Sacramento Boating Accident Lawyer

Sacramento boat accident lawyer

With over 1 million registered recreational boats and water crafts, California has the second highest boating and water sport accident rate in the nation. Water sports such as power boating, sailing, jet skiing, water skiing, teak surfing, kayaking and canoeing, come with the risk for serious injury, wrongful death, and property damage.

Water sport and boating injuries also present complicated legal issues that demand special knowledge of the laws that apply to sporting activities and accidents on the water. If you’ve been injured in a boating accident, the Sacramento boat accident attorneys at the law office of Eric Ratinoff Law Corp may be able to help your case.

Five Common Types of Sacramento Boating Accidents

Collisions with another boating vessel are the primary type of Sacramento boating accident seen throughout California. While there are many types of boating accidents that may cause injuries and fatalities to victims, the following are the most dangerous: 

  1. Collision with another boating vessel: In 2016, there were over 200 collisions with another vessel that resulted in injuries and fatalities. 
  2. Flooding of a boating vessel: Flooding can occur when a vessel is filled with water and can cause the vessel to sink, or it may retain some buoyancy. There were 82 accidents caused by flooding in 2016. 
  3. Capsizing boating vessel: Capsizing occurs when a boat overturns due to waves or the collision with another vessel or fixed object, causing significant injuries. 58 capsizing accidents were reported in 2016.
  4. Collision with a fixed object: In 2016, there were 57 collisions with a fixed object, either above or below the water’s surface. 
  5. Falling overboard a boating vessel: Over 50 passengers suffered injuries from falling off of a boat in 2016. 

These boating accidents may become much more dangerous if alcohol, operator inattention, or extreme speeding is involved. Speak with an experienced Sacramento boating accident lawyer if you have been injured due to a boating accident caused by negligence. We will help you fight for the maximum compensation you deserve.

Understanding California Boating Laws

California is home to picturesque bodies of water, and before operating a vessel, you must know the essential laws and regulations that regulate boats on the state’s bodies of water. The following are basic boating laws you should know: 

Age and Education Boating Laws 

  • California Harbors And Navigation Code, Section 678-678.15 forbids individuals under 16 from operating a vessel with more than 15 horsepower. Individuals under the age of 16 are able to operate the following (provided the child is between 12 and 15 and supervised by an adult aged 18 or older):
  • A sailboat that is under 30 feet in length
  • A vessel used to move between a moored boat and shore or another boat

Additionally, boaters under the age of 25 must complete a state-approved course for the legal operation of a power boat. California boating laws also requires individuals born after January 1, 1998 who are operating a boat with a 10hp or greater engine to obtain a boating safety certificate in addition to the safety course. 

Boating Under the Influence Laws 

Operating a boating vessel under the influence is illegal in California under California Harbors and Navigation Code, Section 655. Intoxication refers to having a blood-alcohol content of 0.08 percent or higher. Violating this law is a Class B misdemeanor offense, punishable with jail time up to 72 hours.

Boating Accident Reporting Laws 

Operators of boating vessels are required by law to report any accident, akin to motorists involved in accidents, including staying at the scene, offering assistance, and providing information to the injured party. 

California boating accidents must be reported within 48 hours in the following circumstances: 

  • Death, disappearance, or injury beyond first aid
  • Damage to property exceeding $500
  • Loss of a vessel, regardless of value

Speak with an experienced Sacramento boating accident lawyer if you were injured in a boating accident due to someone else’s negligence. We will fight for you and look out for your best interests every step of the way.

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 driving of the boat, jet ski, or other vessel
  • Operator distraction or negligence
  • Inexperienced boat operator
  • Speeding
  • Operating/sailing the boat in dangerous waters
  • Use of alcohol
  • Horseplay
  • Distracted flag operator
  • Equipment failure
  • Failing to follow safe boating rules
  • Failure to utilize flagger or observer
  • Failure to provide or wear life jackets

Alcohol use is a common cause of boating accidents. In fact, it is present in over one-third of boating accidents, despite the fact that every state prohibits alcohol use while operating a vessel. If you or your loved one have been involved in a boat accident that resulted in serious injuries, contact our Sacramento boating injury attorneys for legal help. Our experienced attorneys will make sure you are seeking the proper medical attention and getting the compensation you truly deserve.

Failure to Provide or Wear Life Jackets

Approximately 70% of all boating accident drowning victims were not using life jackets (personal flotation device or PFD). In 2004, alone, it is estimated that more than 430 drownings could have been prevented if passengers had been wearing life jackets.

Boat Owner Responsibilities in Sacramento

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 and causes a boat accident, fails to provide life jackets, fails to protect against exposure to carbon monoxide or fails to warn passengers/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.

Call our Sacramento Boating Accident Attorney

Located in Sacramento, California, where the Sacramento Delta alone boasts over 1,000 miles of navigable water ways, our boat injury lawyers have extensive experience with the unique issues that boating accidents and other water sport related injuries present. If you or a loved one have been injured in a boating accident, jet ski accident, water skiing accident, rafting accident, etc. in the Sacramento area, you should speak with an experienced Sacramento boat accident lawyer to protect your legal rights. Our team also assists clients who have been injured in Sacramento motorcycle accidentscar accidents, and truck accidents. Call the team of Sacramento personal injury attorneys at Eric Ratinoff Law Corp in Sacramento county for questions or a free and confidential evaluation of your claim. Please fill out and submit the form on this page or call us toll-free at (866) 527-4278.