Rivers and lakes around Belton, Texas make it easy to enjoy beautiful days on the water, whether fishing, swimming, or simply exploring the area. Unfortunately, accidents can occur at any time, resulting in minor to significant injuries and property damage. If you or a loved one were injured in a boating accident, you should reach out to a Belton boat accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Boaters who act irresponsibly and cause serious injuries should be held accountable. After reporting the incident to the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, local police department, or local game warden, make an appointment with an attorney to discuss the specifics of your case. Depending on what caused the accident and the severity of your injuries, you could be entitled to damages, such as medical care expenses and lost wages, pain and suffering, and mental anguish. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you determine what type of damages you may be eligible to recover.
The state has many laws in place to protect the safety of boaters and passengers. Those who violate the Water Safety Act and related laws face liability charges from attorneys who represent watercraft collision cases. For example, in terms of personal watercrafts (PWC), boaters must follow operational rules for regular motorboats, including operating the vessel in a way that will not cause a huge wake or wash. Personal watercraft owners are also not allowed to operate their boats from sunset to sunrise, or within 50 feet of another PWC. Their vessels must additionally feature title and registration numbers, and contain all required safety equipment, including fire extinguishers, personal floatation devices, lights, and sound-producing devices.
Required safety equipment is not necessary for vessels that are windblown, oared, poled, or paddled, including kayaks, canoes, paddleboards, punts, and rowboats under 14 feet in length. Safety equipment is also not needed for rubber rafts, no matter how long they are.
Boating collisions requiring attorney assistance happen for many reasons. Some of the most common causes include:
Fatalities, in addition to serious injuries such as traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries, can result from boating collisions. Less severe harm such as broken bones, muscle strains, cuts, bruises, and lacerations can also occur, among other injuries.
In the State of Texas, personal injury plaintiffs have two years from the incidents’ date to file legal claims according to the Civil Practice and Remedies Code, Title 2, Chapter 16, Section 16.003. Anyone who can prove, typically with a legal professional’s help, that the boating crash was the result of another party’s negligence or intentionally reckless behavior has a claim. For example, if a person operating a kayak was knocked off their watercraft and sustained head injuries because of a motorboat operator’s inattention, that operator is liable. The plaintiff and their attorney must show that the operator’s negligence or intentional actions resulted in injuries and that those injuries are severe enough to warrant compensation.
Take action after a bad day on the water by consulting a Belton boat accident lawyer. No matter what type of watercrafts were involved, our team provides the counsel and guidance that determines whether you should press your case. Make an appointment with our firm today.