Boat Accident Attorney Serving Riverside & San Bernardino
Southern California is a beautiful location for avid boaters. With miles of scenic coastline and Pacific Ocean waters, there are thousands of registered boats in the area. Recreational boaters, along with other personal watercrafts and swimmers, crowd the lakes, rivers, seas, and harbors. This is when boater negligence, improper lookout, speeding, and boating under the influence (BUI) are the most dangerous. If you’ve been the victim of a boating accident near Riverside or San Bernardino, come to DeWitt Algorri + Algorri, PC for legal assistance.
What to Do After a Boating Accident
When someone else damages your boat and/or injures you in a boating accident, you have the right to seek reparation. Your first step should be to remain calm and check yourself and others for injuries. Call authorities and report the crash if it caused injuries, deaths, or more than $1,000 in property damage. This is the case in the majority of boating accidents. Federal law states to file a boating accident report if someone dies, disappears, requires medical care, or when property damage is $2,000 or greater. Gather information from the scene if you can, such as:
- Names of other involved parties
- Other boater’s insurance information
- Names and contact information of eyewitnesses
- How the accident happened
- Name of the reporting police officer
- Photographs of property damage
- Medical records and injury documents
Talk to the police and give your side of the story. If you have injuries, seek medical attention right away. Do not wait, as this looks bad to insurance companies and others later if you try to recover for accident-related injuries. Call the other boater’s insurance company and report the accident. If you were in a single-vessel crash or the other boater does not have insurance, report to your own insurer. Before you agree to a settlement or recording a statement, talk to an attorney.
Who is Liable for Your Boating Accident?
A discussion with one of DeWitt Algorri + Algorri, PC’s attorneys can help you understand who may be liable for your recent accident. To hold someone else accountable for your accident, you will need to prove negligence. In other words, you will have to show that the other party (the defendant) failed to act with reasonable care or breached a duty, and that this misconduct caused the accident that resulted in your injuries or boat damage. Our personal injury lawyers know how to preserve and collect key evidence and put together a case for negligence. We work hard to secure maximum compensation on your behalf.
When two boats collide, odds are one or both of the operators are at fault for causing the crash. There may be a drunk or inexperienced operator at the helm, some failure to communicate, or a broken waterway rule. If one boat crashes into an object such as a pier, there may be a defective part that contributed. If this is the case, injured parties may be able to sue the product manufacturer. Learn more about your individual case during a free evaluation at DeWitt Algorri + Algorri, PC.