law 3.23

Boating Accident Attorneys

There are numerous types of boats available for hire including cruise ships, casino boats, and fishing charters. There are also numerous private pleasure craft on virtually every body of water in every state. In addition to boats, personal watercrafts, such as jet skis, have become quite popular and are found virtually everywhere. So, it is not surprising that boating accidents are becoming more common than ever before. Boating is an increasingly popular form of recreation, and can be very enjoyable, if done responsibly. Many times, inexperienced or negligent boat owners and operators can ruin an otherwise exciting time and cause extensive damage and injuries. It is a general rule of law that the owner and operator of a boat has a duty to exercise the highest degree of care in order to prevent injuries and death to others.

Any injury that occurs on, or with a boat, ship, ferry or personal water craft is considered a boating accident. Most boating fatalities are not weather-related. Fatalities typically occur in open vessels on inland waters in the afternoon when the weather and visibility are good and the winds and water are calm. A number of events can lead to accidents on the water. The following is a list of some of the most common causes of recreational boating accidents:
Collision, capsizing, flooding, or sinking – These can be the result of alcohol, wind, rain, sun, or waves, or a lack of experience in boating.
Accidents from boating activities – Boating activities such as water skiing can be dangerous when participants either fail to practice safety procedures or when they do not take into account water depth, obstacles, and proximity to shore.
Explosion or fire – Fuel is the most likely source of a boat fire. Explosions or fires often result from damage to or improper maintenance of the fuel system.
Electrocution – This typically occurs due to lightning or the vessel striking a power line. The danger posed by lightning is just one reason why it is imperative to avoid water under threat of storm.
Boat operators who are involved in accidents must report the accident if the accident has resulted in a death or disappearance of a person, has caused an injury requiring medical attention beyond normal first aid, and if property damage exceeds $500. An operator involved in a boating accident must stop their boat immediately at the scene of the accident and give assistance to anyone injured in the accident. The operator must also give their name, address and identifying number of their boat to the other boat’s operator and/or owner of damaged property. Failure to remain on the scene, render aid, and timely report the boating accident to an appropriate law enforcement agency is a crime. Also, be sure to report the incident to your insurance company to be safe and always if a state or federal report was made.

Boating accident reports are required to be filed within:
48 hours of the occurrence or if a person has died
48 hours if a person is injured and medical treatment beyond first aid is required
10 days if there is only damage to property
The information you supply is used to develop safety regulations and manufacturing standards for the benefit of the boating public. The information is also used in boating safety education programs and other boating safety initiatives. Without good data, a boating safety hazard might be completely overlooked and other boaters could be hurt or killed.

Federal statutes, often referred to as admiralty laws or maritime laws, apply to ships three miles from shore on the Atlantic side and nine miles from shore on the Gulf side of the states. Included within maritime law is the doctrine of un-seaworthiness. A vessel is not seaworthy if it lacks the proper equipment or devices to allow it to engage safely in the trade for which it was intended. In addition to federal maritime law, there are several federal laws, which protect employees who work on boats: The Jones Act and the Death on the High Seas Act. These laws are intended to protect employees who work on vessels on any “navigable” waters, regardless of whether those waters are considered state waters or federal waters.

If you have been injured while boating, you should contact an attorney so that they can help you bring a claim against the operator and owner of the vessel. Commercial vessels tend to carry insurance while private vessels are often insured under a homeowner’s policy of insurance. Either way, you may be entitled to compensation for the damages that you have incurred. As with all personal injury cases, there is a statute of limitations in these types of cases, so do not delay in contacting a Hardison & Associates, LLP Boating Accidents Lawyer by calling
800-434-7942 or via e-mail. Otherwise, you may lose out on receiving benefits that you are entitled to.

A personal injury claim is a demand for financial compensation from someone (or a company) that you alleged injured you personally. If the claim is not satisfied, a personal injury lawsuit may be filled. A personal injury lawsuit is a claim for money by an injured party against a party who’s actions caused the injury.

Choosing a lawyer for a personal injury claim and/or lawsuit is the one element of personal injury case that is totally within the control of the injured party. The difference between a good decision and a poor decision when choosing an attorney can make the difference of a relatively pleasant experience and a nightmare. It can make the difference between being informed and making logical decisions or being treated like a baseball in a baseball game. It can also make an enormous difference in your final net compensation and your feeling of an appropriate resolution when the case is finalized.

This page is designed to provide guidance in the selection of the appropriate personal injury lawyer for you and your case. My intention is to provide you the tools to make a wise decision that will lead to an appropriate outcome with a minimum of stress.

