Looking for a boat accident lawyer in San Jose?
California has more than 200 lakes and 1,300 miles of coastal waterways, making it a popular destination for boaters. Each year, many people are injured in boating accidents in the state, and some of those accidents happen in the San Jose area. If you are injured in a boating accident, talking to an experienced San Jose boat accident attorney is important so that you might protect your legal rights to the recovery of damages.
How common are boat accidents in the San Jose area?
In 2016, which is the most recent year for which data is available, the California Division of Boating and Waterways reported that there were five boating accidents in Santa Clara County that injured three people. In the greater San Francisco Bay Area, there were 26 boating accidents that injured 19 people and killed two. In California as a whole, 588 boating accidents happened in 2016, resulting in 266 injuries and 50 fatalities.
What causes boat accidents?
There are many different potential causes of boating accidents. The following scenarios are among the most common causes of boating accidents:
• Collisions with other vessels
• Swamping or flooding
• Sinking or capsizing
• Falling overboard
• Colliding into fixed objects
• Skier accidents
• Fires or explosions
• Falls on the boats
• Being struck by propellers or motor
How to deal with boating insurance after an accident
Boating accidents can result in some difficult liability issues. For example, if the boat that you were on collided with another vessel, both boat operators are likely to share part of the liability. Injured passengers on both boats could file claims with the boating insurance policies of both operators. If one boat’s operator is injured, he or she may file a claim with the boating insurance policy of the other operator, but the amount that he or she might recover will be reduced by the percentage of fault that the injured operator had in the accident. Liability in accidents that are caused by hitting waves or the wakes of other boats may depend on how large the wakes were, how fast the boat was traveling, the location, the amount of boat traffic and other factors.
After a boat accident, you should first seek medical treatment for your injuries. The insurance company will likely contact you and ask about your injuries and what occurred. It is best for you to avoid making statements about your accident and injuries until you have been able to speak to an attorney. You are able to tell the insurance company representative that you would like to talk to a lawyer before you will give a statement.
Common injuries in boat accidents
The most common types of injuries that happen in boat accidents include the following:
• Brain injuries
• Spinal cord injuries
When to call a boat accident lawyer in San Jose
In California, cases that are filed in state court for boating accident injuries must be filed no later than two years after the date of injury. If the accident was one that falls under the Jones Act, there is a three-year federal statute of limitations to file a claim. If the defendant is a governmental entity, a notice of claim must be filed no later than six months after the date that the boating accident occurred. It is a good idea for people to speak to a knowledgeable boating accident lawyer in San Jose as soon as possible so that you do not miss your filing deadline. An attorney can determine which statute of limitations applies to your claim so that he or she can help you to file your claim on time.
Why you should contact a San Jose boat accident attorney
Boat accidents may involve some unique liability issues. An experienced San Jose boat accident lawyer can help to identify all of the potentially liable parties and the recovery sources. He or she may conduct an in-depth investigation so that he or she can present a clear picture of liability to the responsible insurance companies. Contact our law firm today to schedule your free consultation.