Even the most experienced boaters can suffer devastating injuries when other people are negligent. If you were hurt or lost a loved one in an accident on the water, you may be entitled to damages. Our Los Angeles boat accident attorneys can help you navigate the complex legal system and fight for the highest settlement possible.
We are well-versed in the case law and statutes pertaining to these claims. We won’t let the insurance company take advantage of your vulnerable position. If a fair settlement cannot be reached, we are not afraid to take your case to trial.
You can reach us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling 1-800-GO-HARRIS. The initial consultation is free, and we take cases on a contingency fee basis.
Types of Claims Our Los Angeles Boat Accident Attorneys Handle:
- Inexperienced or inattentive vessel operation
- Accidents between multiple vessels
- Alcohol-related accidents
- Slip and falls on boat decks
- Injuries caused by propellers
- Breaking the speed limit
- Watersport injuries
- Boat fires and explosions
- Accidents caused by defective boat equipment
- Boating law infractions
- Other boat accidents
What to Do After a Boat Accident
After a boat accident, there are two priorities that take precedence over everything else: to ensure that you and the other people involved receive medical attention, and to take the necessary steps to strengthen your personal injury claim.
Below is a detailed overview of what you should do following a boat accident:
- Get to Safety: If you suspect an explosion or fire might happen, get everyone away from the vessel immediately. If you fell overboard, get out of the water right away to prevent hypothermia
- Check People for Injuries: Find out if anyone suffered injuries and apply first aid if necessary.
- Call for Emergency Assistance: If someone was severely injured or you’re in distress, use Channel 16 (International Distress Call) and say: Mayday, Mayday, Mayday; the name or call sign of the boat (repeat three times); a description of any injuries and the help you need; a description of your vessel; whether the vessel is seaworthy; and the listening frequency and schedule of your radio.
- Gather Evidence: Take photos of injuries and damage to the vessel. Write down the names and contact information of everyone involved. If police attend the scene, ask for their names and badge numbers.
- Visit a Doctor: If you were injured, seek medical care right away. Even if your condition doesn’t seem critical, it’s important that your injuries are documented as soon as possible so your Los Angeles boat accident lawyer can prove causation. Following the medical evaluation, be sure to adhere to your doctor’s instructions exactly so the insurance company doesn’t argue that you’ve failed to mitigate your damages.
- Write out What Happened: Record every detail you remember about what led to the accident. This information will aid in your attorney’s investigation.
- Preserve Evidence: Don’t get your vessel repaired until your attorney says it’s okay to do so. Your lawyer and perhaps an accident reconstruction expert may need to assess the damage to find out what caused the crash.
Call a Los Angeles Boat Accident Attorney: As you can see, there’s a lot to do in the aftermath of a boat accident, but all of these steps should be completed within the first 48 hours following the incident. Delaying any of these steps could jeopardize your personal injury claim. If you put off your consultation with an attorney, for example, you may end up making a critical error that leads to a dispute. Common mistakes made by claimants include putting off their medical evaluation, failing to follow their doctor’s orders, posting about their accident or injuries online, and speaking to the insurance company. Your Los Angeles boat accident lawyer can help you avoid these and other errors.
- Disable Your Social Media Profiles: You might be tempted to post about the crash so your friends and family know that you’re okay. It’s also common for accident victims to post photos of their injuries as they heal, but this often turns out to be a costly mistake. The insurance adjuster might use your social media content to dispute the severity of your injuries. If you describe what happened in the moments leading up to the accident, those posts might be used to dispute liability. It’s wise to disable your social media profiles until your claim has been resolved.
- Don’t Speak to Anyone Affiliated with the Insurer: Claims adjusters often use coercive questions to get accident victims to admit fault or to provide statements that bring liability or the value of their damages into question. To avoid inadvertently providing a statement that harms your case, let your Los Angeles boat accident attorney handle all dialogue with the insurance company.
Dial 1-800-GO-HARRIS to Speak with a Boat Accident Lawyer in Los Angeles
We’re available 24 hours a day to take your call, and we offer free initial consultations. Dial 1-800-GO-HARRIS or send us a message to speak with a member of our team.