Boating Accident Attorneys in Houston
As Houston boat accident attorneys, we understand how hard it can be to navigate maritime laws. Between state, federal, and international laws, there is an array of regulations that apply to boating accidents. For these reasons, filing a claim after a boat accident is a complex process. However, when a negligent person causes you harm and injury, you deserve compensation.
At The Cobos Law Firm, our Houston boat accident attorneys have the experience required to handle these complicated cases. We work with clients across the United States to recover compensation to cover their losses. Moreover, our personal injury lawyers fight to help our clients recover:
- Lost wages
- Medical expenses
- Damages from pain and suffering
Our experienced legal team understands the complex nature of boating laws. In turn, we know that small details can make or break a case. Moreover, we have a strategic mindset to help you attain the compensation you deserve.
Boating accidents are one of our many practice areas, and our experience can help you win. When someone else’s negligent or reckless behavior causes you or your loved on an injury on the water, contact our boat accident attorneys for a free case evaluation.
How Can Boat Accident Attorneys Help Me?
At our Houston personal injury law firm, our attorneys also handle maritime claims. We use our diverse experience to determine what laws, theories, statutes, and jurisdictions applicable to your case.
Because many Houstonians enjoy recreational activities in the Gulf of Mexico and the lakes surrounding southeast Texas, our firm has developed a firm understanding of maritime laws. In turn, we utilize this information to establish who to hold liable for your losses. This information changes depending on the type of accident as well as the body of water in which the accident occurs.
When you fail to file your claim within the statute of limitations for personal injuries, it leaves you unable to recover compensation. That’s why it is vital to contact our Houston boat accident attorneys as soon as you can.
Boat Accident Statistics in Texas
Southeast Texas is home to more than just the Gulf of Mexico. As a Houston boat accident attorney, Andrew Cobos has seen how dangerous the waterways throughout Texas can be. It’s no surprise that boating is such a popular pastime for people across Texas. From lakes and rivers and out to the Gulf, there are gorgeous views to take in with your loved ones.
Unfortunately, these outdoor activities come with more than just fresh air and relaxation. Oftentimes, boating in Texas leads to very serious consequences. Per reports from the Coast Guard, in a single year, they estimate around 4062 boat accidents with 560 deaths. Furthermore, people in this group sustained about 2600 injuries. These injuries resulted in an estimated $39 million paid out in damages due to boating accidents.
Our Houston boat accident attorneys understand how important the research is. Research from the Coast Guard indicates that the fatality rate according to registered recreational watercraft is about 4.7 deaths per 100,000 people.
While we see a decrease in boating accident deaths, it’s important to understand these statistics. Moreover, when someone puts others at risk, it is within the rights of victims to pursue damages from negligent parties. If you sustained an injury in a boating accident, contact our Houston boat accident attorneys today. At your free consultation, we can show you that we are the advocates you need on your side.
How to Report a Boat Accident – Recommendations from our Houston Boat Accident Attorneys
It is possible for boating accidents to occur with an array of vessels. From canoes and motorboats to sailboats and jet skis, a boating accident involves an event or series of events that directly result in injury, wrongful death, or property damage.
According to the United States Coast Guard, these are the most common types of boating accidents.
- Fire or explosion
- Collision with an object
- Mishaps with a person riding a towable object
- Collisions with other vessels
- Sinking, flooding, or running aground
- Collisions with floating objects
- Someone falling overboard
- Collisions with swimmers
Per the Coast Guard, a majority of boating accidents tend to involve negligence. Moreover, federal law requires that the person operating a boat report a boating accident whenever it results in the following.
- Personal injury
- Property damage worth more than $2,000
- The destruction of a boat
- The disappearance of a person aboard a vessel
In the state of Texas, one of the biggest issues is inexperienced individuals attempting to operate a boat. The Texas legislature requires training. However, numerous accidents occur at the hands of boat operators without the proper training.
When you experience an accident caused by the negligence of an inexperienced boater, our Houston boat accident lawyer is here to help. At your free case evaluation, our legal team will demonstrate the strategic mindset that can help you recover the damages you need to move on with your life.
How Does Texas Enforce Boating Laws?
In Texas, the Game Wardens provide search and rescue efforts, law enforcement, and water safety. Moreover, they coordinate with the U.S. Coast Guard’s national standards to ensure they are up to par.
