New Braunfels Boat Accident Lawyer

Boating is a popular activity across Texas’ many lakes and waterways. Most boat owners are safe and responsible, but a simple mistake or a poor choice can turn a fun day into a disaster. When someone’s negligence contributes to an accident, they can be held responsible for the resulting harm. Pursuing compensation can feel challenging while recovering from an injury, which highlights the importance of contacting a New Braunfels boat accident lawyer. A personal injury attorney can review your case, investigate the circumstances, and explain your options as you move forward with your recovery.

Causes of Boating Accidents

Boating accidents share common causes with vehicular accidents, such as operator inattention, improper lookout, excessive speed, and equipment failure. Unfortunately, alcohol use often plays a role in boating accidents. Pursuant to Texas Penal Code § 49.06, boating while intoxicated is—at minimum—a Class B misdemeanor, and our boat accident attorneys in New Braunfels know how to use this criminal statute in civil cases, when applicable.

The possible types of boating accidents are varied, including boat-to-boat collisions, collisions with swimmers, jet ski accidents, and yachting accidents. Oftentimes, the negligent party is known to the injured person. The injured person might be a guest on the negligent party’s yacht, for example. A prior relationship does not negate one’s duty to use reasonable care. It can be difficult to take legal action against friends, but a lawyer can take an objective view. No matter the cause, and no matter the negligent party, our legal team can take steps toward a recovery.

Proving Liability in Boating Accidents

When a person is injured in a boating accident due to another’s negligence, their lawyer must prove it. Usually, this means proving the negligent person breached a duty of care, the breach caused injury, and the injury resulted in damages. To prove the first prong (duty and breach), a lawyer will usually identify a specific act or omission by the operator that caused the accident. This can sometimes be established using negligence per se, which applies when the negligent person was violating a safety statute at the time of the accident.

As referenced above, Texas has a statute making boating while intoxicated a crime. If a boat operator was drunk at the time of the accident, duty and breach can likely be established without further proof, making it easier for a New Braunfels attorney to prove the case. Other statutes and regulations can also be used in negligence per se, as long as the statute’s purpose is to prevent the type of injury that occurred.

Reporting Requirement After Boating Accidents

State law imposes duties on boat operators following collisions and other accidents. Pursuant to Texas Parks and Wildlife Code § 31.104, after an accident the operator must render first aid as necessary and practicable. The operator must also provide their contact information and vessel identification to anyone who suffered injury or property damage. Also, Tex. Parks and Wild. § 31.105 requires boat operators to file a report with a marine safety enforcement officer or game warden within 30 days of a boat accident resulting in:

  • Death
  • Injury that requires treatment beyond first aid
  • Property damage exceeding $2,000

A person injured in a boat accident should make note of whether the boat operator met the above requirements, as failure to do so could be relevant to a civil action. While the injured person has no duty to document and report the incident, keeping notes and records of the incident, injuries, and any follow up care is recommended. A lawyer in New Braunfels can use that information to build a boat accident claim.

Seek Help From Out Boat Accident Attorneys in New Braunfels

Boating accidents may be less common than car accidents, but they can be just as serious, and those who suffer injuries are just as deserving of compensation. The pain and stress of an injury can be overwhelming, both physically and emotionally, and legal action can be challenging to face. The first step is to call a New Braunfels boat accident lawyer, who can lift some of the weight of your current situation, freeing you to focus on the other things in life. Call today for an initial consultation.

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