Some things people think of as necessities, and other things they think of as recreation. Most people who drive a car do it for practical reasons, but most people who operate a boat do it for fun. Both activities seem relatively safe under ordinary circumstances, but either could unexpectedly prove hazardous.
While boating is generally a relaxing pastime, it can subject passengers to unique hazards. These hazards include both drowning and carbon monoxide poisoning, which occurs more often in vessels with covered or enclosed seating areas. If you have suffered an injury in a boat accident for which you were not at fault, you may find it beneficial to contact a Moreno Valley boat accident lawyer to discuss the possibility of filing a legal claim. Schedule a consultation with a knowledgeable attorney for more insight regarding how to recover compensation following a boating-related accident.
Federal and State Boating Safety Regulation
The national boating safety requirements enacted with the Federal Boating Safety Act of 1971 prohibited negligent acts that pose a danger to others and provided funding for state boating safety programs. In 2018, the California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways began requiring operators of motorized vessels on state waterways to carry state boating cards, implementing the policy in stages that included different age groups, beginning with boaters under age 21. With some exemptions, the card must be earned by completing a course on boating safety and passing a related examination.
Infractions for not carrying a California Boater Card include fines that increase with each offense. The Boating and Waterways Division explains state boating regulations in its safety manual, The ABCs of California Boating. Someone injured in an accident could consult a local attorney to assess whether state laws and safety requirements were observed and how any violations might affect a boat accident claim for damages.
Filing a Claim for Personal Injury or Wrongful Death
One legal option involves filing a personal injury claim under the theory of negligence. To prevail in a negligence claim, an injured person must show that they were owed a duty of care, the opposing party breached the duty, the breach caused the injury, and the injury resulted in damages. If a jury or court finds that an accident involved negligence, it may award compensation for economic and noneconomic damages.
An accident that causes death may lead to a wrongful death action on the part of the deceased’s family, who may seek damages for medical expenses, loss of companionship, property damages, and other tangible and intangible harm caused by death. If an injured person files a claim for an injury but dies before resolving it, a personal representative may be appointed to see the case to a conclusion and distribute any damages awarded as a jury or court directs.
Get in Touch with a Moreno Valley Boat Accident Attorney
While a claim related to a boat accident has procedural similarities to one related to a traffic accident, it can involve unique complications. If the accident involved a chartered boat with a large number of passengers, the claims of multiple plaintiffs could be aggregate under one representative claim in a class action lawsuit.
If you received an injury in an accident that happened on a waterway rather than a roadway, you could discuss the legal details of filing a lawsuit with a Moreno Valley boat accident lawyer. Injuries occurring during recreational activities as well as those occurring during your commute to work can cause substantial damage. Your recovery could depend on an assessment of legal liability.