Boating Accident Cases in Texas

Written by greg on March 20, 2019

Boating should be a fun and relaxing activity. When you go out on your boat you expect to get some sun and participate in some water recreation. According to the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, Texas has more miles of inland water than any other state in the country and ranks sixth for the number of registered boats. There are more than 580,000 registered boats in the state. With this number of boats on our waterways, the likelihood of a boating accident increases.

Boating accidents can also include jet skis and happen all the time in places like Lake Conroe.

What Causes Boating Accidents?

Boat operators must obey boating laws. Just like driving on land, when you are operating a vessel on water, you must take safety precautions and follow the rules. Some common causes of boating accidents include inexperience, weather, inattention, reckless operation, operating while impaired, excessive speed, and equipment failure. About half of reported boating accidents are due to boating while intoxicated (BWI).

The Texas Game Wardens provides professional water law enforcement, search and rescue and water safety in coordination with the U.S. Coast Guard recognized national standards. The Texas Game Wardens are part of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) Law Enforcement Division and are commonly referred to as the ‘Texas Navy.’ They are tasked with the enforcement of the Texas Water Safety Act which includes a number of requirements and rules that boaters must follow.

Do Boating Accidents Need to be Reported?

Boating Accident Reports

Boating accidents may occur with any type of vessel including motorboats, jet skis, canoes, kayaks, pontoon boats, sail boats and any other vessels. An accident is an event or series of events that causes property damage, injury, or death. The U.S. Coast Guard lists some of the most common types of accidents as:

  • Collision with a fixed object
  • Collision with another vessel
  • Collision with a floating object, including swimmers
  • Running aground, sinking or flooding
  • Fire or explosion
  • Mishaps that involve a person on a towable object
  • Someone falling overboard
  • Capsizing

The U.S. Coast Guard indicates that most boating accidents involve some level of negligence. Federal law requires the boat operator to report a boating accident any time the accident results in a personal injury, fatality, damage to property of more than $2,000, when a boat is destroyed, and when a person aboard a vessel goes missing.

Who is Responsible for a Boating Injury?

As with any type of accident, the cause of the crash must be determined. The boat operator may be liable for the accident if his or her negligence caused or contributed to the accident. For example, a boat operator disregards the slow wake signs when nearing a marina and crashes into the dock, causing injuries to a person standing on the dock. The injured party may be owed money for injuries caused by the negligent boat operator.

Boating accidents and injuries can be complicated. It is important to seek legal representation as soon as possible from an experienced Houston personal injury attorney. Your attorney will help review the accident and gather information and documentation that can be used to prove your claim.

If you or someone you love were injured in a boat accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact Baumgartner Law Firm for a free initial case consultation today.

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