Our Texas Game Wardens serve under the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Law Enforcement Division. Oftentimes, people refer to them as the Texas Navy. Their duty is to enforce the Texas Water Safety Act, which includes numerous rules and requirements to which boat operators must adhere.
In addition to boats, boating accidents often include smaller watercraft such as jet skis. These accidents often happen in places like Lake Travis or Lake Conroe.
Have you lost a loved one to or been severely injured in a boating accident? Call our Houston boat accident lawyer to discuss your rights and options. At The Cobos Law Firm, our consultations are free. Moreover, we advocate for you on a contingency fee basis. This means that you pay us nothing unless we win your case.
Facing the Facts with a Houston Boat Accident Lawyer
- Only 20% of deaths on boats occurred where the boat operator had the proper training on safety. Moreover, only 13% of these deaths occurred on vessels where the operator received safety instruction from a NASBLA-approved course.
- The top 5 contributing factors to boating accidents are improper lookout, excessive speed, operator inattention, and machinery failure.
- In cases of known death, 77% of fatalities from boat accidents drowned. Of those who drowned, 84% did not wear a life jacket at the time of the accident.
- Where we know the primary cause, alcohol use is the leading factor in fatal boating accidents, listed as such in 16% of deaths.
- Approximately 8 out of 10 people who drowned in boating accidents were in vessels under 21 feet long.
- 22 children under the age of 13 lost their lives in boating accidents in a single year. About 36% drowned and only 2 of those children had a life jacket on at the time of the incident.
- Where we know the details, the most common vessels in reported boat accidents are open-top motorboats at 46%, personal craft at 18%, and motorboats with cabins at 17%.
It doesn’t take an expert to see the potential harm in negligent boating. As experienced Houston boat accident lawyers, we understand that there is substantial potential for accidents and wrongful death in boating.
Causes of Boating Accidents, Injuries, and Deaths
Some boating accidents are nothing more than unavoidable accidents. However, other accidents are the result of someone’s careless behavior.
Here are a few examples of situations in which people can be held liable:
- Reckless operation
- Drunk boating
- Operating a boat at too high a speed
- Poor lighting on boats, buildings, or other objects
- Debris in the water
- Lack of warning signs
- Incorrect warning signs
Occasionally, a boating accident results in damage to property, including costly damage to watercraft. However, the consequences can be much worse than damage to property. Negligent behaviors have the potential to cause drowning, head injuries, brain injury, amputations, slip and fall, and wrongful death.
Oftentimes, the causes of boat accidents seem similar to car accidents or truck accidents. However, separate and distinct laws govern the operation of watercrafts, and this means your boat accident attorneys need an understanding of relevant laws.
If you or your loved one experienced harm because someone was reckless or drunk, it might entitle you to compensation. Our Houston boating accident attorneys are here to help you through this difficult time.
The following are examples of negligence in boating. This reckless behavior can easily lead to a collision with others and cause irreparable harm.
- Contact with propellers
- Failing to know the rules of the waterways
- Hitting large waves or wakes at excessive speeds
- Operating the boat at a high speed
- Deciding to navigate in a storm or heavy weather, leading individuals to fall overboard
- Failing to have safety equipment aboard the boat
- Collisions with fixed objects
- Collisions with other boats
- Overcrowding the vessel
- Overloading the boat
Reckless and Careless Operation of a Boat
Under Federal Navigation Rules, someone who operates a watercraft with “willful disregard for the safety of persons or property” can be cited with reckless operation. Moreover, the reckless operation is a first-degree criminal misdemeanor.
As boating accident attorneys in Houston, TX, we know that boat operators have a duty to operate their vehicles in a reasonable and prudent manner with regard to the following.
- Presence of a divers-down flag
- Other watercraft and vessel traffic
- Posted restrictions
- And more
Failure to follow regulations leaves them liable to a citation for careless operation. Moreover, multiple citations might require them to complete a boating education course before they operate a vessel again.
Steps to Prevent a Boating Accident
When you sustain an injury in a boating accident, boat accident attorneys at The Cobos Law Firm have the experience and expertise you need to pursue the compensation you deserve. However, we cannot remove the emotional scars that come with these accidents.
That’s why responsible boating is so important in Houston and across Texas. Boat accident attorneys on our legal team recommend the following steps whenever you take to water in any vessel.
