Federal law typically governs accidents involving vessels out at sea or in navigable waterways. However, the state’s personal injury laws govern accidents that occur during recreational activities and on non-navigable bodies of water. Though boat accident claims work similarly to other personal injury cases, there are a few critical differences that you should be aware of.
If another person’s negligence caused you to suffer injuries in a watercraft wreck, speaking with a Clear Lake boat accident lawyer should be high on your list of priorities. In addition to explaining the unique aspects of these types of cases, our experienced personal injury attorneys at Haines Law can serve as an ally in your fight for a fair settlement from the liable party.
Responsibilities of Boat Operators in Clear Lake
Like motorists on the road, boat operators have a responsibility to keep other people safe. Under Texas Parks and Wildlife Code §31.104, any boat operator who is involved in an accident involving at least one other person must:
- Safely bring their vessel to a stop
- Assist the affected parties if possible
- Provide their name, vessel identification number, and home address in written form to every other involved party
Additionally, if the accident results in more than $2,000 worth of property damage or injuries that require more than basic first aid, Texas Parks and Wildlife Code §31.105 requires you to report the incident to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and/or local law enforcement within 30 days. If a boating accident results in a missing person or fatality, the reporting deadline is only 48 hours.
If you don’t report the accident before the deadline, it might be difficult to obtain a fair settlement following the boat wreck. To make sure you’re complying with the statutes regarding boat accidents, you should call a skilled attorney in Clear Lake as soon as possible. At Haines Law, we can keep track of all important deadlines regarding your claim.
Recoverable Damages Following a Watercraft Collision
If you can prove that someone else’s reckless, careless, or illegal behavior directly caused your boat accident injuries, our experienced attorneys can help you negotiate a settlement with the at-fault party. Depending on the situation, you may be able to recover compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Boat repairs or replacement
- Lost work wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
However, you should note that Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code §33.001 forbids injured parties from recovering damages if they bear more than 50% of the blame for the accident. If the other party argues that you were partially responsible for the boat wreck, it could weaken your position during settlement negotiations.
Likewise, Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code §16.003 states that injured parties have two years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit. Waiting too long to hire a lawyer could also hinder settlement negotiations after a boat accident in Clear Lake. Our legal team will work tirelessly to mitigate these potential roadblocks in your case.
Get in Touch with a Clear Lake Boat Accident Attorney
When a fun day out on the water takes a turn for the worse, the injuries and financial losses that follow could impact you and your family for months or even years. Attempting to negotiate your own settlement while dealing with the aftermath of such an accident can be stressful.
Reach out to Haines Law today to schedule a consultation with a trusted Clear Lake boat accident lawyer. Our seasoned lawyers can support you throughout all negotiations and help you pursue a lawsuit if necessary.