If you have been injured or lost a loved one as the result of a recreational boat accident, you may be unsure of your legal rights. The McAllen boat accident lawyers at the Law Office of Raúl A. Guajardo, PLLC, are here to answer your questions and help you seek the compensation you are entitled to under Texas personal injury laws.
The U.S. Coast Guard compiles annual statistics regarding boat accidents across the nation. In 2013, there were 4,062 incidents reported, 560 fatalities, 2,620 injuries and an approximate $39 million dollars in damage related to recreational boat accidents.
The common cause of boating accidents is negligence on the part of the craft’s operator. Many of these accidents are entirely preventable. According to Coast Guard statistics, the five biggest contributing factors in watercraft accidents are:
- Inexperienced boat operator
- Excessive speed
- Inattention of boat operator
- Not having a proper lookout
- Mechanical failure
Our McAllen personal injury attorneys have a strong understanding of watercraft accidents, how they occur, and who can be held liable, but there are time limits to how long you have to file a claim. We advise contacting our watercraft accident lawyers as soon as possible after an injury.
Types of Boating Accidents and Injuries
The factors listed above lead to accidents such as:
- Capsizing (when a boat turns over)
- Passengers falling overboard
- Collisions with other vessels or structures
- Vessel and/or passengers disappearing
Injuries can range from minor to fatal. Fatalities are most commonly attributed to drowning, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, hypothermia and carbon monoxide poisoning. Non-fatal injuries that often occur include broken bones and fractures, cuts and bruises, and concussions.
In the accidents noted by the Coast Guard, 77 percent of fatalities were due to drowning. Of these, 84 percent of the victims were not wearing life jackets.
Investigating South Texas Boating Accidents
Our South Texas boating accident attorneys handle cases involving any type of watercraft, including:
- Fishing boats
- Kayaks and canoes
- Personal watercrafts (Jet Skis/Wave Runners)
- Speed boats
When investigating your claim, several key questions are asked that will be vital to the success of the case, including:
- Was the boat operator under the influence when the accident occurred
- Were the craft, its operator and passengers in compliance with Texas boating laws?
- Did reckless boat operation, including excessive speed, contribute to the accident or the severity of injuries?
Get Help from a Texas Boat Accident Lawyer
Boating accident claims can help injury victims recover damages for medical expenses, lost wages, lost earning potential, property damage, funeral expenses, and even pain and suffering.