Boating is one of the most popular recreational activities throughout the Houston region and Texas, but it also comes with risks. Hundreds of people are injured or killed yearly in boating accidents caused by negligence, recklessness, or defective equipment. Boating requires a degree of care for both the operators and passengers on the boat and one careless or negligent act can quickly become a disaster, leaving people with serious, life-altering injuries.
When you have been injured in a boat accident in Houston or its surrounding areas through no fault of your own, you can seek financial compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, property damages, and more. You should not have to bear the financial difficulties that severe injuries can cause you and your family.
For more than 25 years, the personal injury lawyers of The Callahan Law Firm have fought for fair compensation for injured victims of boat accidents. We know that injuries from an accident can place a tremendous burden on you and your family. We work hard to make the claim process as easy and efficient as possible for you.
Our legal team has been on the inside of insurance companies so we know first-hand how insurers try to avoid paying you the fair compensation you deserve for your injury case. Michael Callahan has a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and worked as an engineer prior to becoming an attorney. This engineering background helps us handle even the most complex boat accident cases. We know how to handle the unique aspects of boating law, such as maritime jurisdiction, liability rules, and insurance coverage.
Contact our firm to set up a free case evaluation with one of our experienced Houston boat accident lawyers. We can discuss your case and give you information about your legal rights and options. We charge no fees unless we recover compensation for you.
Common Types of Negligence in Houston Boating Accidents
Boating accidents, like car accidents, can occur due to various forms of negligence. To ensure the safety of boating, boat operators must be properly trained on how to operate a boat, and they must comply with the local, state, and federal laws applicable. Despite the efforts of the TPWD and the U. S. Coast Guard, accidents still occur, sometimes leading to severe injuries sustained in boating in Texas.
Common examples of negligent acts that lead to Houston boating accidents include:
- Operator inexperience
- Drunk driving
- Distracted boat operators
- Drowsy or fatigued boat operators
- Unsafe turns
- Inadequate maintenance of the vessel
- Running aground
- Crashing into piers or docks
- Boating in dangerous waters
- Boating in poor weather conditions
- Lack of onboard safety devices
- Failing to yield
- Failing to heed buoys and other warning devices
- Loading too many passengers onto a boat
Negligence can vary in each case, and establishing liability requires a thorough investigation. Consulting with experienced boat accident lawyers specializing in Houston maritime law can help you understand your rights and legal options if you’ve been involved in a boating accident due to negligence.
How a Houston Boat Accident Attorney Can Help You
After you have been hurt in a Houston boat accident through no fault of your own, pursuing a compensation claim can prove incredibly complex and time-consuming. The experienced personal injury attorneys from The Callahan Law Firm have a great understanding of recreational boating accidents and can help you by:
- Offering legal advice and giving expert guidance on your legal rights and options using our experience with boating accident claims.
- Investigating the accident to secure evidence that we can use to build your case.
- Working with accident reconstruction experts to review the evidence in your case and determine how your accident occurred and who may have been responsible for your injuries.
- Filing your claims with the insurance companies and aggressively pursuing a settlement that provides you with fair and full compensation.
- Preparing your case to go to court, if necessary, and advocating on your behalf through trial.
Our founding attorney, Michael S. Callahan, brings unique technical knowledge to his cases. His mechanical engineering background gives him a thorough understanding of how boating accidents occur. Michael is also board-certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, a certification held by less than two percent of attorneys in Texas. You can rest assured that our firm has the knowledge and experience to successfully fight for your rights in court if necessary.
We explain the relevant laws and regulations governing boating accidents in the Houston area and help you understand how they apply to your case. A boat accident attorney helps to protect your rights, and at The Callahan Law Firm, we give you and your claim the full attention and effort you deserve. We also make sure to always be available to you in person, by phone, or by email to answer your questions and keep you up to date on the progress of your case.
