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.
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.