Boat accidents are often dangerous. While boats might not travel at the high speeds that cars and trucks do, they also don’t have brakes, crumple zones, seat belts, airbags, or other safety devices. This means that passengers and pilots in boat accidents are often thrown to the deck or fall into bulkheads and gunwales, suffering serious injuries. Many boat accidents have completely preventable causes, which means that you might be entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit if you are injured in a boat crash. For help with your case, contact the Dallas boat accident lawyers at The Queenan Law Firm today.
Common Causes of Boating Accidents
Most boat accidents throughout the country are caused by human error. Inexperience also contributes to many of these boating accidents. Especially in popular vacation spots, people rent pleasure boats and speedboats for a fun day on the water. Unfortunately, many of them may have never piloted a boat before in their lives, and they risk injuring themselves, their passengers, and other boaters.
Inattention is another common issue that causes boat crashes. Boat pilots might be distracted by obstacles or dangers in the water or the waves and wakes on the surface of the water. They could also be distracted by others in their boat. Regardless of the source of distraction, inattention means that pilots don’t see obstacles and dangers they should see, often causing accidents because of it.
Speeding and showing-off often contribute to boat accidents. Especially with inexperienced boat pilots, some people use their boats as an opportunity to show off. This could include trying to perform tricks or stunts, especially with personal water vehicles like jet skis or wave runners. If someone falls off the boat or it drives into another vessel, the accident could be extremely dangerous if it involved high speeds.
Failing to follow navigational rules is another problem that involves user error. There are set ways that boats interact and communicate on the water, and failing to follow rules for yielding, passing, or crossing lanes of travel can cause serious problems. Especially if inexperienced pilots get in the way of shipping lanes or other travel lanes, they may be unable to correct problems and could cause accidents.
Driving into dangerous waters, facing mechanical issues, and environmental/weather hazards cause other accidents. Water conditions are not always ideal for boating, and commercial vessels may be required to head out even in bad weather. This can reduce visibility, or dangerous waves and water conditions could cause boats to capsize or crash on their own.
Any time you fall into the water, you risk drowning injuries. If you hit your head on the inside of your boat or fall overboard and strike your head against the boat, you could face traumatic brain injuries which could increase the risk of drowning. It is vital to always wear a life vest and follow proper boating rules and safety tips.
Drunk Boating Accidents
An unfortunate number of accidents in Texas are caused by boating while intoxicated (BWI). On average, there are around 229 boating accidents each year. While not every BWI case results in an accident, this is coincidentally nearly the same as the total number of drunk boating cases in Texas each year.
Drunk operators are unable to react quickly to danger, appreciate risks, or use sound judgment while piloting a boat. Boats are dangerous vehicles which, if operated improperly, can injure or kill riders, operators, and others. In the case of an injury that involved a drunk boat operator, you may be able to use Texas’ BWI laws to help you prove your case and seek compensation for your injuries.
Suing for Boat Accidents in Texas
After a boat accident, you may be entitled to sue the at-fault parties to get compensation for your injuries. If you faced substantial medical bills, you could be entitled to compensation to cover all necessary medical costs. This includes the cost of surgeries, doctor’s visits, hospital stays, and other expenses. If you missed work, you might be entitled to have the wages you missed reimbursed as part of your injury lawsuit. Third, you may be entitled to compensation to pay for the pain and suffering you faced because of the injuries. While it is difficult to calculate a specific cost for your injuries, more severe injuries often have more severe pain and suffering and are worth higher damages.
Many insurance companies may not provide for full damages. First, damages are usually not available for pain and suffering if you file through insurance. Second, the damages that insurance companies pay for these damages may not be covered in full based on the terms of your policy. Lastly, insurance companies and at-fault parties often try to save themselves money by settling cases for as low as they can. Talk to a lawyer about your case to see what it might be worth before you accept any settlements for a boat injury case.
Dallas Boat Injury Attorney Offering Free Consultations
If you or a loved one was injured in a boat accident in Texas, call our Dallas personal injury lawyers today. The injury attorneys at The Queenan Law Firm represent the victims of boat accidents and other serious injuries, and they fight to get them the compensation they need for their injuries, the death of a loved one, or other effects from a serious accidental injury. For a free consultation on your case, contact our law offices today at (817) 476-1797.