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Personal Injury Lawyer

Several unfortunate boating accidents have recently been in the news. Two boats collided on the Colorado River. Nine people were injured and at least three passengers died. One passenger is still missing.

None of the boaters in the Colorado crash were wearing life jackets. Whether enough life jackets were available for all the passengers is unclear.

The cause of the collision is under investigation. It seems reasonably clear, however, that the operator of at least one of the boats was careless.

Boat operators, like drivers of cars and trucks, are expected to obey safety rules and to operate boats with caution. And just like drivers, boat operators can be held accountable for personal injuries and wrongful deaths that they cause by their negligence.

Negligent Boating

In another recent accident, a 7-year-old girl and her father were being towed on an inner tube behind a ski boat when they were hit by a pontoon boat. The father was injured but his daughter was killed.

Boat operators have a duty to maintain careful observation of the water in the direction of the boat’s travel. Swimmers, water skiers, jet skiers, rafters, scuba divers, and other boaters may be found in any part of a lake or river. The failure to watch the water is the usual cause of boating accidents.

Just as distracted driving is an increasingly common contributor to traffic accident statistics, distracted boating places everyone on the water at risk. Boat operators who are sending or reading texts, watching videos, scrolling through contact lists, or doing anything else that diverts their attention from the water are operating the boat negligently.

Other acts of negligent boating include:

  •   Operating too fast at night or in conditions of poor visibility
  •   Failing to have required lights at night
  •   Failing to have a life jacket on board for each passenger
  •   Carrying more passengers than the boat can safely handle
  •   Allowing a child to operate a boat without supervision
  •   Failing to assure that children are wearing a life vest at all times

Operating a boat while impaired by the consumption of alcohol is just as dangerous as driving after drinking. A high percentage of boating accidents are caused by intoxicated operators. While most drivers stop drinking before they drive, it is common for boaters to have alcohol on board their watercraft. Boat operators who are drinking will often fail to realize that they have consumed too much alcohol to continue operating the boat safely.

Boating Accident Injuries

When boating accident victims die, death is usually caused by drowning. Other deaths are caused by propellers, being hit by another boat while in the water, or serious injuries that result from fires or explosions on a boat.

The serious injuries that boat passengers may experience include:

  •   Amputations
  •   Wounds and resulting infections
  •   Head and brain injuries
  •   Spinal injuries
  •   Internal injuries

Survivors who were underwater before being revived by CPR may face disabling brain damage if they were deprived of oxygen for too long before they began to breathe again.

Survivors who do not fall overboard may still suffer from injuries caused by falling within the boat, including:

  •   Broken hips and other fractures
  •   Lacerations and infections
  •   Neck and back injuries
  •   Torn or stretched muscles, ligaments, and tendons
  •   Nerve damage

Burns and disfigurement are among the other possible consequences of boating accidents.

Sources of Compensation for Boating Accidents

The victims of accidents caused by a boat operator’s negligence are entitled to compensation, including reimbursement of medical expenses, lost wages, the cost of coping with a disability, and pain and suffering. Commercial boat operators are nearly always insured, but there is no guarantee that a private boat operator will have insurance.

Most states do not require boat owners to carry liability insurance, although a couple of states require liability insurance if the boat has a motor of at least 50 horsepower. Owners who take out a loan to purchase their boats may be required by the lender to obtain liability coverage as well as property damage insurance. In addition, marinas typically require liability insurance as a condition of mooring the boat at their facilities.

Homeowners policies may cover boats, although they typically exclude boats that are larger than a canoe or boat accidents that occur on water unless the policy owner purchases additional coverage. However, people who can afford a boat often realize that they should purchase liability insurance to protect their other property.

When no insurance exists, it may be possible to recover compensation from the operator’s other assets. A personal injury lawyer will investigate all sources of compensation in order to maximize the available recovery for injury victims.

Boating Accidents Lawyer Arlington

AmputationAs a boating accidents lawyer in Arlington understands all too well, many Texans enjoy “fun in the sun,” but may underestimate the dangers that come with water activities such as boating, jet skis, tubing, swimming, and other personal water crafts. Warm weather makes lakes and beaches favorite vacation spots for tourists, families, and college students who want to enjoy themselves during summer break. Unfortunately tragic accidents do occur.

