When a boating accident occurs, you can’t pull over to the side of the road. As you struggle to right your vessel and tend to injured parties, the open water can be merciless. For this reason, whether you’re on a yacht or a personal watercraft, prudent operation of the vessel is of paramount importance. Unfortunately, too many operators engage in risky and reckless behavior on the water, creating hazards for innocent parties. If you’ve been harmed by a negligent boater, Dobbs & Porter, PLLC is ready to help. Since 1997, our lawyers have assisted injured parties throughout East Texas. We have one of the very few personal injury attorneys practicing in Texas who is actually a board-certified specialist. As such, we are determined to use our skill, knowledge and experience to deliver the best possible results in your case.
According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the most common causes of recreational boating accidents in 2016 were as follows:
Most of these common causes relate directly to negligent operation of the vessel, so the operator is likely at fault for any personal injuries. Equipment failure can be the fault of the manufacturer, or the owner of the boat can be liable because of faulty maintenance. When weather, hazardous waters or the force of a wake is to blame, the operator’s management of the vessel can also be called into question. Did the operator check weather forecasts or disregard warnings? Was the operator negligent in deciding to enter hazardous waters or failing to avoid them? In our practice, we consult qualified experts to ascertain the cause of a boating accident and hold the right parties accountable.
Of the common causes relating to negligent operation, boating under the influence of alcohol is the deadliest. As with motor vehicle operation, there is a legal limit for blood alcohol content. Operators with a BAC of 0.08 percent and above can be charged with BWI, or boating while intoxicated.
Unfortunately, too many recreational boaters feel they have to consume alcohol to have a good time, even out on the water. They have a mistaken notion that the open waters are more forgiving than narrow lanes of traffic, but consuming alcohol while boating affects skill and decision-making as much as it does on land. Drunken boaters take risks that sober operators would not, such as using excessive speed and making risky maneuvers. They also have a tendency to take the deadliest risk of all: boating without a life vest. According to U.S. Coast Guard statistics, in about 80 percent of all drownings that occur with boating accidents, the victim was not wearing a life vest.
If you were injured in a recreational boating accident, you have a right to full compensation. Trust your claim to an experienced injury law firm who can deliver the professional representation you need. Call Dobbs & Porter, PLLC at 903-600-HURT(4878) or contact us online to schedule a free consultation at our Tyler office.