Most people in need of an attorney for a personal injury matter know to seek out an attorney who practices personal injury law. However, an attorney who handles small auto accident cases is not likely to have the skill or resources to handle an auto accident case where the injuries are substantially exacerbated by a defect in the design of the automobile, the failure of safety systems or a highway defect. Most personal injury lawyers do not have the skill, experience or resources to pursue major cases, especially when complex issues are involved.

What type of personal injury lawyer do you need?

Were you injured in an automobile accident, by a vicious dog, due to an on-the-job injury or due to a defective product? How and where your injury occurred are important considerations in determining what type of lawyer you want.
You want a lawyer who is very experienced with the type of accident that caused your injury.

What is the realistic value of your claim?

Most personal injury lawyers concentrate their efforts in a value range. For example, the Bisnar|Chase firm will rarely ever take a case that has a realistic value under $50,000. Our operation is geared for the larger cases. Some personal injury attorneys will not take a case over a certain value. Why? They do not have the time and resources to pursue large cases and may not have the liability insurance to cover them. It may not be wise to retain a lawyer who has never been successful with a case of your size, from an experience point of view.
You want a lawyer that regularly handles cases with a similar dollar value as yours.

Who will pay the costs of pursuing your claim through to the end?

Pursuing claims is expensive. The costs can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Even a relatively simple auto accident trial can easily generate $25,000 in costs. Most of the better personal injury attorneys will advance the costs of pursuing your claim. The best attorneys will not ask you to repay them if the case is not successful.
You want a lawyer that will advance the costs of the case and will not ask you to repay
those costs if the case is not successful.

What does it cost to retain a personal injury lawyer?

Nearly every personal injury attorney works on a contingent fee basis. This means that the attorney’s fee is determined by a percentage of what is recovered. If there is no recovery, there is no fee. Usually the fee percentage is higher in more complex, expensive or time-consuming cases. The percentage should be spelled out precisely in a written attorney-client fee agreement. Fee agreements and percentages are not set by law and are negotiable between the parties.
You want a personal injury lawyer that will work on a contingent fee basis.

Check list for choosing a personal injury lawyer:

How long has the attorney been in practice?
Suggestion: At least 15 years practicing in the State in which your case will be filed if a lawsuit is necessary.
How long has the lawyer been practicing primarily in plaintiff’s personal injury law?
Suggestion: At least 15 years of primarily plaintiff’s personal injury law and very experienced with cases similar to yours.
What is the attorney’s or law firm’s Martindale-Hubbell Rating*?
Suggestion: You want a lawyer or law firm that is rate “A”, “V”.
Does the lawyer or law firm regularly go to trial on their cases?
Suggestion: You want a lawyer or law firm that has a litigation department that is very experienced in trial work and regularly goes to trial on their cases.
Will the lawyer or law firm advance the costs necessary to pursue your case?
Suggestion: You want a lawyer or law firm that will advance the costs and not look to you to repay them if the case is not successful.
Can the lawyer show you testimonials from previous clients?
Suggestion: Ask for testimonials. A healthy list of current testimonials is a sign of satisfied clients and is a good indication that you may be satisfied as well.
How many similar cases has the lawyer successfully handled?
Suggestion: You want a lawyer that has successful experience with your type of case, experience with the type of defendant you are pursuing, experience with the type of law firm that will be handling the defense, and the court that the case my go to trial in if that is necessary.
Will the lawyer provide you a free consultation?
Suggestion: The best lawyers are going to provide a free consultation. The lawyers will not know if they are interested in your case without assessing you and your case. No need to bother with lawyers that do not provide a free consultation.
Do you and the lawyer communicate well? Are your questions answered clearly? Did the lawyer give you practical advice as well as legal advice?
Suggestion: You want a lawyer who answers your questions clearly, provides information, suggestions and insights greater than you asked about and listens to you.
How do you feel about the lawyer?
Suggestion: You want a lawyer you feel comfortable with and that you trust. If you are uncomfortable or do not trust him/her, keep looking.
Does the lawyer appear to care about you and your case?
Suggestion: You want a lawyer who loves representing personal injury clients and winning cases. If you feel confident with the lawyer who scores well on the previous questions, hire him/her.
What to avoid when you need to hire a Personal Injury lawyer:

Many people do not know where to find a skilled and qualified attorney who can aggressively represent their case. The following are some common mistakes that people make when choosing a personal injury attorney:

