Los Angeles residents have plenty of sandy, sunny coastline to enjoy, but many don’t know the joys of “lake life” found just an hour from downtown.
Heading north on I-5 will bring you to the beautiful Castaic Lake and open up a world of watersports, world-record fishing, and relaxation.
A day on the lake is the perfect getaway from city life. But like the careless drivers that make freeway travel so dangerous, careless boaters can also put you at risk of a California boating accident. It’s important to know your rights after getting hurt by a boater’s negligence on the water.
Castaic Lake Boating Accident Dangers
Castaic Lake in northwestern Los Angeles County boasts 29-miles of shoreline and amazing views of the towering 425-foot Castaic Dam.
It’s actually two lakes in one. Lower lake is for non-power boating and canoeing. Upper lake is for sailing, powerboating, water and jet skiing, and fishing.
When powerful motors are propelling boats, they can become very dangerous projectiles. Unfortunately, not every boat operator is paying attention to the other boats and lake goers around them like they should. They can act in a reckless manner and end up seriously injuring themselves, someone outside their watercraft, or someone in their own boat.
These are just some of the dangers your family may be exposed to while on an excursion to Castaic Lake:
- Negligent Boat Operators – Anyone in the driver’s seat of a boat or jet ski owes everyone else on the lake a legal “duty of care.” This means that every action the operator takes is done in a manner that keeps others using the lake reasonably safe. That care must be extended to people swimming, canoeing, kayaking, and paddleboarding.
- Alcohol Dangers — Piloting a boat while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is not showing a “duty of care” and can lead to devastating watercraft collisions. Alcohol is prohibited on Lake Castaic, but that doesn’t mean people are abstaining.
- Firework Dangers – Fireworks are also illegal on Lake Castaic, but that doesn’t mean people aren’t lighting the fuse. The 4th of July is an especially dangerous time to be on the water. People being careless and perhaps under the influence of alcohol can make unsafe decisions with these explosives.
- Negligent Boat Rental and Tour Companies – Companies that offer services on local lakes like boat rentals and boat tours are responsible for the safety of all customers. All appropriate safety devices must be provided, boat captains and other employees must be background checked, and boats should receive proper maintenance.
- Passenger Dangers – Passengers in boats may make some poor decisions and cause harm to others. They may be under the influence when they cause someone to fall out of a boat or accidentally cause boaters to trip and hit their heads. The reckless use of fireworks may also be a hazard to people on the same boat or on other boats.
- State Park Negligence — Castaic Lake State Recreation Area is a state park run by the California Department of Parks and Recreation. They are charged with giving all visitors a safe journey in the parking lot, at picnic areas, playgrounds, and on the lake. A state employee can disregard the safety of visitors. A maintenance issue in a park facility could leave you or a loved one with a serious injury and considering filing a lawsuit against the state of California to get help.
Liability in Boating Accidents on Lake Castaic
Securing compensation after a California boating accident hinges on proving that another boater’s negligence caused your injury. Like in traffic accidents, insurance companies will want to see solid evidence that their policyholder is to blame before offering a cent in an insurance settlement. Often, they attempt to avoid all financial responsibility even when their boater is proven fully to blame.
A California Boat Accident Lawyer protects boat accident victims from the insurance tactics meant to leave injured victims paying for their own care. In many boating accidents, the homeowner’s insurance for the owner of the boat can be called upon to pay for medical bills and replace the paychecks victims miss while out of work.
Some boaters carry additional boating/watercraft accident coverage, especially if they are making payments on the boat. It’s also possible you carry accident insurance that will help you pay for your own recovery costs when the responsible party has no insurance.
In either case, even when you deal with your own insurance company, you can easily be shortchanged on what you need to pay your bills and rebuild your life. A personal injury lawyer knows when you are being offered far less than you’ll need in recovery. Your lawyer will help you fight for the maximum compensation available so you don’t end up paying out of pocket for your care down the road.
Deadlines for California Boating Accident Victims
If you or a family member are injured in a boating accident or any other sort of personal injury accident around Castaic Lake, you have up to two years to file an injury claim.
However, acting quickly will give your California Personal Injury Lawyer the best opportunity to build a strong case for you. The earlier you act, the easier it will be for your attorney to find evidence vital to your case. Your attorney will also need to locate potential witnesses and get their testimony to ensure you have the proof to hold insurance companies accountable.
If the State Parks Department ends up responsible for your injury, there are shorter deadlines to be aware of when filing a claim against government departments. Your Lake Castaic Boating Accident Lawyer won’t let you miss these important deadlines and will guide you through the complex process of suing the State of California.
Contact a Lake Castaic Boating Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one are hurt due to someone’s negligence on Lake Castaic, don’t trust an insurance company to automatically provide fair support. A California boating accident attorney can keep an insurance company from downplaying your injury and getting away with providing you with less than you need to rebuild your life.
Contact a skilled California boating accident lawyer like Martin Gasparian, the founder of Maison Law. Mr. Gasparian offers a free, no-risk case consultation to all victims and their family members. If you choose him to represent your injury claim, he doesn’t get paid unless he wins your case.