If you were injured in a boat accident due to someone else’s reckless behavior, you might be entitled to financial compensation. The Austin boating accident attorneys of Loewy Law Firm could provide the legal representation you need and help to hold the negligent party liable.
Many people enjoy taking their boats out on warm and sunny days. It’s a fun experience whether you’re fishing, swimming, or cruising around the gulf or lake. Unfortunately, it can also be dangerous. Reckless operators could exceed the speed limit, become distracted, or pass another vessel too closely. This behavior puts everyone at risk of harm and increases the likelihood of an accident and injury.
At Loewy Law Firm, we understand the trauma you experienced. You were prepared to spend a fun day on the water, and it turned into a nightmare. The injury you suffered likely required emergency medical care. The at-fault party should be held accountable for their reckless behavior. We’re ready to fight for your rights and seek the maximum available compensation for your losses.
For a free consultation, call Loewy Law Firm today at (512) 280-0800 or reach out to us online.
The Importance of Responsible Boat Operation
Everyone on a boat, including the operator and passengers, should know how to remain safe while on the water. They should follow the rules and take the necessary precautions to avoid accidents. Reckless behavior often leads to accidents, injuries, and even death.
According to statistics, operator inattention was a leading cause of boating accidents in 2020. Operating a boat requires focus and attention. If the operator doesn’t look for obstacles they must navigate around or proceed with caution in adverse weather, an accident could occur.
The most common types of boating accidents include:
- Collisions with other vessels
- Falling overboard
- Striking fixed underwater objects
- Explosions or fires from leaking fuel
- Running over a swimmer in the water
- Crashing into a dock or beach
- Making contact with a propeller
- Slipping/tripping and falling on the boat
Boat operators often experience a false sense of safety. Most people don’t consider the risks of boating and the dangerous situations they could encounter. They might drink or engage in other risky behaviors that can result in an injury.
How Reckless Driving Causes Boat Accidents
Reckless driving can involve many types of behaviors. The most common include:
- Driving the boat too fast for dangerous weather conditions
- Passing other boats, swimmers, or objects in the water too closely
- Keeping an improper lookout
- Hitting a wave too quickly
- Weaving around vessels in a congested waterway
- Operator inattention
- Distractions, such as texting
- Navigating shallow waters incorrectly
- Boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs
Any of these actions could result in an accident. Recklessness prevents the operator from maneuvering their boat around other people safely. If they’re not entirely focusing on the task at hand, they likely won’t react to a hazard or emergency appropriately.
Injuries Caused by Reckless or Careless Boaters
A range of injuries can result from a boating accident, particularly if the operator is behaving recklessly. Whether you’re involved in a collision with another boat or fall into the water after the operator turns too quickly, you could suffer significant physical harm requiring emergency medical care.
The most common injuries caused by reckless boaters include:
- Broken bones
- Burn injuries
- Spinal cord damage
- Accidental amputation
- Electrical shock
- Asphyxiation from water intake
- Traumatic brain injury
- Soft tissue injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Cuts, burns, and bruises
Boat accident victims can recover from their injuries. However, some injuries cause permanent damage. If you become disabled, suffer from chronic pain, or face mobility issues, you will need ongoing treatment. The cost of treatment can be expensive and lead to massive debt if you can’t afford these bills. The negligent boater should be financially responsible for your expenses if your actions didn’t contribute to the accident.
Compensation for a Boat Accident
You could file a claim with the boat operator’s insurance company if they were at fault for your injuries. The compensation you receive should cover the losses suffered from the accident, such as:
- Loss of household services
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Damage to personal property
- Pain and suffering
- Physical impairment or disfigurement
- Emotional distress
Unfortunately, boat insurance isn’t required in Texas. If you discover the negligent operator doesn’t have insurance, you might have to file a lawsuit against them. There is a timeframe called a statute of limitations you must follow to sue someone for compensation for your losses. Texas has a two-year statute of limitations. That means you have two years from the accident date to initiate your lawsuit in civil court.
Proportionate responsibility could reduce your financial award. This Texas statute allows the jury to diminish your compensable losses by your percentage of fault for the accident. For example, if the jury discovers you were 20 percent responsible for the injuries you suffered and your losses total $100,000, you could receive no more than $80,000 in compensation.
When you file a lawsuit, you could pursue exemplary damages. Instead of compensating you for your losses, this type of award is a punishment against the defendant for their actions. There must be clear and convincing evidence of the boat operator’s or another party’s gross negligence, fraud, or malice if you want to receive this monetary award.
How Loewy Law Firm Could Help
Since 2005, the attorneys of Loewy Law Firm have represented boat accident victims in their cases. We care about our clients and work hard to try to reach a favorable outcome in every situation. You can depend on our legal team to treat you as a priority throughout the entire legal process.
You will not be alone during this devastating experience. We understand how much an injury can affect your quality of life and daily routine. You’re suddenly faced with doctor’s appointments, expensive medical bills, and an intimidating insurance company. You don’t have to deal with the legal aspects of your claim. We will take on that responsibility so you can focus on your recovery.
If you sustained an injury in a boat accident due to another person’s reckless behavior, contact Loewy Law Firm right now at (512) 280-0800. One of our experienced and knowledgeable attorneys can review your case during a free consultation and determine how we can help.