Compensation for Boating Accident Injuries
After you were injured in a boating accident that wasn’t your fault, you may be entitled to pursue compensation for the physical and emotional harm caused by the accident. This will depend on several factors, such as the severity of the injuries, the impact on your life, and the circumstances of the accident. Your compensation may include the following:
- Past, ongoing, and future medical expenses for all reasonable and necessary medical expenses related to the boating accident
- Costs of personal care, if your injuries keep you from performing personal care or housework
- Lost wages and income for the time you miss from work while recovering from your injuries
- Lost earning potential if you are disabled from returning to work or from working to your full capacity, leading you to suffer a reduction of your income
- Pain and suffering, including physical and emotional distress
- Physical impairment and disfigurement
- Lost quality of life due to physical disabilities or disfigurement
- Property damage where personal property, such as a boat or other belongings, was damaged in the accident
- Punitive damages, in cases where the responsible party’s conduct was particularly reckless or intentional
The amount of compensation you can receive for boat accident injuries may vary depending on the circumstances of the case. Some factors that may affect compensation are:
- The degree of fault or negligence of each party
- The availability and limits of insurance coverage
- The strength and credibility of the evidence and witnesses
- The skill and experience of the legal representation
Contact our Houston boat accident lawyers to review your case and help you understand what kinds of financial compensation you and your family may claim for damages sustained in a boating accident.
What Should You Do After a Boating Accident?
If you are involved in a boat accident in Houston, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and damages. However, to maximize your chances of getting a fair and full recovery, you should take the following steps after the accident:
- Call 911 and report the accident to the authorities: This may include the U.S. Coast Guard, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and local law enforcement, as they are responsible for investigating boating accidents in Texas. If you are the operator of the boat, you are required to report a boating accident within 30 days of the incident.
- Seek medical attention: Your health and well-being are top priorities, and prompt medical attention is required for any injuries, regardless of severity. Medical documentation of your injuries can strengthen your case.
- Document the scene: If it’s safe to do so, gather evidence from the accident scene. Take photographs or videos of the boats involved, the surrounding area, any visible damages, the weather conditions, and any other factors that may have contributed to the accident.
- Gather information: Collect the contact details, names, and insurance information of all parties involved in the accident, including boat owners, operators, passengers, and witnesses. Eyewitness testimonies can be crucial in establishing fault.
- Preserve evidence: Physical evidence related to the accident, such as damaged property, clothing, or equipment, must be preserved. Also, hold onto any relevant documents, like medical records, accident reports, and insurance correspondence.
- Consult with a boat accident attorney: It’s highly recommended to consult with a boat accident attorney in Houston as soon as possible. They will provide valuable guidance, assess your case, help protect your rights, and ensure you get fair compensation after a boating accident.
- Notify your insurance company: Report the accident to your own insurance company, even if you believe the other party is at fault. Cooperate fully with your insurer, but avoid providing recorded statements or accepting settlements without consulting your attorney first.
- Avoid discussing the case: Refrain from discussing the details of the accident or your injuries on social media or with anyone other than your attorney or healthcare providers. Statements made to others could be used against you later in the claims process.
- Follow medical advice: Follow all medical advice and attend all recommended appointments for your injuries. This demonstrates your commitment to your recovery and helps establish the extent of your damages.
- Maintain a record: Keep a detailed record of all expenses related to the accident, like your medical bills, prescription costs, transportation expenses, and any other costs incurred due to the accident. This documentation will support your claim for compensation.
Accident statistics show that the causes of boating accidents are many, and despite the best efforts of the TPWD to educate people on boating safety, boat accidents may still happen. Following the steps outlined above increases your chances of getting full compensation if you are involved in a Texas boating accident. However, every case is different, and the outcome may depend on various factors. Consulting with a boat accident attorney will provide you with personalized advice tailored to your situation.
What is the Time Limit for Filing a Boat Accident Lawsuit in Texas?
Under Texas law, you generally have two years from the date of your boating accident to file a lawsuit for your injuries and damages This period is known as the statute of limitations but depending on the circumstances of your accident, you may have other time limitations on your claim. For example, if a defective or dangerous product caused your boat accident, you cannot file a product liability lawsuit more than 15 years after the defective product was sold to its first user.
If you fail to file your lawsuit before that deadline, the court will likely permanently dismiss your lawsuit. Under Houston personal injury law, that means you will lose your right to pursue compensation in court.
Talk to a Boat Accident Lawyer in Houston Now
If you have been injured in a boating accident in Texas waters that was someone else’s fault, schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a Houston boat accident lawyer from The Callahan Law Firm.
We can discuss your accident and boating injuries, and you will learn more about your legal rights and options. You will also learn how our personal injury law firm can help you and your family seek the financial compensation you deserve, so reach out to us today by phone or online.