Boat Accidents Frequently Asked Questions
Houston Boat Accident Lawyer Answers Common Questions About Boating Accidents
After a serious boating accident, you need an experienced and dedicated personal injury lawyer on your side. With more than a decade of experience helping people receive the compensation they deserve after an accident or injury, attorney Daniel D. Horowitz, III serves Houston, Baytown, Beaumont and the surrounding areas. If you need legal help after a boating accident, reach out to us. During a free consultation, we can answer any legal questions you may have and help you to understand your best legal options.
Below, we answer common questions about Texas boating accidents.
What Is the Cause of Most Boating Accidents?
There are many causes of boating accidents. According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPDW), the top five contributing factors of boating accidents include:
- Operator inattention
- Improper lookout
- Operator inexperience
You can learn more about the most common causes of boating accidents here.
What Is the First Thing You Do in a Boating Accident in Texas?
Boating accidents can cause catastrophic injuries and/or fatalities. Your first step should be to call for help. Call your local law enforcement agency by dialing 9-1-1. You can also contact the TPDW, or depending on your location, you may contact the U.S. Coast Guard.
See our Houston boat accident lawyer’s list of what to do immediately after a boat accident for more information.
When Are You Required to Report a Boating Accident in Texas?
In Texas, you must report a boating accident under certain circumstances to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department or to your local law enforcement agency. Under Parks and Wildlife Code Section 31.105, the vessel operator must report a boating accident if the accident resulted in any of the following:
- Missing person
- Injury to any person that requires treatment beyond first aid
- Property damage exceeding $2,000
You must report the accident within 30 days, unless a fatality occurs. If a fatality occurs, you have 48 hours to report it.
Who Is Liable in a Texas Boating Accident?
Liability surrounding a boating accident depends on the unique circumstances surrounding the accident. Potential responsible parties may include:
- Operator of the boat. The boat operator is responsible for ensuring all Texas boating laws and safety regulations are followed.
- Owner of the boat. The boat owner must ensure that the boat is maintained and safe for operating.
- Passenger on the boat. A passenger may be liable for an accident if his or her actions directly resulted in the boat crash.
- Manufacturer of the boat. If a manufacturing defect or a design defect causes the accident, then the boat manufacturer may be liable for damages.
- Boat rental company. A boat rental company may be liable for many reasons, including if its employee is the boat operator or if it failed to maintain the boat for safe operation.
What Damages Can I Recover After a Texas Boating Accident?
After a Texas boating accident, you may be able to recover economic and noneconomic damages through a personal injury lawsuit. Economic damages are tangible costs, such as compensation for:
- Medical bills and treatment costs
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Property damage costs
Noneconomic damages are more difficult to calculate. This type of damages include pain and suffering and loss of companionship (in the event of wrongful death).
In cases where extreme negligence occurred, such as boating under the influence, you may be awarded punitive damages too.
Contact Our Houston Boat Accident Attorney Today
Have you been injured in a boating accident? Did you lose a loved one due to the negligence of another person or entity? We encourage you to discuss your situation with our Houston boat accident attorney. You may have a viable claim to recover compensation for your damages. Call us at (832) 225-4902 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation to discuss your situation.