Boating is a common activity for many Kingwood residents, whether they enjoy tubing, relaxing, or fishing. Unfortunately, the more boats there are on the water, the higher the likelihood of an accident. Incidents on the water can be especially serious given the risk of drowning and the difficulty of accessing emergency medical services quickly.
If you were injured while boating, a Kingwood boat accident attorney can help you hold vessel operators and their insurance companies accountable for the compensation you need. A successful personal injury claim requires a thorough investigation, complex paperwork, and a strong negotiation strategy. At Haines Law, we can guide you through the process and fight for your rights.
Common Boat Accident Claims
Boat crashes can have a wide range of causes, from operator inexperience to mechanical issues. These claims generally fall into five broad categories, each with unique aspects for an experienced Kingwood boat injury lawyer to investigate.
Boat to Boat Collisions
One of the most common types of claims is for collisions between two boats. These accidents can happen for a variety of reasons but are especially common among inexperienced and intoxicated operators. Boats traveling at high speeds are also more likely to be involved in a crash.
Striking an Object in the Water and Running Aground
Some watercraft accidents involve a vessel striking a fixed object, like a dock or a submerged water hazard. Often, these claims are the result of a negligent boat operator who fails to see the obstacle. However, mechanical defects may also play a role if a rudder or linkage to an outboard motor fails to work, preventing the operator from avoiding the object.
Running aground is similar to striking a fixed object but carries the additional risk of launching passengers from the boat, potentially causing severe injuries. Depending on the circumstances and the ground the boat hits, damage to the vessel’s hull may be catastrophic and expensive to fix.
Flooding or Sinking
Some of the most devastating cases involve boats flooding or sinking entirely. If a passenger becomes stuck in the vessel or is unresponsive, there is a high risk of drowning. Sinking may be due to poor maintenance, reckless operation, or catastrophic mechanical failure.
Man Overboard Injuries
Finally, some boat accident claims result from a passenger falling overboard due to the careless or reckless acts of the boat operator or other passengers. Falling overboard presents a risk of injury or death if the victim strikes a fixed object in the water, becomes entangled in a motor’s props, or drowns. All boats are legally required to carry one life vest for every person aboard, and all boaters must stop and assist any boaters who have fallen overboard.
Shared Fault in a Boat Accident
In many accidents on the water, several parties share responsibility, including the plaintiff. In these cases, victims may see their total compensation award reduced or eliminated.
If a plaintiff is 51 percent or more at fault for a boat crash, the law bars them from recovering any compensation from the other parties. However, if they are less than 51 percent to blame, they could recover damages with the help of a seasoned boat accident attorney in Kingwood. When making a claim to an insurance firm, an attorney can use their negotiation experience to fight for the maximum compensation.
Work with a Kingwood Boat Accident Attorney
The aftermath of a boat accident is never easy. Victims are often burdened with mounting medical bills, lost wages from missed work during recovery, and the cost of repairing or salvaging their boats. Fortunately, a Kingwood boat accident lawyer can pursue your claim for its maximum value and help you move forward. Call Haines Law right away to schedule your consultation.