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Watercraft and Boating Accident Attorneys in Los Angeles

Southern California and Los Angeles benefits from pleasant weather almost year-round. Plus there are many nearby waterways in Southern California where recreational boats are allowed to ride and soak up the California sun, including the Pacific Ocean, nearby bays, lakes and rivers. These factors bring people from all around the world to Southern California and the Los Angeles area waterways.

With the increases in boat activity comes an increase in boating accidents throughout Southern California. In the unfortunate event of a boating accident, if you or a loved one are injured due to the negligence of a second party, you should contact an experienced boat accident lawyer in Los Angeles to help seek justice and compensation.

Boat Accident and Personal Watercraft Statistics

While the use of personal watercraft and boats can be fun and exhilarating, it can – just as with any motor vehicle – also be very dangerous. Boating accidents occur on waterways all over the country for a wide range reasons causing a wide range of injuries. Operator error, excessive speed for weather/water conditions, and failure to abide by maritime navigation rules can result in jet ski accidents which often end with serious bodily injury or even death.

Boating Accidents off the Southern California Coast from 2010 to 2015:

YearAccidentsInjuriesDeaths
20151955110
2014219725
2013148514
2012125399
20111335310
2010190368

Boat Accidents in the U.S. by Watercraft Type – 2014 Statistics

Type of BoatTotal InjuriesTotal Deaths
Open Motorboat1390282
Personal Watercraft34592
Cabin Motorboat39255
Canoe/Kayak133123
Pontoon1797

Data Source: USCBoating.org

The Rise of Personal Watercraft in Southern California

Also known as WaveRunners, Jet Ski’s and Sea-Doo’s have steadily increased in popularity since the 90’s. Their small size, speed, ease of use, maneuverability and affordability make them a favorite of those looking to have a good time on the open water. Add to this a propulsion system which does not use external propellers, making them safer for swimmers and wildlife, and it is no wonder that many water-sport lovers, lifeguards, and law enforcement officers alike all use personal watercrafts.

If you or a loved one was injured in a watercraft accident in Los Angeles due to negligence, you need to contact the seasoned watercraft accident attorney in Los Angeles Panish Shea & Boyle to help you get a fair settlement.

Safety Concerns with Personal Watercraft

Personal watercraft also present safety concerns when it comes to their ability to steer. In a personal watercraft, steering is achieved from aiming the nozzle of the pump jet – rather than with a rudder with a boat, which means the craft cannot be steered in an emergency breakdown situation. This means that steering is significantly reduced when the throttle is not being applied, thus leading to serious watercraft accidents as operators lose maneuverability as they slow down.

Main Causes of U.S. Boating Accidents – 2014 Statistics

Contributing Factor# of Accidents# of Deaths # of Injuries
Operator Inattention56338370
Improper Lookout43126321
Operator Inexperience39144256
Excessive Speed28223267
Alcohol Use277108248
Machinery Failure2551482
Navigation Rules Violation18614147
Hazardous Waters1855590
Weather1744578
Force of Wave/Wake1533142

Data Source: USCBoating.org

Another serious safety issue with personal watercrafts is orifice injuries. When a rider or passenger in a jet ski accident is ejected off the back of the watercraft and placed directly in the path of the personal watercraft’s high-pressure jet of water, rearward ejection jet thrust injuries can occur. This powerful jet of water easily penetrates any orifice it reaches, often resulting in serious disability or even death.

Safety issues such as these have led to legislation in some states that require riders of personal watercrafts to take courses in boating and maritime safety. In the United States there were 1,424 reported injuries and 50 reported fatalities in personal watercraft accidents for the year 2004. The Personal Watercraft Industry Association (PWIA) suggests that riders take the following precautions to help avoid jet ski accidents:

  • Boater safety education for all personal watercraft riders under 22 years of age.
  • Each person operating or riding on a personal watercraft should wear an approved Type I-V life jacket.
  • The operator of a personal watercraft must attach the engine cutoff switch lanyard to his/her body, clothing, or personal floatation device.
  • Personal watercrafts should not be operated from a half-hour after sunset to a half-hour before sunrise.
  • Never operate a personal watercraft while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Boating Accidents within Los Angeles County

As of December 31, 2015 there were 91,529 boating vessels registered in Los Angeles county. We have created a graph below that shows the number of boating accidents that occurred in popular boating destinations within Los Angeles County.

Data Source: Ca.gov Division of Boating and Waterways

Panish Shea & Boyle LLP are your Boat Accident Lawyers in Los Angeles

The Los Angeles boating accident and personal watercraft injury attorneys at Panish Shea & Boyle LLP have devoted their practice to representing victims who have been catastrophically injured, by the negligence of another entity. If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a personal watercraft accident, contact the personal injury attorneys at Panish Shea & Boyle LLP today for a free consultation of your case.

Copyright © Panish Shea & Boyle, LLP – California Watercraft Accident Lawyers – All rights reserved.

Disclaimer: The legal information presented at this site should not be considered formal legal advice, nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. Prior results do not guarantee or predict a similar outcome with respect to any future matter. Please note that you are not considered a client until you have signed a retainer agreement and your case has been accepted by us.

Related Boating Accident Articles:

Labor Day Boating Safety: http://www.psblaw.com/2013/08/30/ensure-safety-labor-day-plans-include-boating/

Cold Weather Boating Tips: http://www.psblaw.com/2013/01/09/tips-for-those-intent-on-boating-during-cold-weather/

Haul Rite Boat Trailer Recall: http://www.psblaw.com/2012/08/21/haul-rite-boat-trailers-recalled-by-b-m-for-wheel-separation-risk/

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