If you love boating and the water, you’ll love Austin. Both Lake Austin and Lake Travis offer myriad opportunities to get out there and enjoy some quality time on the water. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that boating accidents happen—and they’re often very serious. When you take to the water in Austin, always make boating safely your primary goal. If you or someone you care about has been injured in a boating accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, you need an experienced Austin personal injury lawyer.
Texas Boat Accident Statistics
Texas is a great state for boating. In fact, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department reports that Texas has more inland water (measured in square miles) than any other state and that Texas ranks sixth for the number of registered boats in the nation. Further, the Department forwards two significant safety statistics:
- Alcohol is involved in almost half of all boating accidents.
- Almost 85 percent of drowning victims in boating accidents weren’t wearing life jackets.
Boating is a great way to enjoy Austin’s beautiful lakes, but boating is also a serious responsibility that demands serious attention to safety.
If someone else’s negligence has left you injured in a boating accident, you need experienced legal counsel. The dedicated legal team at George Salinas Injury Lawyers in Austin understands how difficult such accidents can be, and we’re here to help. Our experienced boating accident lawyers have the knowledge, skill, and commitment to help navigate your claim toward the compensation to which you are entitled.
The Effects of Boat Accidents
Boating accidents often lead to serious injuries that have overarching physical, financial, and emotional consequences. The associated medical expenses are often the tip of the iceberg when it comes to damages incurred. Recovering from a serious injury is also likely to cause you to lose significant wages. Such injuries can even alter the trajectory of your career and lead to a diminished earning potential. Finally, the emotional and psychological effects of a serious injury can be immense and especially difficult to cope with as you navigate through post-accident life.
Your experienced boating accident attorney will help ensure that your claim adequately represents your total losses.
Boating Accident Causes
Boating accidents—much like car accidents—can be caused by a variety of factors. Often, however, a boat operator’s negligence precipitates serious accidents. There are several varieties of such negligence that are common culprits:
- Alcohol, drugs, or exhaustion impaired the boat operator.
- The boat operator doesn’t maneuver the boat safely and in accordance with boating regulations, including speed limits.
- The boat operator is distracted from the task of driving the boat safely (interacting with one’s smartphone is a common and dangerous distraction).
- The boat operator fails to accommodate for high traffic on the water and/or for other significant obstacles to safe maneuvering.
- The boat operator fails to implement the boat’s lights when on the water at night—or whose boat isn’t equipped with these necessary safety devices.
Operating a boat is an immense responsibility that requires careful attention to every safety precaution.
Boating under the influence. When you head to the water for fun in the sun, you’re naturally ready to kick back and let loose a little bit. It’s important to remember, however, that drinking and manning a boat is just as dangerous as drinking and driving. In fact, the effects of the sun can make drinking behind the wheel of a boat even more dangerous.
Texas law precludes the operation of any kind of watercraft while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. As for those who get behind the wheel of a car, the blood alcohol limit for anyone operating a boat is 0.08 percent. The penalties associated with exceeding this limit are steep and can include hefty fines, jail time, and loss of boating license.
Just like drunk drivers on our roadways, drunk boat operators endanger everyone with whom they share the waterway.
Distracted boat operators. The stronghold that smartphones have over our lives is considerable. When operators get behind the wheels of their boats, however, they’re responsible for navigating those boats safely, which includes shelving their phones and other distractions. Interacting with a smartphone is a major distraction that engages one’s hands, eyes, and thoughts. The increased levels of distraction wrought by smartphone usage contribute to dangerous boating accidents.
Safety equipment on board. There are state and federal boating regulations that require boats of every size to maintain a variety of safety equipment on board, including an adequate number of lifejackets. A boat owner who is negligent in providing the necessary safety equipment may be found legally responsible for any injuries that ensue as a result.
In Austin, we have the weather, the vibe, and the miles and miles of beautiful waterways that simply beg people to get out in their boats. While it’s an incredibly relaxing and fun way to while away the sunny hours, boating is also an activity that needs to be taken extremely seriously. When you hit the water, it’s natural to want to check your worries and simply relax, but boating accidents are extremely serious accidents that often lead to serious injuries. When you take to Austin’s beautiful lakes, have a fun time but always make boating safely your top priority.
If Someone Else’s Negligence Left You Injured in a Boating Accident, You Need an Experienced Austin Boating Accident Lawyer
Boating is a fun and relaxing way to enjoy Austin, but boating accidents happen and they often lead to serious injuries. If you’ve been injured in a boating accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, you need experienced legal counsel. The dedicated legal team at George Salinas Injury Lawyers in Austin has the experience, commitment, and knowledge to aggressively advocate for your claim’s most beneficial resolution. Our skilled boating accident attorneys care about your claim and are here to help, so please contact or call us to schedule an appointment today.
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