Tragically, a father and a son were killed in a boating accident in San Mateo County. The father, age 49, and the son, age 22, were killed after their canoe capsized. A third person who was in the canoe, a 22 year old woman who was the fiancé of the deceased son, was the only survivor.

The U.S. Coast Guard responded to a call around 10:20 p.m. about three people who had left the shore of Oyster Point and had not returned. They had gone out fishing in a 12 foot orange canoe, and their vehicle was still parked at the marina at that time. Coast Guard crews used boats and helicopters to search for the three missing people. A fire boat crew from San Francisco also assisted in the search. At about 1:20 a.m. they heard a cry about a mile off the coast, and found a woman who they pulled from the water. She was taken to a hospital.

Thirty minutes later, they found the missing father, who was unconscious and unresponsive, and was later pronounced dead. The next morning, the son was found. The son was a member of the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office’s explorer program, and he volunteered with the search and rescue unit between 2011 and 2013.

This boating accident serves as an example that no one should assume that they will be safe on the water. As the winter weather turns into spring, many boaters hit the waterways in the San Francisco area. Many of those boaters may be injured during their time on the water.

If you are involved in a San Francisco-area boating accident, it’s critical that you speak with an attorney, regardless of whether the accident occurred on a jet ski, a commercial boat, or a recreational boat. An attorney can help advise you of the steps that must be taken in order to file and litigate a boating accident lawsuit. After the accident, it’s important that you focus on your recovery. Your attorney can handle the legal work involved in making your claim, such as determining how much compensation you are entitled to after your accident, and the individuals or businesses responsible for your accident.

Your San Francisco boating accident attorney will also perform an investigation of the accident, which may include researching the laws related to your claim, surveying the scene of the accident, speaking to witnesses, reviewing medical records, researching the history of the boat, reviewing the boat driver’s driving history, and more. It may be tempting to negotiate a settlement directly with the insurance company or companies involved. You may believe that an attorney will take all of your settlement and it would be easier simply to handle the matter yourself. However, that’s not true in most cases – studies have shown that accident victims who hire an attorney get larger settlements than those who do not, even after the attorney’s fees are deducted.

Normally, in order to win your boating accident case, you must show that someone owed you a duty to act with care, that duty was breached, and that you were injured as a result. Some examples of negligent behavior by boaters that commonly causes accidents includes speeding, overloading the boat, inexperienced drivers operating the boat, failing to follow boating rules, boating while under the influence, reckless operation, failing to carry safety equipment, and insufficient lighting on the boat.

If you have been injured in a boating accident in the San Francisco area, or if a loved one was killed, call San Francisco personal injury attorney Micha Star Liberty. Micha Star Liberty believes that those who cause boating accidents must be held legally liable. Call Liberty Law today at 415-896-1000 or 510-645-1000 to learn more or to schedule your free consultation.

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