Boat Accident Attorney
An experienced boat accident attorney can help you navigate the often complex process of pursuing a claim for injuries suffered on the water.
In 2017, the Coast Guard reported 4,291 boating accidents with 658 deaths, 2,629 injuries and approximately $46 million in property damage. While boating accidents are rare compared to automotive accidents, they still have a tremendous impact.
Mithoff and his team have over four decades of experience handling boat accident cases in Texas. The firm and its team of experts can assist in determining the root cause of a boat accident, whether related to mechanical failure, operator negligence, or other issues. They are prepared to pursue all relevant areas of inquiry to fully investigate a claim.
What to do after a boating accident
- Call for help: Without proper assistance, a boating accident can quickly turn deadly. Depending on where you are, contact the U.S Coast Guard or local authorities. Getting medical attention should be your priority.
- Collect evidence: Take photos of the boats and individuals involved. Document the location of the incident and collect contact information for any witnesses. While your lawyer will collect evidence on your behalf, anything you can do will help expedite the process and ensure accuracy.
- File an accident report: It is the operator’s responsibility to file an accident report with the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife, the Coast Guard, or the local authorities. This report may be evidence in your claim so be as accurate as possible.
- Seek out an attorney: A boating accident attorney from Mithoff Law can help identify all parties responsible and, if you have a case, represent you as you pursue your claims.
Common boating accident injuries
What are the Texas life jacket laws?
One of the best ways to minimize injuries on a boat or personal watercraft is to wear a life jacket. Texas law contains several provisions pertaining to life jackets, including:
- Children under 13 years of age in or on vessels under 26 feet high must wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved wearable Personal Flotation Device (PFD) while the vessel is in motion.
- All vessels under 16 feet (including vessels under 16 feet in length, such as canoes and kayaks) must be equipped with one life jacket (Type I, II, III or V) for each person on board.
- Vessels 16 feet long or longer must have one Type IV throwable device on board (in addition to the Type I, II, III or V PFD per person) which must be readily accessible. Canoes and kayaks over 16 feet are exempt from the Type IV requirement.
If the vessel you were on did not comply with the Texas life jacket laws, then the boat operator may be liable for damages.
Types of boating accidents
There are multiple ways someone could be injured on the water due to boat operator negligence. An experienced boat accident attorney from Mithoff Law understands recreational boating accident laws. Our trial-ready team has experience handling cases for various types of boating accidents, including:
- Collision with a recreational vessel
- Collision with a fixed object
- Falls overboard
Who may be liable in a boating accident?
If you are injured in a motorboat, sailboat, or personal watercraft accident, the facts and circumstances surrounding that injury can determine whether another person may be liable. For example, liability may arise where:
- The owner of the boat, if he/she knowingly loaned the boat to someone who was not qualified to operate it
- A passenger of the boat who acted in a reckless manner
- Boating operators who fail to provide reasonable safety for the passengers or otherwise disregarded boating laws
- The boat had a design or manufacturing defect
- The boat was improperly maintained
How can a boating attorney at Mithoff Law help me?
- Investigate your claim
- Identify responsible parties
- File claims
- Advise as to potential damages
- Negotiate settlements
- Take your case to trial if necessary
Our proven team has pursued boating accident cases for injured clients and their families for over four decades. We have earned a reputation for putting our client’s interest first and for handling every case with the highest level of integrity. Our record of success paired with our client testimonials clearly shows how Mithoff Law became one of the top law firms in the country.