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Boat Accident Investigation in Texas: How Authorities Determine Liability

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What Are Texas Boating Accident Laws?

Texas accident laws still apply on the water, and when an accident happens, the operators of vehicles involved must stop at the scene. They also must provide any assistance necessary unless doing so would endanger their lives, vessel, or passengers. They must also give their name, address, and vessel ID in writing, just like any vehicle driver would.

The law also requires the accident to be reported to the local authorities. An official report must be completed, alongside witness testimonies and contact information. If you were involved in a boating accident, consult a skilled personal injury attorney in Mesquite for legal counsel.

Who is Liable in Boating Accident Cases in Texas?

Boating accidents can have devastating consequences, and the injuries can be severe. The accident’s impact can lead to mental or emotional distress and physical harm. Depending on the circumstances, the injuries could even be fatal. If someone’s negligence or recklessness caused your injuries, you can pursue compensation for the damages.

However, you must prove the other party’s liability before you can recover any compensation. Proving liability is often complex, but a skilled boat accident attorney in Mesquite can help you. They understand how personal injury laws work and can use their years of experience to help you navigate the legal elements of your boating accident.

One or more parties could be found liable for the boating accident:

The Boat Operator

Boat operators should not be intoxicated while operating the vessel. It’s also their responsibility to ensure the passengers are safe by:

  • Providing enough life jackets for all the passengers
  • Ensuring the life jackets are approved and in excellent condition
  • Ensure the jackets are the wearers’ sizes, not larger or smaller

Having insufficient life jackets for the number of passengers on the boat or not requiring passengers to wear them violates the law. Vessels should have a Type I, II, or III U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket for all passengers. Boats over 16 feet should have a Type IV Coast Guard-approved throwable device.

If a boat operator disregards boating laws in Texas, you can hold them liable if an accident happens and you’re injured. One of the top reasons for fatal boating accidents is operator inattention. An experienced boat accident lawyer in Mesquite can help you hold them liable, especially if it’s a recreational boat.


Boat passengers sometimes act recklessly, leading to boating accidents. You can hold them liable for the accident, primarily if they acted in a way that prevented the boat operator from fulfilling their duty. Additionally, if passengers behave recklessly and the operator doesn’t stop them despite being able to, both the operator and passengers can be held liable for the accident.

Boat Owners

Boat owners should exercise caution when hiring boat operators. They must ensure they have the qualifications and experience to operate the vessels. Failure to do so can make them liable for boating accidents due to boat operators’ inexperience. Besides, boat owners must ensure the proper maintenance of their vehicles at all times.

Boat Manufacturers

Boat manufacturers can be held liable for boating accidents if the boat is found to have a manufacturing defect. Experienced Mesquite boat accident attorneys can help you hold manufacturers of other safety equipment responsible for the accident if these items malfunction, for example, life jackets.

Rental Companies

A rental company can be held liable for a boat accident if it fails to carry out routine maintenance on the vessel. If the company is aware of other faults in the boat and fails to fix them, it can also be found liable for the accident if the boat malfunctions.

However, most rental companies usually try to protect themselves from such liability. They do so by making you sign a waiver that absolves them of liability if anything happens to you on the boat. It’s crucial to check the terms of the contract before signing, but if you already signed, all hope is not lost.

Depending on the circumstances under which you signed the contract, it may not be enforceable, and you may still be able to pursue compensation. An experienced Mesquite boat accident lawyer can review it and find loopholes.

What Damages Can I Recover in a Boating Accident Lawsuit?

If your boat accident lawyer in Mesquite can prove the negligence of the at-fault party, they can help you recover several types of compensation for your injuries and losses:

  • Medical expenses
  • Loss wages
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Property damage
  • Emotional trauma
  • Pain and suffering from the injuries

You can also file a wrongful death claim if you lost a loved one in the accident. You may be eligible for compensation for funeral costs, the deceased’s lost wages, and lost companionship. Let a skilled personal injury attorney in Mesquite evaluate your case and advise you on the available legal options.

Learn Your Legal Options in a Boat Accident Case in Mesquite

Boating accident cases can be complex, and determining liability is often a lengthy process with many factors to be considered. If you sustained injuries in a boat accident for no fault of your own, you deserve compensation from the negligent party. Talk to a skilled Mesquite boat accident lawyer as soon as possible and let them help you navigate the complex system to pursue justice.

Oberg Law Office is a personal injury law firm with skilled accident lawyers who can look into your case and advise on your legal options. We can handle every legal aspect of your case, including building a solid compensation claim to ensure you get the compensation you deserve to help you get back on your feet. Call us at (972) 682-9700 to schedule a FREE case assessment.

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