- Wear a life preserver at all times
- Review boat safety rules and regulations
- Drink responsible and never operate watercraft under the influence
- Frequently inspect your boat and boating equipment to ensure safe use
- Learn how to swim and take added measures for those who cannot
Our Houston boat accident attorneys are here for you whenever you need to hold someone accountable. However, when we all practice proper safety, we reduce the odds of boating accidents.
Legal Options for Victims of Boating Injuries
Victims of boat accidents may have the option to file a lawsuit for personal injuries or damage to property. Depending on the situation, the case may involve criminal charges as well.
As Houston boating accident attorneys, we know that negligence is the #1 cause of action under which victims file boat accident claims. Often, the operator is liable due to their negligence behavior when they fail to follow the rules. Should the case go to trial, a jury determines whether the operator of the boat acted as a “reasonable boater.”
In order to collect damages, your boat accident attorney must link any injuries or property damage to the accident. Like in a car accident, it is vital to collect evidence.
- Photos of the scene, damage, and injuries
- Eyewitness testimony
- Reports from law enforcement
In boat accident cases, you have to prove that another’s negligence or carelessness caused the accident. Above all, your attorney links the responsibility to the negligent party and shows that they are responsible for any relevant losses.
The responsible party varies from case to case. Likewise, relevant laws and liability depend on the individual’s status on the vessel as the location of the accident. This refers to whether they were a guest, the owner, the operator, or an employee.
Moreover, accidents that occur close to shore might fall under Texas and federal laws while those further away may fall under maritime laws.
Our Houston Boating Accident Attorneys Can Help You
When people are hurt in boat accidents involving another’s negligence, they need boat accident attorneys who understand what they’re going through. As personal injury lawyers in Houston, we understand the details that separate boating accidents from other vehicles.
At The Cobos Law Firm, our Houston boat accident attorneys strive to help victims recover from traumatic events. When someone else’s negligence or careless behavior causes a boat accident, it can leave you injured or your loved one dies.
Being injured in a boating accident can leave you with a mountain of expenses. Let us help you fight for your future.
At your free consultation, you can tell us about the accident and share your story. Moreover, you can see how our strategic thinking and our tenacity helps you recover damages.
Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation and see what our boat accident attorneys can do for you.
Houston Boat Accident Attorney FAQ
If I’m in a boat accident, should I tell the police?
When you are a passenger in a boat accident and sustain an injury of any kind, it’s a good idea to talk to the police. Law enforcement files an accident report with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Office, and this provides evidence for your personal injury case.
Under certain conditions, it is the responsibility of the boat operator to report the accident. However, when they fail to do so, the mounting negligence potentially works in your favor. Call on our Houston boat accident attorney with any questions regarding your case.
What types of damages are available in a boat accident case?
With our experienced boat accident lawyers, Houston victims have a fighting chance to recover the damages they deserve. Compensatory damages in such cases are comparable to personal injury cases.
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Medical expenses
- Partial or full disability
- Rehabilitation and therapy
Above all, it is crucial to connect your injuries to the negligence of the person who caused the accident. Schedule a free consultation with our Houston boat accident attorneys today and see how our strategic mindset protects your rights.
What are the most common injuries in boat accidents?
There is nothing common about the injuries people sustain in boat accidents. Negligence with watercraft is extremely dangerous because circumstances change in seconds. Oftentimes, this takes victims by surprise and leaves them with no chance to brace for collision.
As experienced Houston boat accident attorneys, these are some of the most common injuries we see.
- Broken bones and damaged limbs
- Injured joints
- Lacerations from impact
- Drownings or near-drownings
- Neck injuries
- Spine injuries
- Torn ligaments and damaged muscles
- Wrongful death
- TBI – Traumatic brain injuries
Any of these injuries carry the potential to severely alter your life. When anyone operates a boat with negligence, it puts everyone around them in danger. Experience never matters when negligence causes an accident.
If you sustained an injury in a boat accident, our personal injury lawyers can help you establish the facts of your case. In turn, we act as your advocates to pursue legal action against the negligent party.
Who is liable in a boat accident case?
Who we hold accountable in your case depends on the facts of the accident as well as the cause. As experienced Houston boat accident attorneys, we take the investigation of your case incredibly seriously. Any number of individuals and parties are responsible for injuries sustained in a boating accident.
To start, potentially liable parties include:
- Owner of the boat
- The person operating the boat at the time of the incident
- Companies who manufactured parts that malfunctioned
- Owner of the marine or dock
At your free case evaluation, our Houston boat accident lawyers examine your story and review the evidence to give you a general idea of your case.