for the crash because of the anti-immigrant sentiments that were popular in the area at the time.

The California personal injury attorneys with Berg Injury Lawyers are hopeful the discovery of the wreckage can lead to further investigations that could shed light on the area’s maritime history.

San Francisco Bay Boat Accident Prompts Changes In Safety Policies For The America’s Cup

by Staff Blogger | October 22nd, 2013

October 21, 2013

The conditions produced by nature around the San Francisco Bay can prove to be extremely hazardous to boaters at times. The California Boat Accident Lawyers with Berg Injury Lawyers point out this was made apparent by the death of a sailor this past May as he trained to participate in the America’s Cup.

According to an article from Inside The Games, the 36-year-old victim was wearing a helmet, wetsuit, and floatation device when the front-end of the 72-foot catamaran he was on plunged into the water, causing the vessel to capsize. The victim’s body was found floating in the water a short time later. An investigation into the accident determined the man had died as a result of a combination of blunt force trauma and drowning.

In an effort to reduce liability in the event of a similar accident in the future, race organizers have implemented several changes to safety policies. These include establishing limits on safe wind speeds to operate in and requiring more safety equipment to be used by participants. Each crew member is also now required to wear a locating device when on the water.

Berg Injury Lawyer’s team of California Personal Injury Lawyers applaud the efforts being made to improve the safety of boaters on the water and are hopeful the new requirements will be effective in preventing accident injuries and fatalities.