Most boating accidents happen when one vessel collides with another, however additional types of boating accidents occur when:
Between 2009 and 2013, boating accident fatalities that occurred were the result of drowning, trauma, carbon monoxide inhalation and hypothermia. The most common injuries received among those involved in a boating accident include traumatic brain injuries, concussion, soft tissue injuries, burn injuries, internal injuries, sprains and fractures, broken bones and spinal cord injuries. Many believe that because boating accidents generally occur on the water, the physical injuries will rarely be severe, however, this is a serious misconception.
Boat operators, passengers and bystanders can suffer concussions, spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries when their head strikes the boat, or when they are thrown from the boat with significant force. A traumatic brain injury can diminish a person’s ability to perform day-to-day tasks, to work and to learn, and can make it difficult for the individual, as well as his or her family members, to cope with the aftermath of a traumatic brain injury.
Injuries to the spinal cord can cause temporary or permanent paralysis, requiring extensive hospitalization and long-term rehabilitation and care. As a result of a spinal cord injury, a boat accident victim could miss an extended amount of work, or could never be able to return to work. Victims of spinal cord accidents may need modifications to their homes and vehicles and can suffer emotionally, physically and financially.
The standards for liability in an Orange County boating accident with injuries will generally depend on which person acted in a negligent manner. In other words, if a person acted in a manner that others would not consider reasonable, failed to follow boating safety rules and was not mindful of the safety of their passengers and other boaters, he or she could well be considered negligent, therefore liable for the injuries sustained by others. The person who is found negligent in a boating accident could face civil liability, criminal liability or both.
If the boat operator was boating under the influence, was recklessly operating the vessel or exhibited gross negligence, then criminal charges could be brought against him or her. The boat driver’s legal liability for the boating accident could also depend on the visibility at the time of the accident, the speed the operator was driving, the size of the wave or wake, the type of boat, and whether the operator warned other passengers prior to hitting a particularly large wake or wave.
It is extremely important to have an experienced California boating accident attorney by your side from start to finish. Your attorney will determine whether insurance coverage exists from different sources such as boat or auto liability insurance or homeowners insurance. Contact the Law Offices of John Rapillo at 949-675-5060 or send us this quick email form to request a free initial consultation.
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