Lawyers serving Ventura and San Luis Obispo protecting your rights

The Central Coast of California is an ideal spot for all types of aquatic activities, including boating, waterskiing, fishing, diving and swimming. But boating in our lakes and ocean can be dangerous. In 2011, there were more than 500 boating accidents reported in California, which resulted in more than 300 injuries and more than 50 fatalities. At McCarthy & Kroes, we work hard to help victims who are injured in boat accidents in the Pacific Ocean, Cachuma Lake in Santa Barbara County, Lake Lopez in Arroyo Grande, Lake Nacimiento in Paso Robles and other lakes throughout the Central Coast of California. As a boat owner, boating accident lawyer R. Chris Kroes has extensive experience with boating issues arising on our local lakes. This personal experience gives our firm insight into boating liability and injuries and enables us to provide our clients with highly professional, skilled and decisive legal representation for all types of vehicle accidents.

Owner or operator negligence

Of the more than 500 accidents occurring in California in 2011, 188 were the result of operator inattention, 108 were caused by excessive speed and 104 were due to operator inexperience. With 25 years of experience, our attorneys help you hold boat operators and watercraft owners liable when all types of boating negligence causes injuries or the wrongful death of a loved one:

  • Distracted boating or operator inattention
  • Speeding
  • Boat operator inexperience
  • Watercraft owner negligence, including loaning boats out to inexperienced or intoxicated operators
  • Boating under the influence
  • Improper loading or overloading
  • Unsafe or sharp turns
  • No proper lookout or restricted vision
  • Careless or reckless boating
  • Improper boat lights
  • Improper boat maintenance
  • Distracted boating
  • Violations of the rules of the “road”
  • Negligent speed in congested waters

Recreational boat accidents

While negligent boat operation is the most common cause of recreational boat accidents, there are many other problems that may arise:

  • A jet ski accident may occur because riders are acting dangerously, such as by speeding or weaving, or because a boat creates a dangerous wake that capsizes a jet ski, raft or other personal watercraft.
  • Boat passengers may be liable for negligent acts that injure others, including overloading boats beyond specifications, drinking on board or other reckless behavior.
  • A boat owner may be held liable for injuries caused by failure to maintain a boat or failure to take appropriate safety precautions, such as providing enough life jackets or working flares.
  • Many personal watercraft accidents are caused by machinery failure because of defective boating equipment for which a manufacturer may be held liable. Nearly 70 accidents in 2011 were caused by machinery, equipment and hull failure.

Commercial boat accidents

As with recreational watercraft, commercial boat owners may be held liable when a boat accident and injuries are caused by their negligence, such as improper maintenance, providing an untrained or negligent crew, overloading a boat or failing to provide life vests and other safety equipment. Operators of certain commercial boats, including most cruise ships, owe a higher level of care to passengers to prevent cruise ship accidents, passenger injuries and other harm. To learn more about liability in different types of commercial boat accidents, contact our dedicated personal injury lawyer.

Seek experienced representation from skilled lawyers in California

If you were injured or lost a loved one in a boat or other aquatic accident, McCarthy & Kroes is fully committed to providing the professional assistance you need. For a free initial consultation with a highly accessible attorney, contact us online or call 805.564.2085 today.