Boat Accident Attorney in Mesquite Helping Victims Hold Reckless Boat Owners and Operators Liable for Their Damages
Studies by the U.S. Coast Guard have shown that most boating accidents tend to occur due to circumstances that were under the bot operator’s control. Any person operating a boat has a duty of care to onboard passengers and other waterway users and may be held financially liable for any damages resulting from a boat accident. Learn how boat accident claims work in Texas and what you should do to recover compensation for your injuries.
What Causes Most Boat Accidents in Mesquite?
Some of the most common causes of boating accidents are distractions, improper lookout, and inexperienced operators. Much like distracted driving on a roadway, operating a boat without placing one’s full attention on the task of controlling the vessel while staying alert to the weather, other boats, and passengers often lead to serious accidents.
In larger vessels, the boat operator may need to rely on another person to be their lookout and alert them of any hazards the operator may not be able to see. Failing to have an attentive lookout also leads to frequent accidents. The same is true for inexperienced operators who may not have any training driving a boat and may not be aware of navigation rules. Finally, drugs, alcohol, and excessive speeds are also common causes of serious boat accidents in Texas.
Who Is Financially Liable for My Boat Accident Injuries?
Each boating accident is unique, but generally speaking, possible liable parties for a boat accident may include the boat owner, the boat operator, and, less commonly, the manufacturer of the boat or boating equipment. Some cases may have more than one liable party.
For example, if the boat owner was also the boat operator and was engaging in reckless behavior such as speeding or deliberately ignoring bad weather and taking the boat out on the water, that individual may be financially responsible if an accident occurs and someone is injured. Sometimes, someone other than the boat owner is operating the vessel, meaning both the owner and the operator may be liable. Finally, if the accident was caused by a manufacturing defect or mechanical failure, the manufacturer of that particular piece of equipment may be held responsible for the accident. A boating accident attorney can help you determine who is financially liable for your damages.
Is There a Time Limit to File a Boat Accident Claim in Texas?
A boat accident is considered a type of personal injury claim. In Texas, personal injury claims are subject to a legal deadline called a statute of limitations, which determines how much time a victim has to come forward and seek reimbursement for damages sustained as a result of someone else’s actions.
The statute of limitation for civil claims (including boating accidents) in Texas is two years from the date when the accident occurred. This means the clock starts ticking the day your accident happens, and you have two years to take action. Failing to initiate your case within the two-year timeframe may result in your case being automatically dismissed because the statute of limitations has run out, so be sure to take prompt action and reach out to a boat accident lawyer sooner than later.
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 Mesquite?
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 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 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.
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 Mesquite 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.
Why Do I Need to Hire a Mesquite Boat Accident Lawyer for My Case?
Boat accident claims can be complicated and, in some cases, require multiple claims and a significant amount of paperwork. You may also find yourself dealing with constant calls from insurance adjusters who only want to find a reason not to pay you what you deserve.
When you choose a boat accident lawyer such as Attorney Gregg Oberg and the Oberg Law Office in Mesquite, Texas, you can rest assured your attorney will handle every aspect of your case on your behalf and represent you before the insurance companies so you can get the fair compensation you need to get back on your feet. Reach out to the Oberg Law Office at 972-682-9700 to discuss your case and learn your options.