Irvine Boat Accident Lawyer

California’s scenic waterways and coastline make the Golden State a prime location for recreational boating. Unfortunately, many people enjoying the water during the summer months are inexperienced, leading to accidents involving boats, swimmers, and other recreational water vehicles.

If you were injured as the result of a collision with another boat or water vehicle, or if you were a passenger on a boat that was involved in an accident, you may be entitled to legal relief. A knowledgeable Irvine boat accident lawyer will help you determine exactly what your legal rights are and can assist you in pursuing those rights in a way that maximizes your chances of recovery. To discuss your case and start on the road to recovery, consult with an injury attorney in Irvine today.

Elements Of a Claim

In order to hold someone else liable for your injuries, a boat accident lawyer in Irvine will need to prove in a court of law that the party involved in the accident owed a duty and that they breached that duty. The party seeking damages will also be required to produce evidence regarding the circumstances of the accident to enable the court to determine that the injuries were the direct result of that breach.

Generally, boat accidents can be extremely difficult to recreate in a court of law. Many impermanent conditions, such as the tide or the weather, may have contributed when an accident occurs on the water. Presenting evidence of these conditions often requires legal knowledge and experience. In addition, depending on how far away you were from the shore when the accident occurred, federal maritime law, in addition to state law, may apply.

Boat Laws in California

The laws regulating the operation of boats in California can be found in Title 14 of the California Code of Regulations. Everyone who operates a boat in California is required to do so while using due care and with regard for the safety of others in the water at all times. However, unlike the strict requirements necessary to obtain a driver’s license, there are no similar requirements to operate a boat in California.

Although boaters are expected to learn and abide by the “rules of road” that apply on Irvine’s waterways, inexperience or confusion about these rules often leads to serious accidents. If one of the drivers involved in a boat accident was breaking the law at the time of the accident, he will likely be held liable for any injuries he caused.

To hold someone else liable for the injuries you suffered as a result of a boat accident, the injured party must present evidence proving the other parties negligence. Failure to operate a boat with due care constitutes negligence. Just like driving a car, operating a boat while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is also illegal. It is important to understand all the different laws that must be followed to operate a boat lawfully.

Comparative Negligence

When determining where the fault lies for a boating accident, the court will consider evidence presented by both sides. Because California is a comparative negligence state, it is important to present enough evidence to allow the court to make an appropriate determination of fault, as some fault may be assigned to you.

An individual can still collect substantial sums in a personal injury claim if the court finds that you were partly at fault for your accident, although the total damages you can recover will be reduced in proportion to your share of the blame.

Accident Reporting Guidelines

Pursuant to State law, the California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways requires that boat accidents be reported within specific deadlines. Any crash resulting in a serious injury or damages worth more than $500 must be reported. If the boat accident resulted in:

  • Death
  • Injury
  • Disappearance of a person

It must be reported within 48 hours. An Irvine boat accident attorney can help you ensure you meet all the legal requirements that may apply to your case.

Benefits of An Attorney

If you were injured in a boating accident that you believe was the result of another person’s negligence, you should investigate your legal options as soon as possible. If you fail to abide any of the specific deadlines that apply to your claim you can lose the opportunity to recover for your injuries.

Our boat accident lawyers in Irvine understand that bringing a lawsuit while you are still recovering from your accident may seem overwhelming, and are ready to assist you every step of the way. Contact an attorney today to begin the process of pursuing the legal relief you deserve!