A serious boating accident can cause devastating injuries that affect every aspect of life. Hundreds of people die each year due to capsizing, coming into contact with a propeller, and slipping on wet boat surfaces. If you’ve been injured or lost a family member on the water, our San Diego boat accident lawyers can help you pursue compensation for any damages you’ve incurred.
We are well-versed in the state and federal laws pertaining to boat accident claims, and we know what it takes to win substantial settlements and verdicts. Call 1-800-GO-HARRIS to speak with a member of our team in a free initial consultation.
Types of Boating Accident Claims We Handle in San Diego:
- Accidents Caused by Operator Inexperience
- Capsizing Accidents
- Collisions Involving Multiple Vessels
- Drug- or Alcohol-Related Boat Accidents
- Slip and Fall Injuries
- Injuries Caused by Propellers
- Speeding-Related Boat Accidents
- Watersport Injury Claims
- Boat Fires
- Accidents Caused by Defective Equipment
- Accidents Caused by Violation of Boating Laws
- Other Boat Accident Scenarios
Do I Have Grounds for a Boat Accident Claim?
There are limitless scenarios that could give rise to a boating accident claim. Whether or not your case has merit depends on a variety of factors.
Most boat accident claims are filed on the basis of negligence, which is one party’s breach of the duty of care owed to another party; however, if an equipment defect was the proximate cause of your injuries, you might be able to hold the equipment designer or manufacturer strictly liable for your damages, in which case a finding of negligence or intent wouldn’t be needed to impose liability.
If you intend to file the claim on the basis of negligence, you’ll need to prove the following elements in order to prevail:
- A Duty of Care Existed: A duty of care is a legal obligation to exercise a level of care that a reasonable person would exercise under the same circumstances. For example, boat operators owe a duty of care to their passengers and other people on the waterway to obey all relevant laws and to drive in a safe manner given the conditions.
- The Duty of Care Was Breached: There are all sorts of ways a boat operator can breach the duty of care they owe to other people on the water. Examples include speeding, failing to ensure there are enough life jackets onboard, failing to ensure there’s a fire extinguisher onboard, and failing to perform reasonable maintenance. Of course, operating a boat while impaired by drugs or alcohol would also constitute negligence.
- The Breach of Duty Caused Your Damages: After proving negligence, your San Diego boat accident attorney will have to demonstrate the kinds of damages incurred and their value. Your lawyer will also have to prove how the defendant’s negligence was the proximate cause of your damages. This can be complicated in cases involving wrongful death or catastrophic injuries. In the state of California, personal injury claimants can seek compensation for medical bills they’re reasonably certain to incur in the future as well as loss of future income. Likewise, claimants in a wrongful death case can bring a survival action and seek compensation for financial contributions the deceased would likely have provided to the family. Calculating the value of future medical bills and loss of future earnings may involve complex formulas and will likely require the testimony of medical and economic experts. At Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, we have extensive experience pursuing compensation for future damages, and we can make sure the settlement calculations account for all damages you might be owed.
Questions Your San Diego Boat Accident Attorney Might Ask
The specific questions your lawyer will ask depend on the facts surrounding your case, but generally speaking, you should be prepared to answer the following:
- How, when, and where did the accident occur?
- What kinds of injuries did you suffer?
- Have you undergone a medical assessment? What is your prognosis?
- Has anyone involved in the accident or associated with the insurance company contacted you? Did you provide any statements? What did you say?
- Did your own negligence contribute to the accident in any way?
- Were any arrests made at the scene?
- What expenses have you incurred due to your injuries?
- Have you mentioned your accident or case on social media?
Call 1-800-GO-HARRIS to Speak with a Boat Accident Lawyer in San Diego
If you intend to file a personal injury or wrongful death claim after a boat accident, the smartest step you can take to protect your case is to speak with an attorney. At Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, we offer free consultations and can help you make informed decisions. We have many years of experience representing boat accident victims and their families, so you can rest assured that our lawyers will make sure you’re well-represented from day one. Send us a message or call 1-800-GO-HARRIS to set up a free case review.