According to the U.S. Coast Guard, there were more than 4,700 recorded boating accidents in 2009, resulting in 736 fatalities and more than 3,300 injuries. All boaters should exercise caution and follow recommended safety procedures to keep themselves and their passengers safe and to avoid accidents and injuries.
If you or someone you know has been the victim of a boating accident at Canyon Lake or surrounding areas, you need the assistance of an experienced, understanding team of New Braunfels boating accident attorneys. To discuss your legal rights and options, contact the offices of the Burch Law Firm today.
Boating Accident Cases We Handle
At the Burch Law Firm, our New Braunfels boat accident lawyers have experience handling a wide range of boating accident cases, including those involving:
- Boating While Intoxicated Victims
- Reckless Driving
- Boat Defects / Malfunctions
- Stationary Object Collisions
- Swimmer Collisions
- Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
We are dedicated to the rights of accident victims and their loved ones, and we work hard to help them pursue the fair compensation they need for their injuries and other losses. Whether you reside in New Braunfels or are just visiting, our caring attorneys can help you with your boating accident case.
Fatal Boating Accident Statistics
There were many factors that contributed to these fatal boating accidents. One of the largest factors that contributed to whether or not a boat accident occurred was alcohol use. In 2014, 108 boating-related deaths were attributed to alcohol use. Other contributing factors included a boat having an improper lookout, operator inattention, inexperienced operators or the boat traveling at an excessive speed.
Other contributing factors that lead to fatal boating accidents included environmental factors, such as the weather and hazardous waters. Machine failure and equipment issues also contributed to fatal boating accidents in 2014.
When a fatal boating accident is caused by the negligence of another party, the families of victims may have the right to bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent party. In the lawsuit, the family can seek compensation for the damages caused by the accident. While the lawsuit cannot heal the emotional pain caused by the accident, it can help to ensure that the family is not left financially devastated by a loved one’s death.
People need to know that they have the right to compensation from a negligent party. People who choose to operate or own a boat in Texas have the responsibility of making sure others are safe. Our attorneys have, for many years, fought on behalf of those killed in boat accidents in central Texas.
Our attorneys work hard to ensure that people understand their right to compensation in a wrongful death suit. From the beginning of the case, to its completion, our attorneys work hard on behalf of fatal boating accident victims’ families.
While recreational boating is generally thought of in a pleasant light, boat-to-boat collisions can be among the most deadly accidents. Not only do individuals suffer impact injuries such as whiplash and broken bones, there is the possibility of drowning following nearly every collision.
Since 1990, the Burch Law Firm has served injured clients in New Braunfels and throughout South Central Texas. While recreational waterways such as Canyon Lake, Lake Dunlap, Lake McQueeney and Lake Placid are well-maintained, the possibility of boat-to-boat collisions exists throughout the year. If you or a loved one was injured in a boating accident, do not hesitate to contact our firm for a free consultation.
In their report titled 2012 Recreational Boating Statistics, the United States Coast Guard (USCG) noted that there were 1,010 accidents involving collisions between recreational vessels. In those accidents, there were 711 injuries and 47 deaths. This report also notes the top 10 contributing factors for boating accidents:
- Operator inattention
- Operator inexperience
- Improper lookout
- Machinery failure
- Excessive speed
- Navigation rules violation
- Alcohol use
- Force of wave/wake
- Hazardous waters
These factors accounted for 380 deaths and 2,205 injuries in 2012. When you need a knowledgeable New Braunfels boat-to-boat collision attorney, schedule a free consultation with a lawyer at our firm. We can explain the legal process of monetary compensation, including the possibility of recovering damages through a wrongful death lawsuit if you have lost a loved one.
Fatal Texas Boat-To-Boat Accident
Recently, it was evident in Texas just how dangerous a boat can be. According to reports, a 58-year-old man was killed when his fishing boat crashed into another boat. According to reports, the boats were on Lake Conroe for a fishing tournament.
Report say that the boats crashed into one another. However, it is unclear at this point why the accident occurred. When emergency workers arrived to the scene of the accident, they pulled the man from the water and began CPR and other lifesaving measures. However, the man was pronounced dead on the scene. The man in the other boat was not injured in the accident.
In light of this tragedy, boaters are encouraged to take it safe and slow on local waterways. Especially in low light conditions, boat safety should be the number one priority for boaters across the state. Individuals should also avoid speeding and alcohol consumption while on waterways.
A fatal accident, of any kind, can be devastating for Texas families. When a fatal boating accident is caused by the negligence of another, the families of victims may have legal rights, including the right to compensation. In a wrongful death suit, families can seek compensation for their financial and emotional losses.
(Source: The Courier of Montgomery County, “Man killed in boat collision on Lake Conroe,” Meagan Ellsworth, Feb. 20, 2016.)
Boat Carbon Monoxide Poisoning – Dangerous Gas Claims
One of the most common but least understood causes of boating-related injuries is carbon monoxide poisoning. While most people are aware of the dangers of driving a boat recklessly or while intoxicated, few are aware that carbon monoxide poisoning can be just as dangerous. Poorly built or maintained boat vents, outlets, or engines can lead to overexposure to this dangerous chemical, which can be fatal.
