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Boating Accidents

Boating Accident Lawyer in Austin

If a serious boating accident occurs because of someone else’s negligence, contact experienced personal injury attorneys at McMinn Law Firm as the first step in guarding your best interest every step of the way.

Austin Boat Accident Lawyer

The last thing you want to think about on a fun day out on the lake are the potential dangers you could encounter. Whether you’re going out on a private boat, a rented jet ski, or a company operated barge, boat and drowning accident injuries can happen.

No matter your plans, it’s important to bring life jackets, stay alert, and be aware of weather hazards. An alarming number of kayakers die in Texas. Nearly 40% of all boating related accidents involve kayaks – lives that some say could have been saved by wearing a life jacket. Never forget that safety precautions such as life jackets, boating maintenance, and caution always are prudent.

Even if your plans don’t involve extreme speeds, the dangers of drowning still pose significant risk.

An Austin woman celebrating an engagement with friends lost her arm to a boat propeller. She said she remembers her best friend scream “Her arm is floating in the water!” Luckily, she says, she was immediately saved by a stranger. The rescuer took her to a nearby dock, where Travis County ESD 1 paramedics worked to save her life.

DeJesus feared for her life immediately following the disaster. As an ICU nurse she says her training gave her the skills to keep thinking, keep talking and to stay alive.

Boating accidents such as this can happen when boaters do not exercise caution. In this case, the driver could have been distracted, or aftermarket changes to the party boat may have caused the horrific accident.

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Even when hazardous weather doesn’t put people in danger, drunk boating can. Drinking, texting and boating are a dangerous cocktail that doesn’t mix.

A fun trip out on a boat turned horrific when the operator and owner of the boat decided to drink.

Woman Injured at the Hands of Drunk Boater

A woman’s arm was severed in a horrific boating accident involving a Boston area lawyer. The attorney, 35-year-old Benjamin Urbelis, plead guilty to a charge in a horrific boating accident that occurred on Boston Harbor in 2015. He was a defense attorney and night club promoter in Boston at the time of the boating incident.

Attorney Benjamin Urbelis faces charges of operating a boat while under the influence, negligent operation of a boat, and furnishing alcohol to minors. A group of 16 went out on Urbels’ boat, the Naut Guilty,

Urbelis was swimming in the water at the time of the accident, but authorities say that he was the only person legally authorized to drive the boat. During trial the woman, Nicole Berthiaume, gave an emotional testimony detailing the emotional and physical impact of her injuries.

Freak accidents do happen, but drinking and boating or operating a boat without a license is not an accident. When a serious injury occurs because of someone else’s negligence, it is our duty to fight for the rights of the injured.

Your Boat Accident Attorneys in Austin

At 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 River.

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 unless you get a settlement or verdict.

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 love was injured, seek medical attention.
  • The next step after an accident is to call the police, and then a lawyer so that a formal investigation can begin. A boating collision needs to be analyzed, and all evidence photographed. The location of the water crafts needs to be determined and the points of impact must be determined. This requires experts who have experience in re-creating 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 to build a case.

What a Boat Accident Attorney Does For You

You need a lawyer who knows how to handle the details of a boating accident case. Lawyers often perform an investigation to present in court. Boating accidents can result in catastrophic and fatal injuries. When you suffer, our legal team will aggressively fight for the compensation you deserve.

We will explore every option you have. Oftentimes 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 items such as:

  • medical bills,
  • lost wages
  • or property damages.

We will make a complete and full evaluation of your immediate and future needs. Our goal is 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 and FAQs

Watch out for these rules before going out on the water. If you still have questions, contact your local law enforcement to find out more about the rules on the water.

  • 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.

Learn more about boating license laws and FAQs from Texas Parks and Wildlife.

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 crashes 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 wrecks. 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 occurred, don’t wait another second to get started on your case. Call Us today and start moving forward.

3 Injured in Small Plane Crash near Lago Visto

September 28, 2020

Three suffered injuries in a small plane crash on Monday afternoon in the Austin-area near Lago Vista. Multiple crews responded to Farm to Market Road 1431 Road near the 19700 and 19800 blocks. The crash happened between Jonestown and Lago Vista.

Authorities say the aircraft was a Beechcraft BE 36 Bonanza. Three were seated in the vehicle at the time of the crash, which was traveling from Brownsville, Texas.

Authorities have not yet released any information about what may have caused the crash.

The department of Public Safety has released the names of those injured in the crash. Among those injured were 61-year-old Jerry Harvey, 66-year-old Barbara Harvey and 36-year-old Jesse Kerr.

Two Men Hurt in San Marcos When Planes Collide

September 24, 2020

Two men were injured when planes collided at San Marcos Regional Airport on Thursday September 24.

Two planes were trying to land at around 7:18 p.m. A Team Rocks F1 Experimental aircraft and a Cessna 172. One aircraft flipped and the other caught fire.

Two men were taken to the hospital following the collision. The injuries are not believed to be life threatening. A witness helped save two men inside of one of the planes.

Experts have not yet released a cause of the crash. FAA is conducting an investigation.

Man Struck and Killed by Commercial Plane at Austin Bergstrom International Airport

AUSTIN – Update May 12, 2020

Austin authorities identified the man killed while walking on the runway as 22-year-old Junin Ko. Officials have not released information about how Ko got onto the runway.

