Boat Accidents

Boat Accidents

You and your family are having a beautiful day out on the lake, when suddenly a ski boat comes speeding toward you.  It is obvious they are not paying attention to where they are going.  You honk.  You start up the boat and try to move.  But, it is too late.  You hear a crash and feel the impact.  You are hurled from the wheel to the portside.  Your ears are ringing.  Your head is throbbing.  You look down and see blood.  Your arm is badly broken.  You hear the sound of water filling the hull.  You start to swim for it.  But, your shoulder hurts so badly you can hardly move it.  Fortunately, another boater saw the whole thing and is on their way to pull you and your family from the water as your boat sinks to the bottom of the lake. 

You lost your boat.  You ended up in the hospital.  You are out of work because of your injuries.  It is every boater’s worst nightmare.  But, boat accidents happen. 

When they do, they can be devasting.  One of the top causes of boating accidents is failing to maintain a safe speed for the conditions.  That could mean speeding through a crowded area, or speeding at night, when visibility is much lower.

There are about 13 million boats and watercraft registered in the United States.  That can mean boats, jet skis, and even transportation ferries.  Most must be equipped with things like appropriately sized, personal floatation devices for all the passengers, horns, bells, and/or whistles, working radios to make distress calls, fire extinguishers, visual distress signals like flares, flags, and/or lights, and ventilation.  Despite all these safety precautions, boating is still dangerous.  Approximately 800 people are killed every year in boating accidents, and 8,000 people suffer serious injuries. 

Boating accidents, come in all shapes and sizes, but the most common ones we see are:

  • Boating accidents involving two or more watercraft;
  • Boating accidents at work functions;
  • Charter boats and SCUBA accidents;
  • Problems aboard a “booze cruise”; and
  • Boat fires. 

The most common causes of boating accidents are:

  • Alcohol: intoxication is the leading cause of death while boating;
  • Operator inattention: not paying attention while operating you boat;
  • Improper lookout: improper lookout means failing to keep an eye on the surroundings for any potential hazards;
  • Machinery failure: boats are complex machines with lots of parts that need to be in good working order.  Boaters who fail to take appropriate care of their boats can be liable if their failure to care causes injuries to another. 
  • Speeding: going fast is fun.  We all love to punch it and see what happens.  But, speeding makes it much harder for the operator to avoid accidents. 

If you were, or someone you love was, seriously injured, or killed in a boating accident you may be entitled to:

  • Compensation for serious injuries and medical bills;
  • Compensation for lost earnings from injuries or death;
  • Compensation for pain and suffering; and 
  • Funeral expenses. 

Our boat accident attorneys have spent years on the rivers and lakes of California.  Attorney McCarthy grew up going to Lake Shasta, Oroville, New Melones, Don Pedro, Nacimiento, and San Antonio.  He spent summers in the Sierras on Huntington, Bass Lake, Pinecrest, and Lake Tahoe.  He spent much of his time in college on Lake Berryessa, Clear Lake, Folsom Lake, the American River, and the San Joaquin River.  He spent days drifting through the Delta.  Later, he spent time at Big Bear, Arrowhead, and Elsinore.  He loves the great outdoors and he also represents folks who have been in bike accidents, motorcycle accidents, and hiking accidents[JM1] .   

If you have been hurt in a boating accident, or someone you love has had a wrongful death[JM2]  due to boating accident, you need to act fast to preserve your rights.  We offer free case evaluations to everyone who submits a form, and free consultations to everyone we think we’re in a position to help.  An award-winning boat accident attorney will review and respond to every inquiry within 24-48 hours.  We take boat accident cases on a contingency fee basis meaning we only get paid a percentage of whatever we recover for you.  So, if we don’t get you anything, you don’t owe us anything.  We might not be able to take on your case.  But, even if we’re not in a position to take on your case, we want to get you headed in the right direction.  What do you have to lose? 


 [JM2]Wrongful death



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McCarthy Law Monterrey Locations

McCarthy Law

From our offices in Monterey, California and Fresno, California, we serve clients throughout the California Central Coast, including but not limited to: Fresno County, Kern County, Madera County, Merced County, Monterey County, San Benito County, San Joaquin County, San Luis Obispo County, Santa Barbara County, Santa Cruz County, Stanislaus County, and Tuolumne County.