Personal injury lawyer referral from a friend: Your friend probably had a different legal situation compared to yours, requiring different attributes in an attorney, which may not be what you need to recover monetary compensation for your injuries.
Finding a personal injury lawyer in the yellow-pages: Yellow pages are impersonal and do not give you the background information that you need to hire a competent personal injury attorney.
Choosing a personal injury attorney because the office is local: Convenience should not be more significant than skill, professionalism, compassion, and the ability to effectively represent your case. You should find an attorney who has all of the qualities that are needed for a successful outcome in your case.
* Martindale-Hubbell has been rating lawyers for over 100 years. It is by far the most widely recognized of all ratings of lawyers. There are two categories of ratings, “Legal Ability Ratings” and “General Ethical Standards Rating”. The “Legal Ability Ratings” are: “C” (from Good to High), “B” (from High to Verey High), and “A” (from Very High to Preeminent). The “General Ethical Standards Rating” is: “V” (Very High).



News Stories Featured Here —Urgent Phenylpropanolamine Warning!Urgent Recall Notice: Sulzer Hip ReplacementLegal Eagles – Orange Coast MagazineNew California Offices OpenedBisnar|Chase Petition the Federal Government


Over 400 well-known over-the-counter and prescription drugs for Cold, Flu, Cough, Allergy and Sinus trouble, as well as Diet Aids and Energy/Metabolism Boosters have recently been pulled from the shelves. These products contained a product named phenylpropanolamine or PPA, which has recently been linked to stroke and heart attacks. PPA is used in cold and allergy medications to relieve nasal congestion and in diet products to control appetite.

Literally thousands of innocent consumers have suffered strokes and heart attacks, often resulting in death or disablement, from taking these popular medications. People who are taking products containing PPA are at an increased risk of hemorrhagic strokes or bleeding of the brain. It has recently been linked to causing up to 500 strokes each year and the FDA has significant concern because of the seriousness of a stroke and the inability to predict who is at risk.

If you or someone you love has suffered a heart attack or stroke in the past and may have been taking a medication containing PPA, (click here for a list of some popular products containing PPA) please contact our office immediately for a free consultation at 1-866-909-6161 or fill out our convenient on-line contact form.

back to top

Click Here for a List of Defective Products
Sulzer Orthopedics has recently issued a recall of their hip replacement implants. According to Sulzer, an oily residue was left on the surface of the implanted shell due to a manufacturing mistake. This residue can cause inflammation, pain and can also prevent the patient’s bones from bonding normally with the implant, causing loosening of the shell.

Some patients will require surgery to remove the defective implant and replace it with a new one. The actual number of patients who must have the replacement surgery is unknown at this time, but the hip implant shell is implanted in approximately 17,500 patients per year. Sulzer estimates that most of the patients implanted with the recalled hip replacements had their surgeries in California, Texas, Florida and Arizona.

Some of the symptoms caused by the defective implants include:

Pain when rising
Pain when standing
Pain in the groin or inner thigh area
The inability to bear weight on your leg.
If you are experiencing any of the above complications, or any type of discomfort or pain due to a hip implant, call your doctor immediately.

If you or someone you care about has had a Sulzer Orthopedics hip replacement implant in the past and is experiencing pain and/or discomfort, call a physician and then call Bisnar|Chase, Personal Injury Attorneys and Counselors at Law, 1-866-909-6161. Click here to fill out our convenient on-line form for an immediate case evaluation. We can you recover the costs of an additional surgery and compensation for your pain and suffering.

Bisnar|Chase, Championing the Rights of Consumers and holding the Wrongdoers Accountable for their negligence.

back to top
Legal Eagles – Orange Coast Magazine”What we do is about making society a safer place and saving lives. It’s not solely about the money, which greatly contributes to repairing the lives of our clients,” says Brian Chase. “We accomplish this by holding wrongdoers accountable for their negligence and assisting their victims in putting their lives back together,” adds John Bisnar, who has been representing accident victims since 1978.

Bisnar|Chase, LLP is one of California’s Premier Personal Injury law firms and is headquartered in Newport Beach. Managing Partners, John Bisnar and Brian Chase are expert personal injury attorneys and have consistently achieved multi-million dollar results for their clients.

The past year has been filled with achievements. Bisnar|Chase recovered a substantial, confidential, amount from Ford Motor Company for their use of faulty seat belts in their vehicles, which resulted in paralysis and, ultimately, the death of a young girl. Bisnar|Chase is seeking a recall of the faulty seat belts.

In December 2000 the firm recovered $2.5 million from the State of California, on behalf of a young mother who was paralyzed as the result of a dangerous condition in a State park. After the settlement the State corrected the dangerous condition and has hopefully hightened it’s compliance with their own safety guidelines. The woman’s former attorneys, after months of representation, told her she had no case.

