Austin Personal Injury Blog

Recreational Boating Accidents and Lake Liability

Posted By The Stewart Law Firm, PLLC || 6-Jun-2018

Recreational boating is a great summer activity enjoyed by many in Austin, TX. However, sometimes accidents occur.

If you get injured while boating, you need to able to prove that the harm you suffered resulted from another person’s negligence in order to recover damages from that individual. In other words, you must show that someone failed to act with reasonable care, and that, as a result of that negligence, you sustained an injury.

The following are common boating accidents and how negligence is determined in each scenario:

  • Collide with another boat - There are many instances where one boat crashes into the other and only one party is clearly at fault. On the other hand, there are other situations where both parties share fault.
  • Hit another boat’s wake - When a boat strikes a huge wave, the force of the jolt to the boat can knock down passengers or knock them out of their seat or overboard. According to state and federal laws, boat operators must pay attention to the waters to locate any hazards. In general, the liability of a boater depends on the wake's size, the boat’s speed, the boat traffic in the area of the incident, the visibility, and if the operator warned passengers of the impending wake
  • Collide with a rock, the land, or a submerged object - Despite boating in ideal weather and visibility conditions, water vessels can still hit a rock or a submerged object. In poor conditions, the accidents can be devastating. The operator’s liability for a collision with a fixed object will be based on several factors. For instance, if an operator drives the boat at high speeds through a thick fog, without navigational charts or a GPS, and hits a rock, that is considered negligence. If the operator has charts for the area and travels cautiously before striking a fixed object, he/she is most likely not going to be found negligent.
  • Failure to have proper safety equipment on the vessel - Even though failure to have the proper safety equipment on board will not lead to an accident, it can impede the rescue efforts afterward. State and federal boating laws require all boats to have several types of safety equipment on board, including life jackets for each passenger, life rings, fire extinguishers, flares, etc.

Boating accidents can be devastating in nature. Victims can suffer catastrophic injuries, costly medical bills, and lost wages or earning capacity. In worst case scenarios, a victim suffers fatal injuries.

If you have been injured in a boating accident in Austin, TX, request a free consultation with our experienced lawyer at The Stewart Law Firm, PLLC today.

Categories: Boating Accidents
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