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BOATING ACCIDENTS

Boating accidents can involve all types of seafaring vessels, including boats, ships, ferries, and personal watercrafts like jet skis. There were 767 boating fatalities in the United States in 2020, an increase of more than 25 percent from 2019, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. Total accidents increased 26 percent, and the number of nonfatal injured victims increased 25 percent. Statistics for 2021 have yet to be reported, but preliminary data from the Coast Guard show casualty numbers so far to be even higher.

A boat’s operator and owner have a responsibility to take all reasonable precautions to reduce the risk of an accident and injury to passengers, swimmers, and anyone in the vicinity. Tragedies can arise when they do not exert the right level of awareness and caution, and individuals can be injured or killed.

While the injured party or parties respond to immediate needs such as medical treatment and rehabilitation, an attorney can examine the circumstances surrounding the occurrence, research maritime regulations, and gather evidence to develop a case against the person that caused the accident.

The following causes are also listed by The US Coast Guard as common causes of boating accidents:

Improper lookout – Every vessel should have a watch who is constantly on the lookout through sight and hearing, and any other appropriate means, for any prevailing circumstances and conditions that could risk a collision. If a watch is not paying proper attention, then this could lead to a boating accident.

Excessive speed – Regardless of how experienced an operator may be, it is crucial that all vessels maintain a safe speed at all times: it is very easy to lose control of a boat and cause an accident when they’re moving at high speed.

Alcohol use – It is illegal in Texas to operate any type of boat when under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This is because our reaction times are slow, and our decision making much less rational while under the influence, making it very dangerous to operate a boat in this state.

BOATING UNDER THE INFLUENCE

A plaintiff may be able to use evidence of a BUI to prove that a boat operator’s drug or alcohol use caused the accident.

 

Poor and hazardous weather conditions – Most boating accidents actually occur in the summer months as more people, particularly tourists, want to go boating at this time. However, poor weather conditions are still a cause of boating accidents as the strong winds can make waters very dangerous, so it can be risky to go out in these conditions, especially if the operator is inexperienced. By going out in poor weather conditions, there is a higher risk of a boating accident.

Collisions Between Boats- To recover compensation in a recreational boating accident case, you will usually need to show negligence, which means that someone failed to act with reasonable care and the failure caused an accident. When two boats collide, one or both boat operators may be partially responsible. There may be state laws that require certain types of boat operators to give deference to other types of boat operators.

Operator inexperience – A boat can be an incredibly difficult vessel to operate and control, especially for an inexperienced operator. If the boat operator does not have the skill or experience required to operate a boat, then this could lead to a catastrophic accident.

Machinery failure – If there’s a defect or failure with any part of the boat or machinery, whether it was there when first installed or not, a serious boating accident could be caused.

Liability for Lack of Safety Equipment – Sometimes injuries is exacerbated because of a boat operator or owner’s failure to have safety equipment in case of an accident. Some state safety laws require that life jackets, fire extinguishers, navigational lights, and flares be on board. When safety equipment is not available, and injuries are made worse as a result, the boat’s operator or owner may be found negligent.



HOUSTON BOATING ACCIDENTS LAWYER

If you or a loved one was injured in a boating accident in Texas, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Our personal injury attorneys at Roxell Richards Law firm are familiar with such situations and well-prepared to handle yours.

You should call us soon to guarantee you have the best opportunity of winning your case and collecting compensation, which may be able to greatly assist you with the financial consequences and aftermath of the accident. A Texas personal injury lawyer can help you through the difficult Texas legal system and provide you with support.

So, call Roxell Richards law firm today for a free consultation with a reputable boating accident attorney. Contact us at (713) 974-0388 today to get the justice you deserve. We’re ready to assist you 24/7.


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