Whether they occur in the San Joaquin River or any of the other navigable waterways around Stockton and throughout central California, collisions between waterborne vessels and other accidents out on the water have an extremely high risk of causing serious harm. In some cases, boat crashes can be even more dangerous than motor vehicle wrecks that happen on land at similar speeds, given the lack of seatbelts and other protective equipment that comes standard in any modern car or truck.
Recovering comprehensively for the effects of someone else’s negligence on the water can require both extensive legal expertise and a compelling claim based on various pieces of evidence, both of which a Stockton boat accident lawyer could help to provide. With the help of a knowledgeable personal injury attorney, your odds of securing the compensation you deserve after an incident you did not cause could be substantially greater.
How Fault Works in Boat Accident Claims in Stockton
Similar to motor vehicle drivers on land, boat operators assume an implicit “duty” to act reasonably around others from the moment they cast off to the moment they are docked again. Any reckless or careless action—from an overt breach of state law to a momentary loss of concentration—that directly results in an accident could impose financial liability on that operator for any physical, financial, and personal harm another person sustains through that incident.
Specific recoverable damages in a comprehensive boat accident claim may include:
- Past and future medical bills
- Lost work income, including lost future earning capacity due to long-term injuries
- Vessel repair/replacement costs
- Lost or damaged personal property
- Physical pain and suffering
- Lost enjoyment/quality of life
- Emotional and psychological trauma
A Stockton attorney could go into detail about what losses could be factored into your boat wreck claim during a private initial consultation.
Potential Obstacles to Comprehensive Recovery
It is important to note that you may be found partly responsible for causing or worsening your own injuries based on their own negligence. In cases like these, legal precedent allows any court ruling on your case to reduce the value of your damage award by your percentage of total fault. While there is no amount of blame a plaintiff can bear in California that would bar them from recovery altogether, it can still be crucial to have help from a seasoned boat collision lawyer when contesting allegations of comparative fault.
Additionally, California Code of Civil Procedures §335.1 sets a two-year deadline for any civil claim seeking restitution for a personal injury. Because of this statute of limitation, anyone who suffers injury in a boat crash caused by someone else’s negligence generally has two years at most from when they first sustained that injury to begin filing a personal injury claim. Missing this deadline means you would have no legal standing to pursue financial restitution for that particular injury.
Get in Touch with a Stockton Boat Accident Attorney Today
Boat accidents that lead to physical injury can make for uniquely complex civil litigation. If you want to effectively protect both your legal rights and personal best interests in a situation like this, seeking help from knowledgeable legal counsel should be a priority as soon as you get appropriate medical treatment.
Once retained, a capable Stockton boat accident lawyer could provide the guidance and support necessary to proactively seek the compensation you deserve. Call our firm today for a consultation.