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Many people enjoy boating in the waterways around the San Francisco Bay area. However, boating accidents are rising steadily throughout San Francisco. When operated in a negligent or reckless manner, boating accidents can lead to drowning and serious injuries.

Even when you follow all the boating laws and proper rules of operation, it is still possible to be in a boating accident through the fault of another watercraft operator. It is important to contact an experienced attorney if you have been injured in a boating accident. If you are in need of a San Francisco auto accident attorney, we at Allegiance Law are here to help you.

Types of Boat Accidents

The California DMV has defined “boats” generally as a vessel, which “includes every description of watercraft used, or capable of being used, as means of transportation on water. Typically, the forms of boats we cover in accidents are, but are not limited to:

  • Speedboats
  • Jet skis
  • Pontoon boats
  • Ferries
  • Paddleboats
  • Yachts
  • Kayaks
  • Canoes
  • Row Boats

Whether you were a passenger of a boat or the driver who incurred injuries due to the negligence or recklessness of another watercraft, it is within your rights to seek just compensation.

Boating accidents can occur in many forms or ways. It is important that you know your rights when it comes to a boating accident.

Boating Law in California

Life jackets are the most important object of safe boating. Not only are they important, but “California law requires that every child under age 13 must wear life jackets at all times while on a moving vessel of any length.” Additionally, the Division of Boating and Waterways recommends that anyone involved in boating (passengers and drivers) wear a life jacket, no matter how well you can swim.

California law requires a person to be 16 years of age or older to operate a boat and requires they possess a California Boater Card to legally operate a watercraft powered by a motor of 15 hp or higher. It is illegal to allow a person under the age of 16 to operate a motorized vessel.

There are exceptions to the above California boating laws and those include:

  1. Children are not required to wear a life jacket if they are wearing a harness on a sailboat
  2. Children are not required to wear a life jacket if they are enclosed in a cabin
  3. Children are not required to wear a life jacket if they are on a vessel during an emergency rescue
  4. A person under the age of 16 between the ages of 12 to 15 may operate a vessel powered by a motor of 15 hp or higher if they are supervised on board by a person of 18 years or older and that person must possess their California Boater Card
  5. Any aged person may operate a sailboat under 30ft.

Boating can be fun if you follow all rules and regulations. It is important to get acquainted with the boating laws and safety precautions before taking a vessel out on the waterways. The California Division of Boating and Waterways has a published Guide to Boating Law and Safety for your reference.

How a San Francisco Boat Accident Attorney Can Assist You

It is important to adhere to all safety rules when boating, but accidents can still occur. Should you or a loved one find yourself in a boating-related accident, Allegiance Law’s San Francisco boat accident attorneys can help you. Our team has the resources necessary to fully investigate these claims, determine liability, and help victims obtain maximum compensation for their losses. Contact Allegiance Law immediately if you are in need of a San Francisco boat accident lawyer.

The attorneys at Allegiance Law have a proven record of success arguing cases just like yours. Contact our attorneys today by calling us at 415-404-6395 to find out exactly what we can do for you.