Whenever you decide to go diving off the coast in California, it’s a very exciting opportunity for snorkeling and exploring. Usually, this involves you taking a boat out to the exploration area, then diving into the ocean. While this is certainly an exciting way to enjoy California’s many miles of coastline and ocean waters, there’s also the possibility that you’ll be involved in an accident. And like any other type of accident, you could find yourself with a variety of different injuries.
Support From California Boat Accident Lawyers
Being injured in a boat accident in California is something nobody wants to go through. However, the reality is that there are many different types of accidents that can happen, even if you’re being careful. When you are injured in a boat accident, you’ll likely need guidance and support as you make your way through recovery.
At Maison Law, our team of dedicated California boat accident lawyers understands how difficult any accident and injury can be. When you’ve been hurt because someone else didn’t take your safety seriously or put your loved one in a bad situation, we can help. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn more.
What Types of Accidents Can Happen on California Diving Boats?
Part of what makes a California diving boat outing so exciting is that it offers you a number of different activities while also enjoying California’s beautiful weather and scenery. In response to this demand, there are numerous companies throughout the state that sell packages using these diving boats. That said, there’s a range of accidents due to the nature of the activity and the environment in which they operate. Some types of accidents that can happen on California diving boats include:
- Boat collisions – Collisions with other vessels, rocks, reefs, or other underwater obstacles can lead to accidents, causing damage to the boat and posing a risk to passengers and crew.
- Diving incidents – Accidents can occur during diving activities, such as equipment malfunctions, getting entangled in fishing lines or kelp, or encountering marine life that may behave unexpectedly.
- Fire and explosions – Fires can break out on board due to various reasons such as electrical faults, fuel leaks, or improper handling of flammable materials. Explosions may result from gas leaks or other hazardous materials.
- Sinking or capsizing – Adverse weather conditions, rough seas, or water ingress can lead to the boat sinking or capsizing, endangering everyone on board.
- Weather-related accidents – Severe weather conditions like storms, strong winds, and heavy waves can pose significant risks to diving boats, potentially leading to accidents or difficulties in navigation.
- Equipment failures – Mechanical failures of the boat’s systems, such as engines, navigation equipment, or communication devices, can result in accidents or difficulties in returning to shore.
- Slips, trips and falls – The movement of the boat on water can lead to passengers and crew members slipping, tripping, or falling, causing injuries.
- Overboard incidents – Accidental falls overboard can occur due to unstable footing, sudden jolts, or other unexpected circumstances.
While there’s a variety of different accidents that can happen to you or a loved one on a diving boat, there are certain ways you can at least mitigate the risk of an accident. Typically, companies that sell diving boat activities are insured and have special training for the particular activity they offer. Still, these accidents can happen–and when they do, you could be injured.
What Are Some Common Types of Injuries That Can Happen in a California Diving Boat Accident?
Again, the possibility of a diving boat accident in California is ever-present. Like any accident, injuries are usually the most consequential outcome of these incidents. But every accident–and thus every potential injury–is unique. This means that you could not only be involved in numerous types of accidents on a California diving boat, but you could also suffer a range of injuries:
- Diving injuries – Divers can experience injuries like decompression sickness (the bends) due to ascending too quickly from depths, lung overexpansion injuries, or barotrauma caused by pressure changes. These injuries often result from improper diving practices or equipment malfunctions.
- Cuts and bruising – Slippery surfaces on the boat, diving equipment, and underwater structures can lead to cuts, scrapes, and bruises. These injuries can happen when individuals lose their footing or collide with objects.
- Broken bones and sprains – Uneven surfaces, sudden movements of the boat, or falls can result in sprained joints and broken bones. Ankles, wrists, and shoulders are particularly vulnerable to such injuries.
- Burn injuries – Accidental fires or contact with hot surfaces or liquids on the boat can cause burns and scalds, leading to varying degrees of tissue damage.
