Austin Boating Accident Attorney
At The McMinn Law Firm you get a team of lawyers experienced in boating accidents and water activities that cause injuries. We have served clients who suffered injuries on Lake Travis, Lake Austin, Lake LBJ, Lake Buchanan, Inks Lake, Lake McQueeney, Horseshoe Bay, the Guadalupe River, and San Marcos.
If you or a loved one suffered an injury from a boating accident, Call us for a free consultation. We work on a contingency fee basis which means we don’t get paid until you get a settlement or verdict. As part of our ongoing goal to provide justice for our clients we won’t get compensated until you do.
We are available to come visit you at your home or in the hospital. Contact us 24/7 at (512) 474-0222 for a free consultation.
What Do I Do After A Boating Accident?
The first thing you’ll need to do is assess for injuries. If you or someone you loved was injured, seek medical attention.
The next step after an accident is to call a lawyer or the police so that a formal investigation can begin. A boating collision needs to be analyzed, and all evidence photographed. The location of the watercrafts needs to be determined and the points of impact must be determined. This requires experts who have experience in recreating accident scenes. The wind, currents and wave action also play a role in boating accidents. Witness accounts of the accident are very important and must be done quickly before memories fade. The pieces of the watercraft must be gathered and examined. This can be difficult since many pieces can either sink or float away.
Once you’ve made sure that injuries have been addressed and you have an investigation underway, now it’s time to start talking with insurance companies and third parties and build a case to get the compensation you need for recovery.
What We Do For You
You need a lawyer who knows how to handle the details of a boating accident case and perform an investigation that is sure to win in court. Boating accidents can result in catastrophic and fatal injuries. When you suffer, our legal team will aggressively advocate for your rights to maximize your recovery.
We will explore every option you have. Often times injuries and property damage are caused by more than a negligent third party. Boating accidents can be caused by product liability or premise liability and can lead to personal injuries or even wrongful death. We explore every option you have using our experience and comprehensive knowledge of the law. We fight for every penny you need to get life back to normal.
Medical Expenses, Lost Wages, and Property Damage
After suffering a boating accident, you may incur significant expenses from medical bills, lost wages or property damages. We will make a complete and full evaluation of your immediate and future needs to ensure that you recover what you have lost.
Accidents that occur in the water can lead to serious injuries including brain injuries; neck and back injuries; amputation or even death. Our lawyers have proven time and time again their ability to get the results their clients deserve.
Boating Accidents in Texas
Boating accidents are common in Texas where we have over 600,000 registered boats and more inland water than any other state. Of the total boating accidents on Texas waters, 50% involve the use of alcohol. Anyone suspected of drinking can be tested by a Texas Game Warden. The legal limit of blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08%; if you drink more than that, then you can be fined, jailed, and lose your driver license. People operating boats are held to a high standard because boating accidents injure and kill people every year.
Operator inattention and inexperience are also common factors in watercraft accidents. It is easy to get caught up in the fun of being on the water and forget to be cautious. Most boating accidents could be avoided if operators were more attentive to their surroundings.
Inattention is also the fault of the spotter or lookout. That person has the job of being the operator’s second pair of eyes. They should be looking for hazards in the water, like driftwood, of downed water skiers, or other situations the operator may not be aware of. It is hard to hear watercrafts approaching since all motor boats are very loud so it’s necessary to be extremely cautious while driving a boat. If you aren’t or you are hit by a driver who was not cautious, this could be considered negligence.
Excessive speed can be dangerous when enjoying water sports. As in car accidents, vehicles moving at the same rate of speed are less likely to be in accidents than cars traveling at different speeds. On the water, some ski boats and jet skis might be traveling fast, and other boats are drifting or trolling for fish. Operators and lookouts need to be aware of the activities of everyone around them.
Boating License Laws
Anyone born after 1993 is required to complete a Boater Education course prior to operating a boat or personal watercraft (PWC). The program is designed to educate boat operators of the rules governing PWC use and safety issues relating to boating and watersports. Anyone operating a boat must follow the rules set out by the US Coast Guard, Texas Game Wardens and Marine Safety Enforcement Officers. Some lakes or reservoirs also have additional rules or restrictions.
Types of Boating Accidents
A boat colliding with another boat is the most common type of boating accident, but certainly not the only way injuries are caused. When boating, the operators should always be looking for other boats and keep a safe distance away. Boat accidents happen when the operators fail to yield to other boats, stay in sailing lanes in and out of marinas, or travel at unsafe speeds in high traffic areas. Often “no wake” signs are ignored or not seen by the operator.
Boat accidents also happen when a person operating the boat fails to stay in the proper boating lanes. This is critical when towing a water skier since the skier will be in the water and may be a victim to other boats who are unaware that the skier is down. Many water skiers are injured or killed when a boat crossed the tow rope or runs over them.
Jet skis are also involved in boating accidents. They can either collide with each other, larger boats or water skiers. All boating accidents carry the same inherent risk of injury like other types of accidents. However, with water sports the additional danger of drowning is always present.
Other accidents happen because a boat isn’t speeding; it is just sitting in the water so the passengers can fish, relax in the sun, or swim around the boat to cool off. These boats are like giant pieces of driftwood that other operators should see and move away a safe distance.
The launch ramps and ready lanes are also locations where accidents can happen, as people get out of their cars to prepare the boats for launching. Cars are backing up and pulling forward in a disorganized mass to get into the water or to get out of the water tired from a long day on the lake.
However your boating accident occured, don’t wait another second to get started on your case. Call Us today and start moving forward.