Are You the Victim of a Boating Accident?

Our Santa Rosa Boating Accident Lawyer Is Here to Help

Picture of boat by the shore

Despite all of the beautiful coastlines and bodies of water in the state of California, these gorgeous scenes can be home to boating accidents and tragedies. Fortunately, our Santa Rosa boating accident lawyer is here to help.

The personal injury attorneys at Flahavan Law Offices have a proven track record of professional, honest and reliable legal representation. When boat or watercraft operators are negligent, our boating accident lawyers will fight to ease the financial burden caused by their negligence.

California Boating Laws

Because of the ease in which many boaters navigate through the water, there are few things more unexpected and terrifying than being injured in a boating accident. However, before you can file a boating accident lawsuit, you should understand the basics of California boating laws.

Boat Registration in California

In California, any sail-powered vessel over eight feet in length and every motor-powered vessel operated in the water must be registered with the California Department of Motor Vehicles. There are also age requirements to consider. No one under the age of sixteen is allowed to operate a motorboat of more than fifteen horsepower. The state also has a new boater-safety education course requirement to encourage safe driving.

Boating Under the Influence in California

While boating is often used for the purpose of relaxation, boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs is strictly prohibited in the state of California. If an operator causes serious injury and is found to be under the influence, they could face more than a personal injury lawsuit — they could go to jail.

California Boat Laws: Life Jacket Requirements

All boats and vessels are required to have United States Coast Guard (USCG) approved life jackets on board. The amount of life jackets required on board depends on the type of vessel and number of passengers.

Keep in mind that California boating laws require all children under the age of 13 on a moving recreational vessel to wear a United States Coast Guard (USCG) approved life jacket. The life jacket must be appropriate for the type of recreation and the size of the child.

Reporting a California Boating Accident

California boating accidents must be reported to the California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways if they involve death, disappearance of a person or an injury beyond first aid.

The state must also be notified if there is more than $500 in damages or a vessel has been completely lost. Those involved in the accident have between 24 hours and 10 days to report the accident, depending on the severity of the incident.

Proving Negligence in a California Boating Accident

Boat operators owe each other a duty of care on the waterway. They also owe a duty of care to swimmers, passengers and other travelers in the water. When this duty of care is violated, and that violation leads directly to an injury, the victim has the right to file a boating accident lawsuit seeking compensation for damages.

Defendants may be responsible for loss of income, medical bills, pain and suffering, future loss of income, or permanent disfigurement — among other things. Proving negligence may include:

  • Proof that the operator was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident
  • Proof that the operator was not following California boating laws
  • Proof that the operator was not paying attention to the waterway

The legal proceedings may require eyewitness accounts or expert testimony before a judgment can be rendered. Fortunately, an experienced boat accident attorney can help you understand your legal options and navigate the process.

Contact an Experienced Santa Rosa Boating Accident Attorney

Have you or a loved one been injured in a boating accident caused by someone else’s negligence or recklessness? The time has come to fight for the compensation you deserve.

Contact an experienced Santa Rosa boating accident lawyer at Flahavan Law Offices. Call us at (707) 833-8614 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.