- Hypothermia – Cold water temperatures can lead to hypothermia if divers or passengers are not adequately protected. Prolonged exposure to cold conditions can cause numbness, loss of dexterity, and other cold-related injuries.
- Concussions and Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) – Falls, sudden impacts, or collisions during rough sea conditions can result in concussions, head trauma, and other brain injuries.
- Spinal injuries – Accidental falls, diving mishaps, or sudden jolts can cause spinal injuries, ranging from minor strains to severe fractures that may have long-lasting effects.
- Drownings – In cases of boat capsizing, sinking, or other accidents, individuals may be at risk of drowning or near-drowning, leading to respiratory and other related injuries.
- Lacerations from equipment – Mishandling or improper use of diving equipment, such as knives, hooks, or spear guns, can lead to serious lacerations and puncture wounds.
- Traumatic injuries – In the event of a collision with another vessel, rocks, or underwater obstacles, individuals on board can experience a range of traumatic injuries, including broken bones, internal injuries, and head trauma.
Figuring out who’s at fault in a diving boat accident is similar to regular vehicle accidents. Under California law, the party that acted carelessly and caused the accident is accountable for the damages that follow.
Yet, with diving boats, there’s a big difference. It can be trickier to prove negligence because there’s a number of different people and parties involved. Thus, liability depends on the circumstances of the accident. Still, the party that was negligent is ultimately responsible for covering your injuries. Negligence in a diving boat accident is determined by establishing the following:
- Everyone involved in the accident must act carefully to avoid harming others.
- If someone doesn’t act carefully and breaks their duty, that’s negligence.
- The careless act must directly lead to the accident.
- The accident causes damage, like property damage, injury, or death.
Once these elements are shown, liability for a diving boat accident in California can be on:
- Operator of the boat – If the accident involved a collision or some other type of accident from negligent operation of the boat, the person operating the boat could be responsible.
- Diving boat company – If a company operates the diving boat, they’re responsible if they didn’t manage or run it correctly.
- Diving boat or equipment manufacturer – If the accident happened because the car was poorly designed or made, the manufacturer might be to blame.
- Other operators – If another boat operator or someone else’s actions caused the accident, they could be held responsible.
Regardless of who is responsible for your accident and injuries, the law allows you to file a claim for damages. It’s here that our team of experienced California boat accident lawyers can be extremely helpful.
Legal Options After a California Diving Boat Accident
If you’re in a diving boat accident in California, your injuries and damages can be really serious. Each case is unique, and your potential recovery depends on the circumstances of your accident and the extent of your injuries. While this is a difficult and challenging process, working with our lawyers can help with this.
Generally, you have two options for filing a claim for damages: filing an insurance claim or filing a personal injury lawsuit. Our team can help you figure out the best path for you to take, then guide you through the process. Ultimately, by filing a claim, you can potentially recover the following:
- Any medical expenses and costs for ongoing care
- Lost wages or income from missing or being unable to work
- Pain and suffering damages
- Costs relating to the emotional distress you’ve gone through
- Costs relating to any permanent injuries or disfigurement
- Loss of enjoyment of life or companionship
- Punitive damages, in certain cases
These damages will likely be most of the financial support you can recover, but remember, it’s the insurance company of the one responsible for the accident that decides what you get.
Even if your claim is strong, the insurance company wants to save money. They might try to make your claim worth less. That’s why it’s important to act quickly to preserve your claim.
Our California Boat Accident Lawyers Are Ready to Assist You
When you’re involved in a California diving boat accident, you’re faced with multiple challenges. You might be hurt, unable to work, struggling to support your family, and even dealing with the opposing insurance company. All the while, you’re trying to heal from the injuries caused by someone else.
At Maison Law, we understand how to battle large insurance companies and diving boat operators or companies that didn’t keep you safe. Our personalized approach to each case gets the results you need for your recovery journey. Don’t wait to get the help you need. Contact us today for a free consultation. Our team is ready to assist you.