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Dallas Boating Accident Attorney

Boats and other watercraft are fun ways to relax in the warm weather, but it’s important for boat operators and their passengers to understand the risks associated with boating. If a person suffers injury or other damages in a boating accident, he or she will only be able to secure compensation if another party was negligent, and that negligence caused the accident. At Fielding Law, our team is committed to providing comprehensive legal counsel to every one of our clients. Boating accidents often lead to personal injury claims, and plaintiffs need reliable attorneys to succeed in those claims.

How Can Our Boating Accident Lawyers Help?

A plaintiff who can successfully prove a defendant’s negligence can secure compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, property damage, and lost income resulting from a boating accident. An attorney will help make the lawsuit process much easier for injured plaintiffs, so they can focus on recovery.

We provide every one of our clients with direct access to an attorney for close one-on-one consultation. Boating accidents can cause extensive damage and serious injuries, so we work carefully to explore every available avenue of compensation for our clients. Reach out to our Dallas office today for more information about filing claims for boating accidents, or to schedule a free consultation with one of our boating accident attorneys in Dallas.

Most Common Types of Boating Accidents in Texas

Every boating accident is unique, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have things in common. We’ve come to learn several types of boating accidents occur more often than others in our years representing boat accident injury clients in Texas. Our lawyers understand what typically causes these types of boating accidents, as well as who is likely liable. We can help you get to the bottom of who is financially responsible for your damages. The following are some of the most common types of boating accidents:

Boat-On-Boat Collision

One of the most common types is when two boats, or other watercraft, collide with each another. Two boats might collide if one or both operators are not paying adequate attention to the waterway. Negligent or distracted operators might not see an oncoming vessel in time to prevent a collision. Other reasons for these accidents have to do with operator incompetence. In Texas, one must fulfill one of the following requirements to legally operate a boat:

  • If born on or after September 1, 1993: must have passed a boater education class or its equivalent.
  • Must be at least 18 years of age and lawfully able to operate the boat.
  • Must be at least 13 years of age with a completed boater education course that is department-approved.

Texas permits children ages 13 and older to operate vessels more than 15 horsepower (or windblown vessels over 14 feet long) alone if they’ve passed a boater education course. However, not all children can adequately control vessels. If the operator of the boat was negligent, incompetent, unskilled, or otherwise ill-prepared for the task, causing the collision with another boat, the negligent operator will be liable for damages.

Collision With Personal Watercraft, Divers, or Swimmers

Another common type of boating accident is one in which a boat collides with a fixed object, dock, personal watercraft, diver, or swimmer. The most common reason this type of accident happens is careless or reckless boat operation. It is an operator’s duty to pay attention to the waterway at all times. Boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs, boating while distracted by passengers or cell phones, and breaking the rules to speed or unsafely pass other boaters can all lead to collisions with fixed objects or people.

Flooding or Capsizing Accidents

A boat with failing parts, a great deal of rust, or one that strikes an object or runs aground could flood with water, sink, and/or capsize. It is the boat owner’s obligation to make sure the vessel is well-maintained and ready to hit the water. Lack of routine maintenance and repairs could result in damage to the boat that compromises its integrity. Accidents from operators who aren’t careful enough can also cause damage to a boat that results in flooding, sinking, or the vessel capsizing. These are dangerous events that could result in serious injuries.

Grounding a Boat

Negligent boat operation, such as failing to avoid shallow areas or sandbars, can result in a boat “grounding,” or striking the ground. Grounding can cause serious damage to the boat, possibly causing a flooding incident. The sudden stopping of the vessel could also result in passenger injuries, such as slip and fall accidents or people falling overboard. The operator of the vessel should know where to go and where not to go, as well as the best practices for going near shallower waters.

No matter what type of boating accident you or a loved one experienced in Texas, contact us for a case evaluation. A negligent boat operator, owner, passenger, part manufacturer, and/or another party could be liable for your injuries and property damages. Our Dallas boating accident attorneys can help you get to the bottom of pressing questions such as the cause of your accident and liability. Call for your consultation today.

How to Prove Negligence After a Boat Accident

Personal injury law hinges on the concept of negligence. Everyone has a duty to act with reasonable care in many situations, or otherwise act in a reasonable manner that prevents harm to others. Negligence refers to the breaching or violation of that duty, causing harm to others. A plaintiff in a personal injury suit must prove a defendant’s negligence by showing the court four basic facts:

  • Duty

    •  Every boat operator has a duty of care to operate vehicles safely and responsibly. This means obeying to posted navigation signs as well as no-wake zones and other restricted waters. Duty of care also extends to boat owners’ obligation to keep safety equipment onboard, including life jackets for each passenger.
  • Breach

    • Once the plaintiff has established the defendant’s duty of care in the given situation, he or she must then show how the defendant breached or violated that duty. This could be through a specific action, such as operating a boat under the influence of alcohol, or inaction, such as failing to provide adequate safety equipment for passengers.
  • Causation

    •  The plaintiff can only sue for damages that directly resulted from the defendant’s breach of duty. The plaintiff must have sufficient evidence to prove that his or her damages resulted from the defendant’s negligence and not some other cause.
  • Damages

    • The plaintiff cannot sue if he or she suffered no injury or economic losses.

If the plaintiff can prove these things in court, he or she will likely succeed in securing compensation for the damages resulting from the boating accident. Boat accidents can easily cause severe injuries including drowning, head injury, spinal injury, broken bones, burns, or other injuries. Additionally, a negligent boat operator or other individual who causes a boating accident may face criminal prosecution from the state, in addition to civil actions from the victims. Fielding Law’s accident attorneys are available 24/7 to answer any questions you may have about your injury.