Taking a boat or other watercraft out onto a lake or the bay is a wonderful way to relax and enjoy time with friends and family. Unfortunately, though, not all boat trips result in relaxation, and some are cut-short due to serious accidents. According to an executive summary published by the United States Coast Guard, in 2013 alone there occurred 4,062 boating accidents across the country; the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department provides that 206 happened in Texas alone, resulting in 85 injuries and 22 fatalities.
Due to the dangerous circumstances surrounding boating accidents, injuries sustained may result in extremely costly medical treatments and recovery. It is important then for those injured on any watercraft to understand who may be at fault, and what can be done to recover compensation. Please contact Tate Law Offices, P.C., with any questions regarding your Texas boating accident claim.
Common Causes of Boating Accidents in Texas
There are many scenarios that could lead to serious boating or watercraft accidents.
Some common causes of boating accidents may include:
- Driver inexperience (some people fail to realize that watercraft should be operated with a significant level of care)
- Driver error
- Driving the boat while under the influence of drugs or alcohol (data shows that in 2013 there were 209 charges for Boating While Under the Influence in Texas waters)
- Driving the boat while distracted
- Equipment failure.
Any one of these scenarios could lead to a collision with another boat or watercraft. Additionally, these circumstances could also lead to a collision with a stationary object, such as a dock, rocks, or buoys, which could still result in a devastating accident.
Who is Liable for a Boating Accident in Texas?
In order to recover compensation for injuries sustained in a boating accident, it is first important to identify the liable party. If the person operating the watercraft was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the crash (which is illegal in Texas), or was operating the boat while distracted, a personal injury attorney can point to this negligence as the underlying cause. An inexperienced driver may also be liable for any injuries they caused as a result of their negligence. In the event that a boat driver or passenger was injured due to equipment failure, they may be able to bring a products liability claim against the manufacturer, distributor, or designer of the faulty part, depending on the circumstances.
Contact a Texas Attorney if You Have Been Involved in a Texas Boating Accident
Injuries sustained in a boating or other watercraft injury in Texas can be devastating.
Some of the more common injuries that occur as a result of boating accidents include:
- Neck and spine injuries
- Head injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (which could be the result of closed or open head injuries, or injuries sustained due to ingested water)
- Cuts and lacerations
- Broken bones
These injuries may result in costly medical treatments, and significant recovery time. It is important to realize though that Texas law only provides injured parties up to two years in which to file a claim; after this time the injured party is barred from seeking compensation.
If you have been hurt while on a boat or other watercraft in Texas, contact Tate Law Offices, P.C., by calling 888-662-3892 for a free case review. We can discuss specifics, and help advise you on the best course of action.