With every summer comes the ushering in of vacation planning, often to one of the many lakes or waterways in Texas. Texas offers a unique landscape for any variety of tastes, from beaches to rivers, to hills, even to mountains. However, for boaters, the summertime leads to weekends on the lakes or along the bay. What most of us do not anticipate is the potential for tragic boating accidents. If you or a loved one have been injured in a boating accident, you may be entitled for compensation for your injuries.
Boating Accidents in Texas
While boating education is mandatory in Texas for those born after a certain date, this does not always encompass all people who may be out in the water. There are currently close to 600,000 registered boats in Texas, and the state has made great efforts to attempt to curb the number of boating accidents by implementing stringent regulations and harsh penalties. The Texas game warden often issues citations for lack of life jackets and children not wearing a life jacket, as well as the enforcement of Boating While Intoxicated (“BWI”). It seems to be a little known fact to many “recreational boaters” that BWI is an actual criminal offense that can occur if a person operating a boat has a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher. However, alcohol plays a role in about 50 percent of all boating accidents.
In 2013, 206 boating accidents occurred in Texas, resulting in 22 fatalities and 85 injuries. This was the highest year since the downward trend in boating accidents began to occur in 2008. However, this number continues to represent a number of injuries and tragic deaths that could have been preventable.
Boating Accident Recovery
Boating accidents can lead to serious and very severe injuries to everyone involved. Drowning is a main injury that occurs from boating accidents and frequently occurs when passengers are not properly equipped with a life jacket. Upon collision, the passengers may be tossed out of the boat and into the water, which can prove devastating for passengers who were knocked unconscious or are unable to swim. Determining the amount of liability is a task your personal injury attorney can help you with. While another boat operator may be liable for the accident, the operator of your own boat may also be liable for either not reacting appropriately or for not ensuring all passengers had life jackets.
As the victim of a boating accident, you may be eligible to receive the following in compensation for your injuries:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Future earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
An experienced personal injury attorney can assist you in determining the value of your injuries.
Malley Law Firm | Beaumont Personal Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one have been injured in a boating accident, do not hesitate to contact the Malley Law Firm. Tony Malley has years of experience in assisting clients who have received devastating injuries after a boating accident and will work tirelessly to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Contact our Beaumont or Houston offices today for your initial free consultation.