“By holding wrongdoers accountable for the harm they cause, we create an economic incentive for people and companies to operate in a safe and prudent manner. Personal Injury Attorneys, who operate with this philosophy, are the great equalizers of our society.” John Bisnar

Bisnar|Chase have represented many clients, mostly children, who have been victims of vicious dog attacks. In order to assist the public with more information on this growing danger and what to do in case of an animal attack, see

The firm recovered nearly $3 million for a man severely burned while on the job, which resulted in safety changes by the defendant. They recovered over $2 million for another man who was seriously injured on the job, after his previous attorney advised him his maximum recovery would be $15,000.00. In 1999 Bisnar|Chase fought an injury case all the way to the Supreme Court. After the Supreme Court heard Mr. Chase’s arguments, the Court adopted his position as the law in California.

Based on the firm’s excellent reputation in the legal community, many of their cases are referred by other lawyers. Bisnar|Chase takes pride in being the Personal Injury Department of many lawyers who practice other areas of law or do not have the resources or legal expertise to handle serious and catastrophic injury cases.

To provide the best legal representation to their clients, Bisnar|Chase limits the types and number of cases it accepts. Representation is limited to injury accidents, including auto, traffic and aircraft accidents, nursing home negligence/abuse, dog bites, defective products, premise liability, failure to warn and on-the-job injuries.

“I specifically went to law school to become a personal injury trial attorney. It is what I love, what I do, and what I am.” Brian Chase

The partners, John Bisnar and Brian Chase, are both Pepperdine Law School graduates. They are active in their communities as well as in esteemed legal circles and are members of the local, state and national trial lawyers associations. Mr. Chase is Treasurer and Education Chair of the Orange County Trial Lawyers Association (OCTLA) and is on the Board of Directors of the Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC). Mr. Chase regularly lectures to groups of lawyers on the topics of personal injury and litigation.

back to top

Bisnar|Chase Petition the Federal Government for a Total Recall of Faulty Seatbelts!

Bisnar|Chase, during aggressive representation of the family of a 14 year old girl who died as the result of injuries sustained in an accident wherein she was wearing her seatbelt, uncovered previously undisclosed information which confirms the ongoing known use of faulty seatbelts by major US automobile manufacturers. Armed with this new and vital information, Bisnar|Chase have petitioned the Federal Government for a Total Recall of these seatbelts in an effort to save future lives! For full disclosure of details and to read our Press Release and case results, please visit our new informational website dedicated to providing this information to the public at

The Staff:
Ned Spilsbury

“I build a world of acceptance and Peace by coaching acceptance of self and others.”

Ned is a research analyst at BISNAR & CHASE and has been working with us since 1979.

“I tell people that I read and write for a living; it’s true. I read every piece of paper, including new case opinions and legislation, to keep the litigation end of BISNAR & CHASE ahead of the leading edge of the developments in the law. I write much of the paperwork that is generated by the litigation department, including complaints, motions, and briefs that are submitted to courts or arbitrators to convince them to rule in our clients’ favor. I am also the technology resource for the firm, and keep watch over our computer network and it’s operation. Finally, I am the resource for odds and ends that accumulate after more than twenty years of work for the same firm.”

Ned enjoys his position at BISNAR & CHASE because of the many challenges and the variety of roles he plays throughout his regular work week. One of his many goals within the firm is to advance proficiency in the use of technology to gather and present information about the firm’s cases.

Ned was born in Cleveland, Ohio, but was raised mostly in California. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from the University of California at Davis, graduating with honors, then proceeded to the University of California at Irvine studying Medical Microbiology, before having a change of heart and finishing with a Master of Science Degree. Ned went on to attend law school at Western State University, Fullerton and graduated with honors in 1981.

Ned, his wife Lauren, and their three children live in Mission Viejo and keep very busy with the numerous and varied activities of their children’s lives as well as their own. One of his personal goals is to assist his wife and children in achieving their own personal goals and learning, learning, learning.

Ned’s co-workers at BISNAR & CHASE comment that he is a good man, knowledgeable, kind and patient.

Shannon Barker

“I work at BISNAR & CHASE because everyday I see the value of what I do and what we do as a team for the benefit of our clients. The strength team work has is incredible.”

Shannon Barker has been with BISNAR & CHASE since 1995 and is the Supervising Pre-Litigation Paralegal. Shannon manages the pre-litigation files and oversees, directs and supervises her fellow paralegals in the office. She is responsible for meeting and interviewing all prospective clients, obtaining all necessary investigation, working with adjusters and assisting the attorneys with demand letters. She assists the partners in the evaluation of all cases for settlement. She also has the task of maintaining the flow between the pre-litigation and litigation teams.

