Sacramento Boat Accident Lawyer
California has over 1 million registered recreational boats and vessels and the second highest boating and water sport accident rate in the country. Recreational activities such as power boating, sailing, jet skiing, water skiing, teak surfing, kayaking, and canoeing, bring with them the risk for serious injury, death, and property damage.
Water sport and boating injuries also present complicated legal issues that demand special knowledge of the laws that apply to sports activities and accidents on the water.
Causes of Boating Accidents, Water Skiing and Jet Skiing Injuries
The most common causes of boating accidents and water sports injuries are:
- Careless or reckless operation of the boat, jet ski, or other vessel
- Operator distraction or negligence
- Inexperienced boat driver / sailor
- Operating/sailing the boat in dangerous waters
- Use of alcohol
- Misbehavior of passenger or skier
- Distracted flagger
- Equipment failure
- Failing to follow safe boating rules
- Neglecting to protect skiers with a flagger or observer
- Failure to provide or wear life jackets
Alcohol use is a major factor in boating accidents. In fact, it is present in over one-third of boating accidents, despite the fact that every state prohibits operating a vessel while using alcohol or drugs.
Additionally, approximately 70% of all boating accident drowning victims were not wearing life jackets (personal flotation device or PFD). In 2004, alone, it is estimated that more than 430 drowings could have been avoided if boaters had been wearing life jackets.
Carbon Monoxide Can Kill Boaters and Water Skiers
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that can cause severe brain injury or death. It is poisonous, even when inhaled in very small quantities. Carbon monoxide is emitted as exhaust when gasoline or diesel engines are running, such as when a power boat is being operated.
This can be dangerous to boating passengers when carbon monoxide seeps into enclosed areas of the boat, such as cabins or wind-protected seating areas.
Carbon monoxide can kill or seriously injure water skiers, teak surfers, or any other person being towed within 20 feet of the moving boat, and swimmers in areas where the gas can accumulate. Swimmers and skiers should stay clear of exhaust vents, as carbon monoxide builds up in areas near the vents.
Boat Owner Responsibilities
A boat owner or operator may be responsible for personal injury or wrongful death damages if he or she fails to operate the boat safely, provide life jackets, protect against exposure to carbon monoxide, or fails to warn passengers or water skiers of carbon monoxide danger. If an accident, injury or carbon monoxide poisoning occurs because of a defect in the engine or boat design, the manufacturers may be held accountable for damages under the law of product liability.
Sacramento Boating Accidents
Sacramento County has many beautiful waterways for boaters and water sports aficionados to enjoy. Along with the great recreational opportunities they bring, however, they also bring the risk for water sport and boating injuries. Sacramento area waterways include Bear Lake, Blodgett Reservoir, Bushy Lake, Corral Lake, Deadman’s Lake, Donlon Lake, Fisherman’s Lake, Folsom Lake, Gibson Lake, Lake Greenhaven, Lake Natoma, Mather Lake, North Stone Lake, Sherman Lake, South Stone Lake, Stone Lake, Sutterville Lake, Oxbow Lake, Willow Hill Reservoir, the Sacramento River and the American River.
If you have been injured in a boating accident, skiing accident, water skiing accident, fishing accident, or rafting accident, you should speak with an experienced boating accident lawyer immediately to protect your legal rights.
To contact a Sacramento boat accident lawyer for a free and confidential boating accident case evaluation, please fill out and submit our online case evaluation or call us toll-free at 866-527-4278.