Dallas Boat Accident Lawyer
According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, about 150 boat accidents are reported every year, and about one quarter of them involve fatalities. Even when everyone survives, boating accidents can result in serious, sometimes permanent injuries.
Nearly all boating accidents involve negligence, whether that means inept operation of the vessel, poor boat maintenance, defective parts, inadequate or channel markers, or a host of other circumstances that might lead to a boat accident. If someone’s negligence caused a boat accident and you suffered injuries, you might have a valid claim for money damages. Contact a local personal injury lawyer for constructive advice about how to proceed with your case.
Common Boat Accident Injuries
Although some boat accidents happen in a marina or at a dock, most occur on the open water. This is bad news for anyone who might sustain an injury because it means medical help will not be immediately available. Delayed medical care can exacerbate injuries and reduce a victim’s chances of making a complete recovery.
Injuries can happen in many ways. A person could go overboard, be hit with loose gear or equipment, become entangled in a boat’s propeller, fall hard on the deck, or suffer burns if there is an explosion. Some common serious injuries people sustain in boat accidents include:
- Drowning and near-drowning
- Concussion and other traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Cuts requiring stitches
Most, of the costs a victim incurs because of an injury are eligible for compensation through a claim for damages. These include past and present expenses, future costs, and intangible losses like pain or lost ability to enjoy certain activities. An experienced boat accident lawyer could advise a victim about the damages they might be entitled to claim in a particular case.
Investigating Boat Accidents
Texas Parks and Wildlife Code §31-104 requires any boater involved in an accident that causes injury or property damage to report it to law enforcement or the Parks and Wildlife Department within 30 days. If the accident caused a death, the vessel operator must report it within 48 hours. Once the Department receives a boat accident report, it investigates the circumstances and takes appropriate law enforcement action.
In the case of non-fatal accidents that result in injuries, the 30-day period the law allows for reporting is problematic. For example, an operator who was drunk is likely to delay reporting an accident until long after the alcohol has left their system. Even when substance use is not a factor, as time passes evidence is lost, and witnesses may forget important details or become unavailable.
Someone who sustains an injury in a boating accident protects themself by making an accident report immediately. Securing an attorney as soon as possible after the accident is also wise because the attorney could demand the preservation of evidence which will help identify witnesses and potentially negligent parties. Early legal representation often translates into a stronger case supporting the injured person’s claim for damages.
Get a Strong Advocate to Pursue Your Case
Pursuing damages in a boat accident can be a complicated undertaking. There may be more than one potentially negligent party, and each party’s insurance company will try to deflect blame away from their insured. Reaching a fair settlement for an injured person often requires significant time to properly investigate the accident, as well as savvy negotiating to wear down recalcitrant insurance companies.
Do not try to secure a settlement without professional help. A Dallas boat accident lawyer could provide aggressive advocacy to get you the compensation you deserve. Call today to schedule a free consultation.