What started out as a fun day boating with friends has turned tragic. In a moment, everything can change. The events surrounding the day of the boating accident you fell victim to likely will be something you will carry with you for the rest of your life. Facing injuries that have impacted your life can be incredibly devastating. It can often leave an accident victim feeling incredibly lost. Here at Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC, we can not only provide you with the support you need through each step, but we can also help put your mind at ease during what is sure to be a trying time. It is important to seek medical treatment immediately. A person can sustain serious injuries that can range from minor to catastrophic. These can include a broken bones, internal bleeding, serious brain or spinal cord injuries – some of which will change a person’s life forever. Life long care may be required for you or your loved one, and you will need an expert to determine the cost of that life time care, so that you may be compensated accordingly.

Step #1: Make Sure the Accident is Reported

The accident should be reported for a number of reasons. Involving the Coast Guard can ensure that everyone obtains the help they require while also generating an accident report. Not only can an accident report help to outline the events surrounding the accident, it can also provide you with a powerful piece of evidence for your accident case. Be sure to share a copy of this report with your Arlington boating accidents lawyer.

Step #2: Gather as Much Evidence as Possible

Evidence will be key when pursuing a personal injury claim. As a component to the process, you will be required to prove a number of key elements. We will work closely with you to gather evidence that helps to support your claim. At the scene, make sure that the following are gathered:

  • -Witness information
  • -Names and addresses for those operating the boats involved
  • -Insurance company Information
  • -Photographs of the damages
  • -Obtain any available videos that show the accident or the aftermath
  • -Take photographs of injuries
  • -Medical documentation


Step #3: See a Doctor

In the wake of an accident, make sure that you have seen a doctor. Medical attention is key to ensuring that you not only receive the treatment that you need but also to help prove your case should you decide to pursue an accident claim.

Step #4: Contact an Attorney

It’s important to contact boating accidents lawyer from Arlington at Brandy and Austin Law Firm, PLLC as soon as possible. There a number of reasons for this. The earlier we are able to begin working with you, the quicker we can help you to take action. We will be key in strategizing your case by:

  • Helping you to gather the relevant information needed for your case
  • Negotiating with insurance companies and attorneys
  • Protecting your interests.

Personal injury cases can be complex, representing yourself may result in not being able to obtain the compensation you rightfully deserve. Allow for us to manage the complexities of the personal injury process so that you can focus on your recovery.

If you have lost a loved one or a child in a boating or watercraft accident, you may seek compensation for a wrongful death claim. You need someone who is trustworthy and caring to help you through this time. Our legal team has experience in dealing with insurance companies to get you the compensation you deserve. Call us today to speak with a compassionate and strategic boating accidents lawyer based in Arlington. If you or a loved one has been injured due to the carelessness and negligence of a third party, you may be entitled to file a claim for compensation to recover the following damages

  • -Past and future medical treatment, including emergency room bills, surgeries and other hospital posts
  • -Lost wages
  • -Loss of wage earning capacity
  • -Pain & suffering
  • -Disfigurement
  • -Wrongful Death
  • -Replacement of your personal water craft, boat, or other property damaged in the accident

While these tips will not eliminate all potential accidents, practicing them will lower your chances of being involved in a boating or water craft accident.

  • -Travel only in areas open to your personal watercraft (PWC).
  • -Always wear a Coast Guard approved lifejacket (PFD).
  • -When riding, make sure your lanyard is attached to your PFD, wrist or clothing.
  • -Always maintain your PWC at a safe speed. If you fall off your PWC, always re-board from the rear.
  • -Keep an eye out for other boaters, objects and swimmers.
  • -Never jump a wake. If crossing a wake, cross at low speeds, and keep a close lookout for skiers and towables.
  • -Comply with all signs and respect barriers. This includes speed limits, no-wake zones and underwater obstructions.
  • -Make every effort to ride with a partner on another watercraft.
  • -Do not ride at night. Most PWCs are not equipped with lights.
  • -Make certain your trailer lights work and your PWC is secure on the trailer before you travel to your destination.
  • -Balance your load including items stowed inside your PWC.
  • -Don’t mix PWCs with alcohol or drugs.

Accident recovery can result in dark days for the victim of a boating accident. Depending upon the severity of the injuries you have suffered, there’s no telling how long you may be forced to face the aftermath. A boating accidents lawyer located in Arlington, may have the ability to retain damages for the losses you have suffered by keeping your interests at the forefront. Contact us today so that we can begin providing you with the legal support that you deserve.

We always wish the best for all of our clients. However, when things do not go as planned, we are here to help you through. Contact Brandy Austin Law Firm at 800-958-4948 or online to arrange a free consultation with a boating accidents lawyer Arlington residents rely on.

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