If you or a loved one has been sickened by carbon monoxide from a boat due to flawed design or improper maintenance, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the New Braunfels boat carbon monoxide poisoning attorneys of the Burch Law Firm at 830-629-0955 today to discuss your case with an experienced, knowledgeable legal professional.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Symptoms
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas, meaning that those who are exposed to it may be entirely unaware. Because of the significant risks it poses to one’s health, if you are on a boat or near a vessel in the water and experience any of the following symptoms, you should move to a place with fresh air immediately:
- Irritated Eyes
These may all be signs that you are being affected by carbon monoxide. Extended exposure can lead to feelings similar to intoxication. If you experience this type of feeling, you should immediately seek medical attention.
Carbon monoxide poisoning is dangerous but preventable. If you or someone you know has been harmed by prolonged or excessive carbon monoxide exposure onboard or around a boat, a civil lawsuit may be appropriate.
Because of the naturally warmer Texas weather that is prevalent throughout most of the year, many people in the New Braunfels area are able to enjoy swimming activities for longer periods of time. However, in any weather, proper safety regulations must be followed by owners of swimming pools and spots, in order to prevent serious accidents or harm from coming to innocent patrons. Unfortunately, through lack of maintenance, failure to follow safety regulations, and other acts of negligence, an innocent person may drown, causing their family immeasurable suffering.
If someone you love has been a drowning victim because of a property owner’s negligence, the person responsible for allowing such a tragedy to happen should be held legally and financially responsible. Contact the experienced New Braunfels drowning attorneys of the Burch Law Firm today to find out what action you may be able to take and how our qualified attorneys may be able to help.
Costs Related to Drowning
Drowning incidents are terrible things to face, as they cause the loss of someone you love. To further compound this suffering, a family is typically burdened by a number of financial costs, including:
- Emergency transport services
- Emergency care / treatment
- Costs of funeral / memorial services
- Loss of income / supplementation
These costs can make this difficult time even more traumatic, especially if a family is unable to pay for them out of pocket.
Swimmer Collision Claims
Lakes and rivers are popular destinations for outdoor recreation in central Texas. Activities like boating, swimming, or just relaxing on the shore provide a simple, pleasant way for anyone to rest and relax. When swimmers are in the water in close proximity to boats, however, it is important that boat operators exercise extraordinary caution to avoid striking defenseless swimmers with a poorly directed vessel.
Regrettably, distracted, negligent, or possibly even intoxicated boaters cause serious to swimmers every boating season. Not only are swimmers liable to sustain significant injury due to the force of impact or the trauma of contact with a propeller, but they may be thrust under the water or lose consciousness, creating a risk of drowning or near-drowning. If you have been struck by a boater, contact the New Braunfels swimmer collision lawyers of the Burch Law Firm.
Injuries Caused by Swimmer Collisions
It is not difficult to appreciate the threat to a swimmer’s safety posed by a collision with a boat. A swimmer’s head, neck, and upper body are all likely to be at a depth that places them directly in the path of an oncoming boat, and injuries to these parts of the body can be particularly devastating. A swimmer who is injured in a boating collision can suffer:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Brain damage
- Bone fractures
- Severe lacerations and contusions
In the most tragic cases, a swimmer may drown, leaving his or her family to cope with an unimaginable loss. Negligent boaters must be held accountable for the harm that they cause.
What Are there Safety Requirements for Water Vessels in Texas?
Previous posts here have explained that boating can be a dangerous recreational or commercial venture. When a person is on a boat, there are many factors in play that can create hazards. Texas has enacted many safety requirements for vessels on waterways within the state. The safety requirements are meant to help keep people safe while aboard the ship.
For example, according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, all ships within the state need to have some sort of life-saving device. In many cases, this includes a personal flotation device, also known as a life jacket. For example, all children under the age of 13 who are riding on boats that are at least 26 feet in length need to wear a life jacket. Other types of vessels, depending on their size, also need personal flotation devices.
Additionally, all vessels need to have some sort of lights aboard the ship. These lights are required to make the ship visible around the horizon in inclement weather or during sunrise and sunset.
Depending on the specific boat in question, vessels are also required to carry fire extinguishers. Horns and other sound producing devices may also be required in certain situations. Motorboats that carry a person must also include a rearview mirror of at least four inches in size.
This safety equipment is important in preventing serious boating accidents. With this equipment, fatal boating accidents can, hopefully, be avoided. Sadly, fatal boating accidents happen all too often in Texas. When these accidents occur, victims and their families need to understand how to respond.
The surviving family members of boating accident victims may have the right to bring a wrongful death lawsuit if the accident was caused by the negligence of another party. For example, if a boat was missing some of this vital safety equipment, a family may have a claim against the boat’s owner.
Contact Our Boating Accident Lawyers
If you or a loved one has been injured in a boat accident, contact the New Braunfels boat accident attorneys at the Burch Law Firm. Schedule a free consultation to learn more about your legal options. Evening or weekend appointments are available based on the needs of our clients.