Byrd Ramsey has over 100 years of combined experience representing seriously injured Texans. We have experience assisting victims of boat accidents. We understand the complications of boat accident litigation and how to maximize personal injury recoveries- whether the injury happened with a pleasure boat, Jet Ski, personal watercraft, or commercial vessel.
With its vast amount of inland lakes and coastline, Texas has plenty of opportunity for boating and water sports. But when boating accidents happen, you may need a lawyer to help you get the compensation you deserve. Our boat accident lawyers are here to help. Call us at 409-202-2020 or contact us online for a free consultation.
What to do After a Boat Accident
After a boat accident, initial investigations are critical to preserving your rights and options. The Parks and Wildlife Department generally investigates severe injury or wrongful death boat crashes. However, it’s essential to have your team analyze the cause of the accident.
According to Section 31.104 of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code, after an accident the operator of a boat is required to:
- Exchange information with anyone who’s injured or whose property was damaged and
- Assist other people as may be practical and necessary
Additionally, a boat accident must be reported to the Parks and Wildlife Department within 30 days with appropriate information. If the boat accident results in a death, the incident must be reported within 48 hours.
Inexperienced operators often cause boat accidents. And it is critical to remember that right-of-way and other rules apply to boats just as they do to cars in the state of Texas.
Boat Accident Statistics & Facts
Since there are so many opportunities in lakes or the Gulf to enjoy water sports, it is no surprise that many Texans enjoy to spend their time out on the water. This relaxing outdoor activity allows one to enjoy the fresh air and Texas’ waterways. Unfortunately, when boating safety isn’t a priority, people can get hurt. The Coast Guard estimates that in 2013 alone, there were 4,062 accidents that involved 560 deaths. There were approximately 2,620 injuries, which resulted in an estimated $39 million of damages.
The most shocking facts about boating accidents include:
- When the cause of death could be determined, 77% of fatal boating accident victims drowned. Of those individuals, 84% were not wearing a life jacket when the incident occurred.
- Alcohol use is the leading cause of fatal boat accidents.
- According to Coast Guard statistics, twenty-two children under age thirteen died while boating in 2013. Eight children or approximately 36% who died in 2013 died from drowning. Only two children or 25% of those who drowned were wearing a life jacket as required by state and federal law.
- An estimated 8 out of every ten boaters who drowned were on boats smaller than 21 feet in length.
- The top contributing factors to boat accidents include operator inexperience, inattention, and speeding.
- Boater safety courses are proven to save lives. In boating fatality accidents, only 20% of all deaths occurred on boats where the operator had attended a boater safety course.
Based on the above information, there are many viable ways that we can reduce accidents and fatalities related to recreational boating activities. For instance, one of the best preventive strategies is to ensure all operators know and obey all state, federal, and local laws. Also, life jackets must be worn when boating and should always be on board to prevent accidental drowning and other incidents.
Common Boat Accidents
Boating accidents can happen with any type of vessel including motorboats, jet skis, canoes, kayaks, pontoon boats, and sailboats. An accident can cause property damage, injury, or death. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the most common boating accidents include:
- Fire or explosion
- Collision with a fixed object
- Collision with another vessel
- Collision with a floating object, including swimmers
- Running aground, sinking or flooding
- Injuries sustain by a person on a towable object, such as an inflatable raft
- Someone falling overboard
The U.S. Coast Guard states that most boating accidents involve negligence. Federal law requires the boat operator report boating accidents resulting in a personal injury, death, damage to property of more than $2,000, destruction of the boat, and if a boat passenger goes missing.
One of the biggest contributors to boat accidents in Texas is inexperienced boat operators and those who have not had the training required by the Texas legislature. A vast majority of the boating accidents that occur involve people operating boats without proper training.
Contact our Beaumont Boat Accident Lawyers
If you or a family member was severely injured in a boating accident, call us to talk about your rights and options. Call us at 409-202-2020 or contact us online for a free consultation.