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Attorney Jared Pursley
Carlsbad Personal Injury LawyerBlogBoat AccidentFive Kinds of Boating Accidents

Five Kinds of Boating Accidents


Most of the boating accidents listed below are caused by negligence, which is basically a lack of care. Operator negligence, while driving the boat, supervising passengers, or both, is the most common culprit. Usually, owners with little or no experience aboard a watercraft must safely operate a high-powered boat and ensure that passengers, who probably haven’t been on board a boat either, are reasonably safe.

When operators breach their duty of care, a Carlsbad boat accident lawyer can obtain substantial compensation in court. This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. In many cases, the boat’s owner, as opposed to the boat’s operator, is financially responsible for these damages, under the negligent entrustment rule.


A collision with another watercraft or a fixed object, like a dock, might be the most common kind of boat accident. As mentioned, many operators have little or no experience. As a result, they believe that operating a boat is basically like operating a car.

However, a boat, unlike a car, cannot turn or stop on a dime. Cars have tires that grip the road and brakes that stop them. Boats float.

Collision-related injuries, such as broken bones and head injuries, are usually more severe in these cases. Emergency responders cannot reach stricken boat occupants as quickly as they can reach stricken vehicle occupants. So, by the time they tirage victims and begin treatment, their wounds, especially head injuries, are already advanced.

On-Board Falls

Large ships, like cruise ships, are generally stable in the water. Smaller ships, like party boats, are generally unstable in the water, especially if the weather is less than ideal.

Neither boat operators nor San Marcos personal injury lawyers can control the weather. But they can control the way they respond to bad weather. The duty of care requires operators to keep passengers reasonably safe, regardless of the weather. So, during inclement weather, operators must take additional precautions.

Even if the weather is ideal, on-board falls are still a serious hazard. As mentioned, many boats roll and pitch. Simply crossing from one side of the deck to the other side in such an environment is extremely hazardous.

Alcohol, which often flows freely on boats, often contributes to fall injuries. As party hosts, boat operators have a duty to control alcohol consumption and ensure that no one becomes dangerously intoxicated.

Man-Overboard Falls

Life jackets prevent some, but not all, drownings. Additionally life jackets don’t prevent people from falling overboard. The impact with the water usually stuns victims, decreasing their chances of survival.

Moreover, many of these incidents occur at night, when the victim might not immediately be missed. As a result, the victim spends an extended amount of time in the open water.

Departure Injuries

These injuries are closely related to on-board falls. Injuries are common if a passenger voluntarily gets off the boat by their own will, such as by diving off or jumping in, rather than falling off, often because of a sudden change in direction or excessive speed used. Regularly scheduled departure falls are common as well. Usually, the duty of care requires operators to pick up and drop off passengers in safe locations.

Departing a vessel is particularly dangerous when the individual is under the influence of alcohol or drugs.


Some operators take their safety responsibility too seriously. They stay in very shallow water. As a result, the boat runs aground, causing massive damage not only to the boat, but to passengers as well.

Work With a Savvy San Diego County Lawyer

Injury victims are entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in San Marcos, contact the Pursley Law Firm. Virtual, home, and hospital visits are available.

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