Costa Mesa Boating Accident Attorneys
Boats have played an important role in Costa Mesa’s history. An exhibit entitled “Costa Mesa: The Hull Story” was hosted by the Costa Mesa Historical Society and displayed in the society’s museum. The exhibit detailed the city’s influential boatbuilding legacy, which was largely centered in the Westside.
Today, boating and water sports are an important part of Costa Mesa’s culture. With so many boats registered in California, boating accidents are bound to occur. If you have been injured in a boating accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you have a right to pursue compensation for your injuries.
The following boating accident data is provided for 2017, the most recent year for which statistics are available, by the U.S. Coast Guard:
- 4,291 boating accidents nationwide involved 658 fatalities, 2,629 injuries, and approximately $46 million in property damage.
- The fatality rate for recreational boating accidents was 5.5 per 100,000 registered vessels.
- Where the cause of death was known, 76% of fatal boating accident victims drowned. (84.5% of drowning victims were not wearing life jackets.)
- Alcohol use is the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents.
- Where instruction was known, 81% of boating accident deaths occurred on boats where the operator had not received boating safety instruction.
- 172 accidents occurred in which at least one person was struck by a propeller, resulting collectively in 31 deaths and 162 injuries.
- The types of vessels most commonly involved in boating accidents were motorboats (46%), personal watercraft (18%), and cabin motorboats (16%).
- The types of vessels with the highest percentage of deaths were open motorboats (47%), kayaks (15%), and personal watercraft (7%).
In the most recent year for which statistics are available, there were 350 boating accidents in California, 49 of which were fatal and 164 of which caused non-fatal injuries, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. The primary known factors contributing to boating accidents nationwide were:
- Operator inattention
- Improper lookout
- Operator inexperience
- Machinery failure
- Alcohol use
- Excessive speed
- Navigation rules violations
Accidents on the water can occur in a variety of ways. Common types of boating accidents include:
- One vessel hitting another
- A vessel hitting another vessel’s wake
- A vessel hitting a wave
- A vessel hitting an object in or around the water
- Failure to maintain proper safety equipment
To win a claim for compensation after a boating accident, you must prove that the following elements exist in your claim:
- The boat operator had a duty to you. (Boat operators in California have a duty to follow all maritime laws and safely operate the boat without negligence.)
- The boat operator breached that duty. (Boat operators who act negligently or recklessly while operating a boat or vessel, endangering the safety of others, have breached their duty.)
- Your boat accident injuries were directly caused by a boat operator’s negligence.
- You have suffered actual damages (physical, emotional, or financial harm) through the negligence or recklessness of the boat operator.
Working with an experienced attorney can give you the best chance of recovering the compensation you deserve after a serious boating accident. Our Costa Mesa personal injury lawyers can:
- Investigate your boating accident to determine cause and liability
- Gather and preserve evidence to support your claim
- Assess the full extent of your losses – past, present, and future
- Negotiate skillfully with the other side on your behalf for a full and fair settlement
- Fight tirelessly for your rights in court, if necessary
- We are planners who will start crafting your case from the initial meeting and know how to navigate forward.
- We have more than four decades of experience. Our firm was officially founded in 1974.
- Our track record speaks for itself. We have won hundreds of millions in settlements and verdicts for our clients.
If you have been hurt in a boating accident that was someone else’s fault, depending on the extent of your injuries, you may be entitled to damages for your medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earning potential, pain and suffering, emotional trauma, mental anguish, and other possible losses. Call Allen Flatt Ballidis & Leslie at (949) 752-7474 to find out about your options under the law.
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