Conroe Boating Accident Lawyers Help Victims Get Compensated
Standing up for passengers harmed by the negligence of vessel operators in Texas
The eastern shore of Texas provides ample opportunity for commercial and recreational boating. Unfortunately, vessel operators do not always follow maritime rules when they’re out on the open water. Some are even careless within the confines of the marina. This creates a risk of accidents that can have severe consequences for passengers on their vessels and on others. At Hope & Causey, P.C., our personal injury attorneys advocate in behalf of victims of boating accidents in the greater Houston area. Over the course of decades, we’ve built a reputation for compassionate and effective legal representation. We’re prepared to fight for the compensation you deserve.
Common boating accident causes and injuries
In 2019, the U.S. Coast Guard recorded 4,168 recreational boating accidents resulting in 613 deaths, 2,559 injuries and approximately $55 million dollars of property damage to property.
The Coast Guard cites the following factors as most frequently contributing to recreational boating accidents:
- Operator inattention
- Improper lookout
- Operator inexperience
- Excessive speed
- Alcohol use rank
Common injuries from boating accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
- Soft tissue injuries
- Bone fractures
Many of these injuries can result in permanent impairment.
Accidents can also be fatal. According to Texas Parks and Wildlife, boating fatalities increased 40 percent year over year from January 2021 to April 2021. The Coast Guard reports that more than 70 percent of boating accident deaths occurred on vessels where the operator did not receive boating safety instruction. About 80 percent of boating accident fatalities were drownings, and of these, about 86 percent were not wearing life jackets.
Boating under the influence in Texas
Alcohol use is one of the top five causes of boating accidents, despite the fact that Texas has strict laws against boating while intoxicated. A person can be convicted of BWI in either of these circumstances:
- They are sufficiently impaired to have lost the "normal use of mental or physical faculties."
- The have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or greater.
A first-offense BWI is generally charged as a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $2,000 and between 72 hours and 180 days in jail. However, if the offender causes serious injury or death, the following crimes can also be charged:
- Intoxication assault — This is a third-degree felony, calling for a fine of up to $10,000 and between two and 10 years in prison.
- Intoxication manslaughter — This is a second-degree felony, punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and between two and 20 years in prison.
A conviction of BWI or one of these greater offenses also creates civil liability, allowing victims or their family members to sue for financial compensation.
Products liability for boating accidents
In the event that an equipment failure causes a boating accident, we may be able to pursue compensation from the manufacturer by asserting a products liability claim.
What type of compensation is available?
If you are injured in a boating accident, you may be eligible to be awarded money damages that include compensation for:
- Medical and rehabilitation expenses
- Lost earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent impairment or disfigurement
- Loss of quality of life
In a case of extreme negligence by a vessel operator, you may also be entitled to punitive damages, which can greatly increase your total recovery. As your advocates, it is our duty to build the strongest case possible so as to recover the largest damages award we can. We focus all our resources on delivering the results you deserve.
Contact a reputable Conroe boating accident lawyer for a free consultation
The personal injury attorneys at Hope & Causey, P.C. in Conroe, Texas represent passengers injured in boating accident cases in Montgomery County, San Antonio, Houston and the surrounding areas. For a free consultation, call 936-441-4673 or contact us online.