Austin Boat Accident Lawyer
100 Congress Avenue, Suite 2000
Austin, Texas 78701
Boating in Texas is a popular recreational activity. The United States Coast Guard reported that there are more than 500,000 registered water crafts in Texas. Each year, the number of registered boats continues to rise. Texas is an ideal location for boaters as it has the most square miles of inland lakes of any state in the country. Furthermore, Texas has a large coastline that is appealing to boaters.
With the increased number of boats on the water in Texas, there is also an increased number of boating accidents. One of the most common boating accidents in Texas involves a water craft colliding with another water craft. Other common accidents that involve boats in Texas include a water craft crashing into an object in the water, individuals falling overboard, drowning, capsizing, and skiing accidents. In some cases, these accidents involve reckless boat drivers, which include those who are under the influence of alcohol while operating a boat.
What are the Boating Laws Involving Accidents in Texas?
According to the United States Coast Guard, about half of all accidents that involve boats are reported. Texas law states that individuals are required to:
- Report all boating accidents where an individual has been injured or died.
- Report all accidents that result in property damage that exceeds $500.
- Report all accidents within 30 days of when the accident took place.
Furthermore, all accidents that are reported are required to have a full description of who was involved in the accident and where it took place.
Boating Accident Statistics
If you are a boater, then it is important to understand how easily an accident can happen when you are in the water. According to the United States Coast Guard, Texas was the third ranked state to have the most boating deaths in 2013. Here are some other statistics about boating accidents that happened in 2015, which was reported by the United States Coast Guard: Why You Should Consult a Boating Accident Attorney?
- There were 4,158 boating accidents that resulted in 626 deaths.
- Injuries from boating accidents totaled 2,613.
- Boating accidents caused $42 million dollars in property damage.
Although you may practice all the necessary safety guidelines while you are on the water, there are times when you may not be able to avoid a boating accident if another boater is reckless or behaves in a negligent manner. If you are injured in a boating accident, then it would be handled as a personal injury case. However, there are additional circumstances and complications involving boating accidents, which are not seen in other personal injury cases.
If you have been involved in a boating accident, then it is vital to contact an experienced attorney who can help with personal injury claims that are related to boat incidents. An attorney can also inform you of your legal rights and provide you with legal counsel.
Additional Information About Boat Accidents
When dealing with boat accidents, it is important to know if your case falls under state law, federal maritime law, or both. An attorney who is qualified to handle personal injury cases, which involve boat accidents, will able to determine which laws apply to your case. Careful analysis of your case needs to be done by an attorney to determine how to handle maritime personal injury claims. Furthermore, there may also be product liability claims that may need to be pursued.
It is also important to remember that an individual who operates a boat under the influence of drugs or alcohol is committing a serious criminal offense. When an individual is arrested for operating a water craft under the influence of drugs or alcohol, he or she will have their license suspended just as if they were driving a motor vehicle while intoxicated. It is crucial to be aware of any boaters who are intoxicated. Here are some facts about boating and alcohol:
Responsibilities and Duties of Boat Operators
- In 2013, there were more than 200 arrests made in Texas for boating under the influence.
- If an individuals has a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or higher, he or she will be arrested for boating while intoxicated (BWI).
- BOAT US reported that alcohol is responsible for 50% of all boating accidents.
It is the primary responsibility of the individual operating a boat to adhere to safety conditions at all times, which is comparable to the responsibility of an individual when he or she operates an automobile. However, there are times when boat rules and regulations can get confusing for a boat operator with little to no experience operating a water craft. There are rules set in place by the Texas Water Safety Act that applies to all public waters in the state. Furthermore, local areas may also have rules for boat operators to follow.
An individual who operates a boat must always adhere to the rules and laws of where they are boating. These laws are comparable to traffic laws for automobile drivers. An individual who operates a boat must always follow the speed limits set in place and yield to other water crafts that have the right of way.
If you have been injured in a boating accident, then it is imperative to seek the help of a reputable attorney who specializes in boating accidents. The Doan Law Firm can provide you with legal advice and help you take the best course of action to protect your rights.
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