The Austin airport resumed normal service the following day, but the airplane involved in the crash showed cancellation notices for all four of its’ scheduled flights on Friday.

The audio and transcription between the pilot of Southwest Flight 1392 has now been released.

Southwest: “Tower, Southwest 1392, we believe there might be a person on the runway.”
ABIA Tower: “Southwest 1392, where exactly do you see the man?”
Southwest: “Well they, uh, they’re behind us, they’re behind us now.”
ABIA Tower: “Southwest 1392, roger. So you saw them just after you touched down?”
Southwest: “Affirm.”
ABIA Tower: “1392, roger.”

Security at the Austin airport is under scrutiny after the tragedy. Junin Ko was not unauthorized to be in the area and did not have a badge.

The FAA said in interviews that deaths on runways are so rare that it is not something that the agency regularly tracks. The entrance of an unauthorized person shows vulnerabilities in equipment, design or both. The airport security is now under scrutiny after this fatal tragedy.

May 7, 2020

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport has confirmed that a man died while walking along the runway, and was struck by an aircraft at 8:12 p.m. on May 7, 2020.

What we know so far:

  • Southwest Airlines Flight 1392 reported an individual on runway 17-Right after their aircraft touched down.
  • Authorities have not yet released the identity of the individual struck by the plane
  • Damage (in the photo) can be seen to the Southwest Airlines Boeing 737. Cowling (the outside housing of the engine) displayed damage with a sizable dent on the cowlings leading edge.
  • “The individuation has been described as unauthorized.”
  • Austin-Travis Emergency Medical Services responded to the incident and pronounced the victim deceased at the scene.
  • There is an ongoing investigation about this case. McMinn Law Firm is following the updates closely, and will be updating this page as new information is released to the public.
    This incident could the result of negligence. If you or someone you love has been harmed by the recklessness of a company or individual, read on to learn more about personal injury law.

Aviation Accident Lawyers

An aircraft can be a dangerous vehicle, but if proper care is taken, almost all injuries or deaths can be avoided. Many individuals are injured as the result of negligence in transportation or care of an aircraft, defective products or medical negligence related to aircraft accidents. At the McMinn Law Firm our attorneys are dedicated to providing exceptional and aggressive representation to the victims and families of aviation accidents. We are experienced in handling cases and claims arising out of negligence in transportation or maintenance, medical care, or defective products.

When you are involved in a plane crash, you need an immediate investigation to preserve the evidence related to the crash. Our attorneys work with experts and are experienced in working to identify the cause of the accident and every liable party.

We can determine if the accident was caused by:

  • Inclement weather
  • Pilot error
  • Manufacturing defect
  • Design defect
  • Air traffic control error
  • Maintenance failures

Regardless of what caused the plane crash, we will identify every source of liability and pursue damages for your losses. If you have lost a loved one in an aviation accident, our attorneys can represent you in a wrongful death action and will fight for the compensation you deserve.

We can assist our clients with any of the following aircraft accidents

  • Private plane crashes
  • Commercial airline accidents
  • Helicopter accidents
  • Medical transportation accidents
  • Corporate jets

Our attorneys will represent both passengers and crew members involved in private and commercial litigation. When you and your family suffer an aviation tragedy, you need counsel you can trust.

Contact the McMinn Law Firm for experienced legal service from our Austin, Texas, personal injury firm. Our lawyers offer professional and effective legal representation to the victims and families of fatal plane crashes.

Free consultations • We will come to visit you at your home or in the hospital • Contact us 24/7 at (512) 474-0222 or use our contact form.

Recent Personal Injury Case Results

The McMinn Law Firm has helped injured Austinites for fifteen years, winning over 100 million dollars in settlements to date.

Uninsured Motorist Accident


Drunk Driver Accident


Truck Accident Victim


Austin Personal Injury Lawyers Waiting To Help You

We specialise representing clients in the following areas, we are waiting to help you on your personal injury case.

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Catastrophic Injuries

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Our Awards

Better Business Bureau (BBB) bases its ratings on information provided by the business, and on public data sources. McMinn Law Firm's A+ rating is the highest available.
In the years 2013-2014 and 2016-2019, Justin McMinn has been selected each year as a Rising Star by Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters service. Jason McMinn has been selected as a Super Lawyer in 2020., a company that evaluates and recommends local service professionals, placed McMinn Law Firm on their list of 20 recommended car accident attorneys in Austin.

What Past Clients Are Saying

"Jason, Justin, and their entire support team represented me in an accident involving an 18 wheeler. I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome, and maybe as importantly, the service along the way was something you would want as a client, their entire team was amazing! I can with great confidence recommend them to friends, family, and to anyone who happens to read this. Thank you McMinn Law Firm for a job well done!"

- Charles

"The McMinns were amazing. Within two days of my accident – and still barely able to move – I received a visit to my house for personal consultation (on a Saturday). All the initial feedback about my potential case turned out to be 100% accurate, and when it finally came time to settle they didn’t back off an inch. …If you’re hurt, make the call."

- Harry

"I was rear ended by a large truck. Am thankful for Justin and Jason and their team and all the hard work they put into resolving my case! I highly recommend that you contact them if you’re injured in a wreck!"

- Lori M.

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