Boating Accidents & Injuries
Boat Accident Lawyer in Houston & Texas
Texas is one of the best states in the nation for boating. According to the United States Coast Guard, there are over 500,000 registered water craft in Texas. Every year as that number continues to grow, so do boating accidents and watercraft injuries. The most common types of incidents involving boats include collisions with other vessels, capsizing, collisions with fixed objects in the water, falling overboard and drowning, swamping, grounding and skier accidents. Some cases may involve a boat malfunction or shore to water hazards but inexperienced boaters, reckless boat operators, and alcohol account for a significant number of boating accidents.
The United States Coast Guard estimates that only half of all boating accidents are reported. In Texas, people are required to report any boating accident that results in death or injury beyond basic first aid (or the possibility of death or injury, such as if someone falls overboard and is not immediately located) or property damage occurs to the vessels or other property in excess of $500.
No matter how careful you may be on the water, sometimes you cannot avoid an incident or boating injury if another person on the water acts reckless or negligently. From a legal perspective, in many ways, a boating incident is treated like any other type of personal injury case. But there are added complications to boating incidents that are not present in other types of personal injury cases. That is why you need experienced and knowledgeable attorneys who know the Texas laws regarding boating. The attorneys of Simon Herbert & McClelland LLP in Houston are available to help you in your boating related personal injury claims. Whether you were involved in a collision with another vessel, capsized due to the actions of another vessel, fell overboard due to the negligence of another person, or you were injured while engaged in a host of possible water activities, the attorneys of the Simon Herbert & McClelland LLP can handle your case.
One complication involved in a boating case is whether federal maritime law, state law or both apply to the case. This determination can be complicated and requires the assistance of an experienced accident-injury attorney. Complex legal analysis needs to be conducted in order to determine the proper legal framework in which to pursue your maritime personal injury claims. Also, in addition to Federal vs. State law determinations and negligence issues to be analyzed, there may be products liability claims that need to be considered and possibly pursued.
In general terms, the operator of a water craft has the duty to operate their water craft safely. This is similar to the duty automobile drivers have when operating their vehicles. But the rules of the water can often be confusing to inexperienced boat operators. First they must follow the rules of the Texas Water Safety Act, which apply to all public waterways in Texas. Additionally, many localities also have their own sets of rules and regulations. Boat operators owe duties to their guests, to other maritime vehicles in the vicinity, and to swimmers and water skiers.
What duties do boat operators have to their guests or to other boats in the vicinity? The boat operator must follow the rules and laws of the water. Much like traffic laws for motor vehicles, there are laws for maritime vehicles as well. Boat operators must follow speed limits and yield to other maritime vehicles that have the right of way. Also, as with motor vehicles, operating maritime vehicles under the influence of alcohol or drugs is dangerous and a serious offense. If you are arrested for operating a maritime vehicle while intoxicated, your license can be suspended just as if you were arrested for driving a motor vehicle while intoxicated.
It costs you nothing for an initial consultation with the attorneys of Simon Herbert & McClelland LLP. We will meet with you and evaluate your claims. There are many factors involved in determining the value of your damages or loss, and also in determining the likely outcome of your case. While Simon Herbert & McClelland LLP cannot guarantee the results of what a jury or judge may decide in your case, our accident-injury attorneys will be able to assess your case and help you determine what your legal options are to pursue recovery of damages and monetary compensation for your boating injuries. If you have been injured or harmed due to the carelessness, recklessness or negligence of the operator of a marine vehicle, contact Simon Herbert & McClelland LLP in Houston today at 713-255-9148 for a free initial consultation!