Cruising on one of California’s pristine waterways is certainly an enjoyable pastime, but a fun day on the water can turn tragic in an instant. If you or someone you love suffered a boating injury, contact Harris Personal Injury Lawyers to discuss your options for pursuing compensation. Our Santa Barbara boat accident attorneys offer free consultations, and we can come to you if you’re unable to come to us.

There are all sorts of factors that can complicate these cases. The at-fault party might dispute liability, for example, or the insurance company might challenge the settlement calculations. With many years of experience handling boat accident claims, our attorneys know how to anticipate and avoid disputes before they arise. We won’t settle for anything less than you deserve, and if the opposing party refuses to pay a fair settlement, we’re not afraid to go to trial.

Our lawyers accept personal injury and wrongful death claims on a contingency fee basis. To schedule a free case review, call us today at 1-800-GO-HARRIS.

What Kinds of Boat Accident Cases Does Harris Personal Injury Lawyers in Santa Barbara Handle?

The strategies we employ during the initial investigation, settlement negotiations, and any litigation that may follow will depend on the facts of your case—what caused the accident, where it happened, the types of injuries you suffered, etc. We never take a cookie-cutter approach to representation because each case is unique, and we believe that each client deserves personalized legal services. Our attorneys always prepare for settlement negotiations as if they’re going to trial.

Below are just a few kinds of boating accident cases we handle:

  • Accidents caused by inattentive vessel operation
  • Accidents caused by operator inexperience
  • Capsizing
  • Boat accidents involving multiple vessels
  • Drunk driving boat accidents
  • Slips and falls on boats
  • Propeller injuries
  • Accidents involving speeding
  • Watersport accidents
  • Boat explosions
  • Boat fires
  • Injuries caused by defective boat equipment
  • Accidents involving boating law infractions
  • Other boat accident cases

Damages in California Boat Accident Cases

One of the most common mistakes personal injury victims make is accepting a low settlement that doesn’t account for all the damages they’ve incurred. They might accept such a settlement because they’re concerned about falling into debt, but many are simply unaware that they have the right to seek compensation for pain and suffering and other damages.

Our Santa Barbara boat accident lawyers can review the facts of your case and the available evidence to approximate a fair settlement amount. Depending on the circumstances, you may be entitled to both economic damages (objectively verifiable losses) and non-economic damages (intangible effects of the accident and injury). Together, economic and non-economic damages compose compensatory damages.

In California, boat accident victims have the right to pursue the following compensatory damages:

  • Past and future medical bills
  • Loss of income
  • Lost future earnings
  • Damage to property
  • Alternative transportation and other reasonable and necessary economic damages
  • Emotional distress
  • Lost enjoyment in life
  • Pain and suffering

Some injuries affect the victim’s ability to provide comfort, love, companionship, or sexual relations to their spouse. In these cases, the spouse of the injured party may have grounds for a loss of consortium claim.

Under some circumstances, it’s also possible to recover punitive damages; however, punitive awards are only available in cases involving malice, oppression, or fraud.

In the context of boat accident lawsuits, the most likely basis for a punitive award would be malice, which can be established by proving one of the following:

  1. The defendant acted with intent to harm; or
  2. The defendant acted with despicable misconduct and with a willful or conscious disregard for the rights and safety of others—i.e. the defendant was aware that his or her misconduct had a high probability of having dangerous consequences, yet he or she still knowingly and deliberately chose to engage in that misconduct.

Although punitive damages usually are not available in boat accident cases, they might be awarded if your vessel was hit by another vessel that was operated by a drunk driver. Such damages might also be awarded if the at-fault party fled the scene without providing aid or calling emergency medical assistance for injured parties.

Our Santa Barbara boat accident attorneys have many years of experience pursuing punitive damages. We won’t settle for anything less than you deserve, and we relish the opportunity to go to trial if the opposing party refuses to cooperate.

Speak with a Santa Barbara Boat Accident Lawyer Today: Call 1-800-GO-HARRIS

At Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, we are passionate about helping the injured and their families fight for the compensation they need to move on with life. We have a track record of success taking on some of the largest insurance companies in California, and we have many years of litigation experience. To speak with a member of our team in a free consultation, send us a message online or call 1-800-GO-HARRIS.

Additional Practice Areas

Santa Barbara

34 E. Sola St.
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
United States (US)
Phone: 805-284-0705
Fax: 805-544-0101

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