Costa Mesa Boat Accident Attorney
Boating is popular in Southern California, and many people living in the Costa Mesa area enjoy boating on the Pacific Ocean and the many waterways of Orange County. While boating can be a great way to enjoy the warm and beautiful climate of the area, it also poses a few significant risks. It’s vital for everyone who rides a boat in the Costa Mesa area to know what to do when an accident occurs and their rights when someone else causes a boating accident resulting in injury.
Legal Counsel for Costa Mesa Boat Accident Victims
It’s natural to feel distressed and uncertain when you or a loved one suffers a boating injury, and you don’t know what to do next. You may wonder how you will afford medical expenses if the victim is left unable to work, and you might not know who is responsible for the accident and your damages. If you find yourself in this situation, you need legal counsel you can trust from an experienced Costa Mesa boat accident lawyer.
Chris and Frank provides comprehensive and client-focused personal injury representation to clients in the Costa Mesa area and throughout Orange County. We understand the concerns and fears many people have after experiencing injuries that result in substantial economic losses. Our goal is to provide useful and reliable information that helps them better understand their legal rights and their available options for recovery.
Why Should I Hire a Boat Accident Lawyer?
You might think that if the fault for your recent boating accident is perfectly clear, you should have no trouble holding the responsible party accountable. Many people who experience personal injuries calculate their immediate damages and assume they can secure fair compensation for these losses. However, the actual process of filing a personal injury claim is more complex than many people realize, and there are many risks you face when you choose to represent yourself in a personal injury claim.
Even if you manage to succeed with your claim, you could overlook available channels of compensation and settle for less than you rightfully deserve. The procedural requirements of a personal injury claim are also much more demanding than many people realize, and you could make severe errors in your case that significantly impair your ability to recover compensation. It’s even possible that your case could be thrown out of court on a technicality, significantly increasing the time it takes you to secure compensation for your losses.
Instead of making an already difficult situation even worse and risking your recovery, have an experienced Costa Mesa boating accident attorney provide the guidance and support you need. Your legal team can not only help you clearly define the full extent of your claimable damages but also handle all the preliminary procedural requirements of your case on your behalf. This means you and your family can rest and recover with peace of mind knowing your claim is in capable hands.
How Do Accidents Happen in California While Boating?
Any time you go out on the water in a boat, you face several risks. Boats are susceptible to various natural forces like severe weather, strong winds, and changes in water currents. Depending on the size of your boat, the number of passengers, and the operator’s experience level, your boating excursion could be more dangerous than you initially realize. Some of the most common causes of boating accidents in California include:
- Wakes. When a boat exceeds certain speeds, it will produce a “wake,” a small wave created by water displacement that travels outward from the path of the boat. Many waterways in Orange County are “no wake” zones to ensure boaters travel at reasonably safe speeds. Wakes can disrupt other boats nearby and injure swimmers.
- Fires. Boats have complex mechanics just like other motor vehicles, meaning they are susceptible to breakdowns and other technical problems. If a fire breaks out on a boat, the passengers could suffer severe injuries. They may also sustain other injuries if they are forced overboard.
- Crashes. Sudden rocking, undersea hazards, or a boat collision can easily cause traumatic physical injuries. Some of these injuries may heal completely with time and appropriate treatment, while others will lead to permanent medical complications and disabilities.
These are only a few possible examples of how boating accidents might happen in the Costa Mesa, CA, area. If you believe a recent boating accident occurred because of another party’s negligence, you should consult a Costa Mesa boating accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Proving Liability for an Accident While Boating
The first step in securing compensation for your boating accident damages is identifying the party responsible for the incident and proving their actions directly caused your damages. A boating accident claim is a type of personal injury claim, so “negligence” will be the central legal concept in your case proceedings. This term describes a failure to act with reasonable care in a situation or a failure to uphold a specific duty of care.
Your attorney can help you determine which party or parties bear fault for your recent accident. Success with your claim may require physical evidence from the accident scene, testimony from witnesses who saw the incident occur, and input from expert witnesses. Successfully proving negligence in any personal injury claim requires first proving the defendant’s duty of care and how they breached or violated it. Next is establishing the full scope of your damages and proving those damages only occurred due to the defendant’s negligence.
Potential Injuries in a Boating Accident
Boating accidents can be devastating. If another party is responsible for causing a boating accident in California, they absorb liability for all resulting damages. Boating accidents often cause severe injuries, including:
- Traumatic brain injuries. A crash with an underwater obstruction or another vessel can cause a passenger to hit their head. Traumatic brain injuries are unpredictable and often cause lasting damage.
- Spinal injuries. A boating accident can cause injury to the spine. Some spinal injuries cause chronic pain and impaired mobility. Severe spinal injuries often result in paralysis.
- Burns. A fire on board a boat can easily result in devastating burn injuries. Burns are not only extremely painful but also disfiguring, often requiring multiple rounds of treatment and skin grafting operations.
- Bone fractures. A boat accident may be forceful enough to result in broken bones. Some bone fractures will heal completely, but others may require surgical placement of steel pins and plates, resulting in long-term pain and lost functionality.
- Drowning. Falling from a boat or being knocked unconscious in the water can easily lead to drowning. If the victim recovers quickly enough, they might be resuscitated and survive, but the oxygen deprivation can cause tremendous harm. Drowning is often fatal.
- Injuries from exposure. If your boat breaks down and you are stranded in the sun without shade, you will quickly experience heat injury. Dehydration and heat stroke are dangerous, and if an exposure injury occurs due to negligence, the victim would have grounds for legal action against the party responsible for the mechanical failure.
Your Costa Mesa boating accident lawyer will help you assess your claimable damages and file your lawsuit. Many personal injury claimants are surprised to learn that their claims are worth much more than they initially anticipated once they secure legal representation.
California law allows a personal injury plaintiff to claim compensation for any damages a defendant’s negligence caused. If you sustained injuries and are left unable to work, your legal team can potentially help you obtain compensation for your medical treatment costs and your lost wages. You also have the right to claim pain and suffering compensation. Your attorney will help you determine a fair amount to include with your claim based on the severity of your injuries. If you developed a permanent disability from your boating accident, your pain and suffering compensation could be quite substantial.
FAQs About Costa Mesa, California Boating Accidents Law
Who Is Liable in a Boating Accident?
Your attorney can review the details of your accident to help you determine liability. It’s possible that your boat’s operator is liable for the incident, or liability may fall to the boat’s owner or some other third party depending on the unique details of the situation.
What Should I Do After a Boating Accident?
After a boating accident, the boat operator should immediately stop and call for help. Local police should dispatch an emergency boat unit to assist you. Check yourself and other passengers for injuries and wait for first responders to arrive.
What Causes the Most Accidents on Boats?
The most commonly reported cause of boat accidents in the US is operator inattention. In other words, distracted driving is not only the leading cause of motor vehicle accidents on land but also of watercraft accidents. Boat operators need to pay attention at all times.
How Often Does Someone Drown in a Boating Accident?
Drowning is the most commonly reported cause of death in boating accidents. The United States Coast Guard reported that in 2020, there were about 6.5 deaths per 100,000 registered boats that year. This translates to a relatively low risk of experiencing a fatal boat accident, but when fatal boat accidents occur, drowning is the most likely cause of death.
Chris and Frank Can Help After a Costa Mesa Boating Accident
It’s natural to have doubts and concerns about your legal options after experiencing a boating accident in Costa Mesa. If you are unsure what to do after you or a loved one has suffered an injury in a boating accident someone else caused, Chris and Frank can help. Contact us today and schedule a consultation to learn more about our firm’s legal services.
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