Boating Accidents

In the Sacramento, Roseville, Chico, Fairfield and throughout California, boating accidents and injuries have been on the rise. The use of personal watercraft such as Jet-Skis, Wave Runners, and other brands have exploded over the last decade. This, coupled with fishing and ski boats, have created congestion and overcrowding on our waterways and lakes–substantially increasing the likelihood of accident or injury. Lawyers at Penney & Associates specialize in this area and are ready to represent you.

Typically, injury-causing boating accidents stem from scenarios involving capsizing, falling overboard, collisions with another vessel or structure, fire, sinking, flooding, explosions, and disappearance of a vessel or passenger.

Steps can be taken to prevent such accidents. Remember that when operating a boating vehicle:

  • Do not drink alcohol while on the water.
  • Always wear life jackets.
  • Dress with the understanding that a boating accident could occur that could cause you to end up in the water.
  • When on larger bodies of water, be prepared with GPS positioning and distress alerting devices.

When an accident occurs in the State of California, the operator of the boat is required to file a report with the proper authorities if any of the following occur:

  • Property damage in excess of $500.00
  • Someone has an injury that requires medical treatment beyond first aid.
  • A life is lost due to the accident.
  • A person disappears from the vessel with circumstances that indicate death or injury.

If the operator of the vessel is unable to file the report, the owner must file the report. In California, injury, death, and disappearance reports must be filed within 48 hours. Property damage reports must be filed within 10 days.

There are over 12.5 million boats and personal watercraft (PWC) registered in the United States. The number of boats has increased by over 2 million since the late 1980s. Additionally, the use of personal watercraft, such as Jet-Skis, Wave Runners and other brands has exploded over the last decade. Unfortunately with the increased popularity of boating has come an increase in boating related injuries and fatalities. According to the United States Coast Guard, there are over 8,000 boating accidents each year. Such accidents leave over 800 people dead and more than 4,000 seriously injured annually. Over 600 of these accidents are caused by defective hulls or engines. The majority of boating related accidents are due to operator negligence.

Penney and Associates® California Personal Injury Lawyers have represented a number of people who have had serious boating accidents. To be frank, Penney and Associates has handled arguably some of the most serious boating injuries in northern California. If you or a family member has been involved in a boating related accident, call Penney and Associates for a free consultation today.

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