Shannon was born and raised in Northern California. She attended the University of Arizona and the University of Hawaii, majoring in Political Science. She then attended the Century Paralegal School, graduating in 1989 with her paralegal certificate.

Shannon lives in Orange County with her husband and two daughters. She enjoys numerous personal pursuits, including photography, painting, bike riding and sewing. Shannon participates and strongly supports the numerous activities of her daughters. Shannon is the Orange County Representative for Women Worldwide, and actively supports and mentors women who seek the personal strength and understanding gained by members of that organization.

Shannon’s co-workers at BISNAR & CHASE comment that she is the lifeblood of the office – incredibly energetic, a strong woman, and intensely committed to negotiating the best possible results for the clients.

Marta J. De La Torre

“We are a team of smart, open-minded individuals that are here to help the public and each other.”

Marta J. De La Torre has been a Paralegal at BISNAR & CHASE since 1994. Marta is the main Spanish translator at and the liaison between Spanish clients and the office. Marta is an invaluable part of the pre-litigation department as takes care of property damage, rentals, repairs, loss of use, everything that has to do with getting that part of the pre-litigation done. She supervises the medical records department to make sure everything is in the files when needed for demand packages or for hearings. She takes great pride in her work and in her position at BISNAR & CHASE. Her goal is to take on even more responsibility and excel at what she does.

Marta attended Cal State University at Los Angeles majoring in English and Political Studies. Subsequently, she earned her Paralegal Certificate from the Paralegal Program at Newbridge College, Tustin, CA in 1994. Marta also studied English writing and composition at Fullerton College in 1995.

Her goals in life are to have peace in her heart, love her family, become a good role model for her children and make a difference in peoples’ lives. In her spare moments, Marta enjoys reading and actively participating in everything her children do.

Marta’s co-workers say she is dedicated to being the best she can be, is very patient and has a fun, contagious personalilty.

Scott Raphael

“We do whatever it takes to obtain the best result possible for our clients, because we are dedicated to excellence.”

Scott is an intregral part of the litigation team at BISNAR & CHASE since it’s inception. He heads the Law & Motion Department and personally oversees all discovery on the firms largest and most important cases. He supervises case law and motion activities and consults with the attorneys and litigation team on litigation strategy and tactics. His goal at BISNAR & CHASE is to build a highly trained, well-disciplined and feared (by adversaries) litigation and law and motion unit. Per John Bisnar, he is doing an excellent job of it.

Scott earned his B.A. from Stanford University in 1979 and his M.A. in Economics in 1980. He then went on to acquire his J.D. from the University of Southern California in 1983. Scott has been working in the legal field for over 17 years. He enjoys working at BISNAR & CHASE because of their commitment to excellence and their ambition to make a difference in the world. One of the things he enjoys most about his job is the challenge of successfully litigating an action to a satisfying result.

Although Scott enjoys spending most of his free time with his son, he also enjoys aviation and computers. Scott is a licensed Airline Transport Pilot, an airplane multiengine flight instructor and is an aviation author as well.

Scott’s co-workers comment that he has amazing intelligence and knowledge and has worked very hard to get where he is today.

“Scott combines academic brilliance, procedural law mastery and strategic genius with relentless tenacity to give our Litigation Team the depth of a 100 man law firm, the focus of a one issue law firm and a degree of consistent effectiveness unknown in the legal field. He is one of the firm’s greatest assets.” John Bisnar

Disclaimer: The California personal injury, wrongful death, dog bite, nursing home negligence, amusement park accidents, negligence, product liability or other orange county legal information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. Any results set forth here were dependent on the facts of that case and the results will differ from case to case. Please contact a Califorina personal injury attorney or wrongful death lawyer at one of our law offices located in Los Angeles County, Orange County, San Diego, Riverside and San Bernardino. This web site is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the State of California, although we have relationships with attorneys and law firms in states throughout the United States.

Copyright © 2003 Bisnar & Chase, LLP – California personal injury lawyers, dog bite injury lawyers, auto accident attorneys, car accident lawyers, nursing home abuse attorneys, product liability lawyers, consumer fraud lawyers serving Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Long Beach, Newport Beach and all the counties of Southern California. All rights reserved.


BISNAR | CHASE 2006-2009 – Super Lawyers is a listing of outstanding lawyers from more than 60 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. BISNAR | CHASE has received this award for three consecutive years.

Leave a Reply