Water Related Injuries

The Law Offices of Mark A. Doughty represents people who have been injured in boating accidents and other water-related injuries in the waters of Northern California.

Every year, hundreds of people in the U.S. die in boating accidents.  The number of those injured is several thousand, and the cost in terms of property damage ranges into the tens of millions.  Of the deaths that do occur, the majority are from drowning, and the vast majority of those who died were not wearing a life jacket.  The presence of alcohol is also a leading contributing factor in water-related injuries.

Boating accidents and water-related injuries can involve single or multi-craft collisions involving boats as well as personal watercraft such as jet skis. 

Operator error is a common cause of boating accidents.  Where the operator of the boat is not the owner, an injured person may have a claim against both the operator and the owner under a theory of vicarious liability.  If the boat involved was part of a commercial operation, the company may have been under a duty to provide adequate training or instruction to the operator or to ensure that the operator was properly trained.

Some attorneys will only look at the negligence of the operator and liability of the boat owner, but is important to always consider the possibility that a product defect caused or contributed to the accident.  Our firm is well-versed in the law of products liability and we consider if you will benefit by a claim regarding a watercraft or component part that was defectively designed or manufactured, or contained inadequate instructions or warnings, in which case the manufacturer may be held liable under theories of negligence, strict liability, or breach of warranty.

It is possible that the injured person was engaging in dangerous or reckless behavior that contributed to the accident or aggravated the seriousness of the injuries.  Even so, under California law, an injured person is entitled to recovery from a negligent person, to the extent the negligent person caused the injury.  For instance, an inexperienced or showboating water skier could still recover damages from an accident caused by a negligent boat driver, even if the injury was exacerbated by the plaintiff's actions.

As an experienced Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Mark A. Doughty understands the law regarding boating and other water accidents.  As a certified underwater scuba diver with advanced certification and extensive boating and underwater experience, he also has first-hand familiarity with the issues encountered in boating and water safety.  Mr. Doughty has a unique understanding of the issues involved and a record of proven results attained for his clients.  If you have been injured in a boating accident or other water-related injury, contact the Law Offices of Mark A. Doughty for a free consultation.


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