Ventura and Santa Barbara Boating Accident Lawyer

If you or someone you love was injured in a boat collision on the Pacific Ocean off the coast of California, we urge you to contact a boating accident attorney from The Law Offices of Bamieh & De Smeth, PLC for compassionate yet aggressive legal representation.  We have handled thousands of cases and have even been included on the list of California Super Lawyers®.

When you are represented by Bamieh & De Smeth, you can trust that your case is in the right hands.  To talk about your California boat injury claim in a free consultation, call our law offices at (805) 643-5555 today.

Do I Have a Personal Injury Claim for My Boat Accident at Ventura Harbor?

Ventura, California is a favorite destination among ocean lovers and boat enthusiasts alike.  While scenic Ventura Harbor boasts a heritage of recreational boating and commercial fishing, this seaside playground can turn into a boater’s nightmare when negligent operation of a watercraft causes a boat accident.

Because California is such a popular hub for boating, it is unfortunately not uncommon for crashes, collisions, and other types of accidents to occur. Sadly, the victims of boating accidents frequently drown or suffer serious injuries.  According to a 2014 report by the U.S. Coast Guard, the top four causes of death from boating accidents were:

  • Drowning — 418 fatalities
  • Blunt Force Trauma — 94
  • Cardiac Arrest — 15
  • Hypothermia — 5

If your boat-related injury was caused by the negligence, or carelessness, of another boater, you may have a personal injury claim, and could be entitled to compensation for your income losses, medical bills, pain and suffering, and other losses, including expenses you’re expected to incur in the future.  Rely on the Ventura Harbor boat crash lawyers of Bamieh & De Smeth to analyze your claim in detail and negotiate aggressively to maximize your settlement.  If necessary, we are ready to bring your case to trial.  We will keep you informed of every detail as your case progresses, and work closely with you to make sure you have a thorough understanding of your rights and legal options.

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Statistics on the Leading Causes of Boating Crashes, Deaths, and Injuries

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 330 people die in fatal boat accidents every year.  Tragically, approximately one in five drowning victims are children under the age of 15.

While defective boat parts sometimes cause or contribute to accidents, most crashes are caused by operational errors made by the person who is driving the boat.  In many cases, we find a common thread: operators who have not received proper boating safety instruction.  Due to the sheer speed and power of these vehicles, it is absolutely essential to have adequate training before getting behind the wheel or helm of a boat, yet in too many cases, inexperienced operators take — and subsequently lose — control.  Sometimes, parents allow their teenagers or even young children to steer the vessel, leading to disaster on the water.
According to the aforementioned Coast Guard report, the top five causes of boating accidents in the United States in 2014 were:

    • Collisions with recreational boats
      • Accidents — 937
      • Injuries — 652
      • Fatalities — 40
    • Flooding or swamping
      • Accidents — 463
      • Injuries — 139
      • Fatalities — 70
    • Collisions with fixed objects
      • Accidents — 452
      • Injuries — 355
      • Fatalities — 51
    • Grounding accidents
      • Accidents — 359
      • Injuries — 235
      • Fatalities — 13
    • Water skiing accidents
      • Accidents — 292
      • Injuries — 305
      • Fatalities — 8

The U.S. Coast Guard also reported on the top 10 contributing factors and causes of boat accidents:

    • Operator inattention
      • Accidents — 563
      • Injuries — 370
      • Fatalities — 38
    • Improper lookouts
      • Accidents — 431
      • Injuries — 321
      • Fatalities — 26
    • Inexperienced boaters
      • Accidents — 391
      • Injuries — 256
      • Fatalities — 44
    • Speeding
      • Accidents — 282
      • Injuries — 267
      • Fatalities — 23
    • Boating while intoxicated by alcohol
      • Accidents — 277
      • Injuries — 248
      • Fatalities — 108
    • Mechanical failures
      • Accidents — 255
      • Injuries — 82
      • Fatalities — 14
    • Violations of navigational rules
      • Accidents — 186
      • Injuries — 147
      • Fatalities — 14
    • Hazardous waters
      • Accidents — 185
      • Injuries — 90
      • Fatalities — 55
    • Inclement weather
      • Accidents — 174
      • Injuries — 78
      • Fatalities — 45
    • Boat wakes
      • Accidents — 153
      • Injuries — 142
      • Fatalities — 3

As you can see from this data, all but two of the leading causes of boat accidents — choppy waters and bad weather — stem from human actions.  In many instances, crashes are preventable, and negligence is to blame.

In addition to the factors noted by the Coast Guard, a boating injury can also be caused by lack of necessary precautions.  For example, boats should have safety tools like life vests and lifesavers on board. Inadequate equipment, or defective equipment, can be negligence on the part of the boat owner and grounds for an injury claim.

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Contact an Experienced Santa Barbara, California Personal Injury Lawyer

If you were injured in a boat accident, the best way to protect your rights to fair compensation is to engage a qualified Ventura personal injury lawyer.  You may be able to recover compensation. Furthermore, if you lost a loved one to a boating accident, we will help your family seek a wrongful death claim so that you can receive the financial support that you need to move forward.

Without qualified legal representation from The Law Offices of Bamieh & De Smeth, PLC, you can expect to receive a low-ball settlement, which could result in thousands of dollars in valuable compensation forever lost if you should accept such an offer.  Make sure your rights and best interests are being protected.  Call The Law Offices of Bamieh & De Smeth, PLC at (805) 643-5555 for a free legal consultation today.

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