There are many factors that contribute to boating injuries, but the most common cause by far is operator negligence. If you were injured while on the water due to another person’s careless or reckless behavior, you may have grounds for a personal injury claim. Our boat accident lawyers in Temecula can assess your case, provide answers to your questions, and help you seek compensation for medical bills and other damages.

Whether your injury was caused by a collision involving multiple vessels, a slip and fall, capsizing, or another scenario, we have the experience and resources to provide effective representation. There’s no charge for the initial case review, and you won’t have to pay attorney’s fees unless we win. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 1-800-GO-HARRIS.

Types of Boat Accident Claims Our Attorneys Handle:

Although operator error is the leading cause of boat accidents, there are many hazards that can lead to injuries while on the water. In some cases, multiple parties share fault for a single incident. Our Temecula boat accident lawyers can perform a detailed investigation to identify all potentially liable parties, and we can use proven legal strategies to help you fight for the highest possible settlement.

We represent clients who have been injured or lost a family member in boating accidents caused by:

  • Operator Inexperience or Inattention
  • Capsizing
  • Collisions with Other Vessels
  • Drug or Alcohol Impairment
  • Slips and Falls on Wet Surfaces
  • Propeller Injuries
  • Speeding
  • Injuries Involving Skiing, Wakeboarding, and Other Watersports
  • Boat Fires
  • Boat Equipment Failure
  • Violation of Boating Laws
  • Other Accident Scenarios

Important Boating Laws in California

There are both state and federal laws that might pertain to a boating accident case. If your claim is filed on the basis of negligence (like most other cases), you’ll have to prove the defendant failed to exercise due care, and this resulted in your injury. If the boat operator violated a boating law, this may constitute a breach of the duty of care owed to you, so proving the violation would be a necessary step toward securing an award of damages.

In the state of California, boaters are required to avoid negligent and reckless behaviors that would lead to injury, death, or property damage. They are prohibited from operating their vessel in certain locations such as in waters that are used by divers and swimmers. They are also prohibited from operating their vessel in such a way that an abrupt maneuver or cut in speed would be required to avoid a crash. Driving over the speed limit or at an improper speed given the conditions is also prohibited. Boaters must adjust their speed to the weather, visibility, and traffic on the water. Also, passengers are prohibited from riding on gunwales, the bow, or another place that poses a high risk of falling overboard. California law also prohibits the operation of a vessel that’s in an unsafe condition that might lead to injuries to the vessel’s occupants or to others on the water. Examples of unsafe conditions include leaking fuel, improper ventilation, a lack of life-jackets, and defective navigation lights.

As previously mentioned, there are also federal laws that may apply to a boating accident claim. Pursuant to the Federal Boat Safety Act of 1971, vessels must be equipped with certain devices approved by the U.S. Coast Guard. These devices include flame arresters, visual distress signals, fire extinguishers, gas ventilation equipment, and sound-producing devices. Also, personal flotation devices or life-jackets must be available for each occupant of the vessel.

Questions We May Ask During the Initial Consultation

During your free initial consultation, one of our Temecula boat accident lawyers will ask various questions to establish how the incident happened, who might be liable, and whether negligence played a role. These questions will also help us discern the kinds of evidence to gather and identify potential complications that might arise during the proceedings.

It may be helpful for you to write out your responses to the following questions and bring them to your initial consultation:

  • Where and when did the accident happen?
  • What appears to have been the cause of the accident?
  • Was the operator of your vessel or another vessel negligent?
  • Did law enforcement attend the scene? Were chemical tests conducted?
  • Did your vessel contain lifejackets, a fire extinguisher, and other devices required by law?
  • Did you take photos of the accident scene or your injuries?
  • Are you aware of any legal violations committed by the operator of your vessel or another vessel involved in the accident?
  • Do you think the opposing party might argue that your own negligence somehow contributed to the accident?

Call 1-800-GO-HARRIS for a Free, No-Obligation Consultation with a Temecula Boat Accident Lawyer

We’re available 24/7 to take your call. Dial 1-800-GO-HARRIS or use our Contact Form to schedule a free case review. A member of our team can come to you if you’re unable to come to us.

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