Texas is a boater’s paradise. It has over 7,000 lakes and over 3,350 miles of shoreline, where people can enjoy a fabulous day on the water. Whether you love freshwater or saltwater boating, Texas is ideal for enjoying boats and other recreational watercraft.
Unfortunately, boating can be hazardous. Others on the water may engage in irresponsible behavior that increases the risk of accidents—driving while boating, stunt driving, and not paying attention can all increase the risk of watercraft wrecks. When you or a loved one has been injured because of someone else’s negligence, you have options for financial recovery with help from a personal injury attorney. Contact a Bee Cave boat accident lawyer to learn more.
Boating accidents can be particularly dangerous. First, there is the impact of the crash itself. Because of surface tension, hitting water at high speeds can feel like hitting concrete. That is a risk in any wreck since people on boats do not wear seatbelts or have any protective gear that keeps them from being ejected in an accident.
Boating accidents have two other risks, as well. Boats can catch fire, which poses risks to everyone on board. Burns are a common injury in boating accidents, which surprises people since vessels are in the water.
However, ditching the boat to jump into the surrounding water increases the risk of hypothermia and other injuries. While that may not be a considerable risk in the warmer months, even mild winters can lead to dangerously cold water temperatures.
As a result, boating accidents can lead to a wide variety of injuries—burns, hypothermia, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, broken bones, internal injuries, scrapes, bruises, lacerations, and more. Every injury comes with its own risks and challenges. A boat accident attorney in Bee Cave can assess a person’s injuries to inform them about potential remedies.
The state has unique boating laws, which may make boating riskier here than elsewhere. The state has a boating—or personal watercraft—license requirement. The requirement only applies to people born on or after September 1, 1993. Older operators are grandfathered into the law, meaning they do not have to prove mastery of boating laws to operate a boat. That situation makes it easy for people to be negligent.
It also complicates the idea of the reasonable person. In negligence claims, the standard of care is how a reasonable person would respond in the same situation. Since older boaters do not have to pass any safety course or have a license, the reasonable person standard may not include extensive knowledge of boating safety rules.
Texas Penal Code § 49.06 addresses boating while intoxicated. It prohibits boaters from boating with a blood alcohol level above .08 percent. It applies to all boaters and is a fundamental law since intoxication plays a role in many boating accidents.
Other causes of boating accidents include speeding, reckless operation, negligent maintenance, and failing to keep appropriate safety equipment on the boat. A Bee Cave attorney can assess the scenario to determine if negligence played a role in a boating accident.
In many boating accidents, multiple parties share the blame. Even when the other person is responsible, the injured person may have had an opportunity to avoid the accident. Fortunately, a person may still recover even when they share the blame. Under Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code § 33.001, a victim can recover unless they are 51 percent or more responsible for the accident.
Modified comparative fault makes it essential that a person proves another is more responsible for the accident. A boat collision lawyer in Bee Cave may employ reconstruction experts and others to help demonstrate that responsibility.
Getting legal help in the aftermath of a boating wreck is essential. The law enforcement agencies investigating boating accidents are often not those on the scene. First responders can include local rescue workers and law enforcement. However, Texas Parks and Wildlife and the Coast Guard will handle in-depth investigations. A legal team can help prompt and encourage those discoveries, which can help a person gather proof for a claim or lawsuit.
A Bee Cave boat accident lawyer can play other vital roles as well. We can help you evaluate damages and explore your remedies. Schedule a consultation to find out more.