Texas Watercraft Accidents



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Spinal Cord Injuries


The sight of personal watercraft whizzing along the water is a common sight on any major lake or waterway throughout Texas in the summertime. However, unfortunately nearly almost as common is the prevalence of watercraft accidents that often occur during the summer months as well. Watercraft accidents can lead to devastating spinal cord injuries which have longlasting effects on the quality of life for victims of the accident.

Spinal cord injuries affect roughly 12,000 people each year, many resulting in paralysis. Spinal cord injuries are defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as “an acute traumatic lesion of the neural elements in the spinal canal, resulting in temporary or permanent sensory deficit, motor deficit, or bowel/bladder dysfunction.” Watercraft accidents can lead to spinal cord injuries in a number of situations, including during any collision or situation where a passenger is flung off a personal watercraft.

Spinal cord injuries often result in paralysis, and are divided between two distinct types of paralysis: paraplegia and tetraplegia. Injuries to the spinal cord above the first thoracic vertebra will result in tetraplegia, which is the partial or total loss of all limbs and torso. Depending on the extent of the injuries, a victim may also lose the ability to breathe on their own. An injury below the first thoracic vertebra will result in paraplegia, which is the loss of feeling in the torso and the complete or partial loss of feeling in the legs. A paraplegic will retain control of their arms and hands. These types of injuries are often devastating to the victim and require extensive medical care within the first year, as well as ongoing medical treatments in the years to follow.


Spinal cord injuries often affect a victim’s daily life, including the basic ability to perform routine activities. Depending on the severity of the injury, long-term medical care and even live-in nursing assistance is often recommended. Aside from the medical side of the injuries, the emotional toll which spinal cord injuries can have on an individual often far supersedes any type of medical care. The lives of victims often change within the blink of an eye after the watercraft accident occurs, and it is often never the same again.

As the victim of a spinal cord injury, you are entitled to file a claim against the responsible party to cover the extent of your damages, which can include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Rehabilitation expenses
  • Home health care
  • Lost wages
  • Future earnings
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of companionship

It is important that you speak with a personal injury attorney shortly after the accident occurs and prior to signing any documents with the responsible party’s insurance company. Insurance companies will attempt to coerce you to sign a settlement agreement which is often far less than the amount you are entitled to. You are entitled to receive the full amount of compensation for your injuries, and not just a fraction of your medical expenses. Keep in mind that the amount of expenses will continue in the years to come and a personal injury attorney will help you estimate these future costs.


If you or a loved one have suffered a spinal cord injury after a watercraft accident, do not hesitate to contact the Malley Law Firm. Tony Malley has years of experience in assisting victims of terrible spinal cord injuries and understands the traumatic impact these injuries can have on your daily life. Contact our Texas offices today for your initial free consultation.



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