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San Diego Boating Accident Attorneys


When Fun on the Water Turns Tragic

Boating and water sports are popular recreational activities in California, with San Diego being home to over 51,000 registered boats in a recent year, according to the California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW). Sadly, in the same year, DBW also reported a significant number of accidents, which include:

  • 588 boating accidents
  • 266 injuries
  • 50 fatalities

A day boating on a lake, river, or up and down the California coast should not end in tragedy, but when negligent boat operators take the helm, injuries are bound to follow. Injuries in a San Diego boating accident as a result of another’s negligence are subject to compensation in a personal injury claim, and you should not hesitate to contact a lawyer at jD LAW, P.C. at (760) 630-2000 to schedule a free consultation.

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What Are the Risks Associated with Boating?

Risks on the water can stem from operator negligence or inexperience. Operator negligence can take many forms, including:

  • Overcrowding: Too many passengers can create safety risks, either of passengers falling off the boat or a fire hazard from crowded walkways.
  • Distracted navigation: An operator should constantly monitor the weather, water depth, physical condition of the boat, and other environmental conditions. Boat operators should also have a lookout onboard, checking for what is behind or ahead of the boat, such as swimmers, tubers, and water skiers.
  • Speeding: The faster the boat is traveling, the less time the operator has to react to a hazard in its path.
  • Failing to appropriately yield to other vessels: Violating navigation rules could cause the boat to collide with other vessels or run aground.
  • Hitting a wave at unsafe speeds and angles: Without proper maneuvering, a large wave or wake could cause a collision or capsize.
  • Safety Procedures: Failing to have safety equipment and evacuation plans required by law onboard can result in fatalities.

Other causes of boating accidents include equipment or machinery failure, improper loading, hazardous waters, restricted vision, and ignition of spilled fuel or vapor. Passenger and skier behavior can also contribute to boating accidents. In cases in which alcohol testing was performed, alcohol consumption was found to be involved in 40% of fatal boating accidents.

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Types of Boating Accidents

The following types of boating accidents occurred in the most recent year for which statistics are available:

  • Collision with another vessel (209)
  • Grounding (83)
  • Flooding/swamping (82)
  • Sinking (66)
  • Capsizing (58)
  • Collision with a fixed object (57)
  • Falls overboard (51)
  • Skier mishaps (34)
  • A person leaves or is ejected from the vessel (23)
  • Fire or explosion, other than fuel (20)
  • Falls onboard the boat (17)
  • Fire or explosion involving fuel (15)
  • Struck by motor/propeller (14)
  • Struck by boat (12)
  • Struck submerged object (11)
  • Collision with a floating object (7)

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Common Injuries in Boating Accidents

Boating accidents can cause a wide range of injuries, from minor to fatal. Common types of injuries include:

  • Lacerations, abrasions, bruises, and puncture wounds
  • Fractured or dislocated bones
  • Burns, electrocution, and smoke inhalation
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Internal bleeding and organ damage
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Hypothermia
  • Oxygen deprivation and drowning
  • Death

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Who Can Be Held Liable for Boating Accident Injuries?

If someone else’s negligence caused you to be injured in a boating accident, that person could be held liable for your injuries. The accident may have been the fault of the boat operator or another boat operator, or it may have the result of equipment failure, weather conditions, or hazardous water conditions. Electrocutions in the water can be caused by dock wiring and boat electrical systems, which would be subject to a premises liability claim or product liability claim.

Our San Diego personal injury attorneys at jD LAW, P.C., can thoroughly investigate your boating accident to determine liability. We can secure and preserve evidence to support your claim, build a strong case based on the facts, negotiate skillfully with insurance companies, and argue for compensation during a trial. Call us at (760) 630-2000 to schedule a free consultation.

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Don’t Wait A Second Longer

When you have been injured, or a loved one has been killed due to the negligence of another, you need legal help. Contact JD LAW, P.C., today to get the justice you deserve.

Don’t Wait A Second Longer

When you have been injured, or a loved one has been killed due to the negligence of another, you need legal help. Contact JD LAW, P.C., today to get the justice you deserve.

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A note from James N. Dicks:

Although COVID-19 has caused great uncertainty, we want to assure that our firm is operating remotely to accommodate all current, past, and future clients in need of any of our services. The best way to communicate with us is by telephone (760) 630-2000 or email info@jdlaw.law.

Currently San Diego Superior Courts are closed but are set to reopen on Friday May 1st, 2020 barring any future orders.

Do not hesitate to contact us with any questions. Sending our thoughts and best wishes to you and your family. Please follow us on Facebook for any future updates.


Aunque COVID-19 ha causado una gran incertidumbre, queremos asegurarles que nuestra oficina esta operando de forma remota para todos los clientes actuales, pasados y futuros que necesiten alguno de nuestros servicios. La mejor manera de comunicarse con nosotros es por teléfono (760) 630-2000 o por correo electrónico a info@jdlaw.law.

Los Tribunales Superiores de San Diego están cerrados, pero están programados para reabrir el viernes 1 de mayo de 2020, salvo una nueva orden.

No dude en contactarnos si tiene alguna pregunta. Estamos enviando nuestros pensamientos y mejores deseos para usted y su familia. Síganos en Facebook para seguir siendo informado de novedades nuevas.


James N. Dicks
jD LAW, P.C.

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COVID-19 Announcement

Although COVID-19 has caused great uncertainty, we want to assure that our firm is operating remotely to accommodate all current, past, and future clients in need of any of our services. The best way to communicate with us is by telephone (760) 630-2000 or email info@jdlaw.law. Do not hesitate to contact us with any questions. Sending our thoughts and best wishes to you and your family.


Aunque COVID-19 ha causado una gran incertidumbre, queremos asegurarles que nuestra oficina esta operando de forma remota para todos los clientes actuales, pasados y futuros que necesiten alguno de nuestros servicios. La mejor manera de comunicarse con nosotros es por teléfono (760) 630-2000 o por correo electrónico a info@jdlaw.law. No dude en contactarnos si tiene alguna pregunta. Estamos enviando nuestros pensamientos y mejores deseos para usted y su familia.

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