Lake Travis Boat Accident Attorney

A Lake Travis boat accident lawyer from Janicek Law can help boat accident victims secure compensation for any serious personal injury sustained by negligence.

Lake Travis is known as the ultimate summer boating destination for Texans, but boat accidents remain a stark reality across the U.S. Boating accidents often lead to serious injuries and, tragically, sometimes even fatal injuries. During these devastating times, the Lake Travis boat accident attorneys at Janicek Law stand ready to support and protect the legal rights of accident victims. With our extensive knowledge of maritime law, our Take Travis boating accident lawyers are committed to helping boat accident victims navigate the legal waters of their boating accident cases to recover justice and secure the financial compensation they rightfully deserve.

If you or a loved one has suffered catastrophic injuries or wrongful death from a boating accident near San Antonio, New Braunfels, or Seguin, Texas, call an experienced boat accident attorney at 210-366-4949 to schedule a free consultation today.

How Often Do Boat Accidents Happen?

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Unfortunately, boating accidents and serious injuries are common in Lake Travis, particularly during peak tourist seasons. Lake Austin and Travis attract thousands of visitors annually, particularly during the summer months, increasing the likelihood of recreational boating accidents, jet ski accidents, and various other marine accidents. 

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, 4,040 boating accidents and jet ski accidents occurred in 2022, resulting in 2,222 injuries, 636 deaths, and about $63 million in property damage. The vast majority (75%) of these fatalities occurred due to drowning due to a lack of proper safety equipment such as life jackets. On the bright side, these statistics represent a 9% decrease in nationwide accidents compared to 2021. 

Of these 2022 boat accidents, 14 occurred in Texas, resulting in 18 boating accident injuries and 2 deaths. 

The Most Common Causes of Boat Accidents at Lake Travis

According to the U.S. Coast Guard’s 2022 accident report, intoxication was one of the leading factors that contributed to fatal recreational boating accidents. Alcohol use contributed to approximately 16% of deaths during boat accidents or jet ski accidents each year. Another leading cause of boat accidents in the U.S. is the lack of proper boating safety instruction, contributing to approximately 74% of deaths, according to the Coast Guard.

Boating accidents occur for many other reasons as well, including:

  • Operator inattention
  • Operator inexperience
  • Improper lookout
  • Excessive speeds
  • Faulty or defective equipment
  • Poor weather
  • Violating navigation rules and maritime laws
  • Hazardous waters
  • Reckless operation

Many of these causes of boating accidents are rooted in operator negligence. If you were injured in a boating accident for one of the reasons above, you may have grounds to file a boat accident claim.

Is It Illegal to Drive a Boat While Intoxicated in Texas?

Yes, boat operators driving under the influence of alcohol or other substances is illegal in Texas, as stipulated by Section 49.06 of the Texas Penal Code. Boating while intoxicated in Texas bears many resemblances to the state’s driving while intoxicated laws or reckless operation laws in other states, but there are notable distinctions. One key difference is that while open containers of alcohol are allowed on boats, boat operators may be subject to a safety inspection at any time, even if authorities don’t actively suspect the boating operators are under the influence.

lake travis boat accident lawyer

Texas BUI Penalties

In Texas, boating operators convicted of repeated offenses of boating while intoxicated (BUI) can lead to escalating penalties, including higher fines, extended license suspensions, and longer jail sentences. Additionally, if the drunk boat operator causes significant bodily injury or fatalities, the severity of the penalties can be even more severe.

first BUI offense for boating operators may warrant penalties such as a maximum fine of $2,000, a jail sentence ranging from 72 hours to 180 days, or both. This offense is classified as a Class B misdemeanor.

For a second BUI offense, boating operators may incur a fine of up to $4,000, serve a jail sentence ranging from 30 days to one year, or face both penalties. This offense is categorized as a Class A misdemeanor.

If boating operators commit a third BUI offense, they may be subjected to a fine not exceeding $10,000, a jail term of 2 to 10 years, or possibly both. This is considered a third-degree felony offense, which comes with further repercussions.

A first BUI offense resulting in a boating accident injury may warrant a fine up to $10,000, a jail sentence ranging from 2 to 10 years, or both. Such an offense is categorized as a third-degree felony.

A first BUI offense resulting in death may warrant a fine of up to $10,000, a jail term ranging from 2 to 10 years, or potentially both. This is considered a second-degree felony offense.

What Are the Most Common Boating Accident Injuries?

Unfortunately, boating accidents can lead to various personal injuries, some of which can be severe. The most common boating injuries seen in personal injury claims include:

  • Traumatic Brain Injuries: Traumatic brain injuries and concussions are often caused by falls or being struck by objects. Our San Antonio traumatic brain injury lawyers have extensive experience in handling these types of injury cases.
  • Drowning or Near-Drowning Incidents: Resulting from being thrown overboard or capsizing. Drowning can also result in traumatic brain injuries caused by oxygen deprivation. If you or a loved one has suffered a drowning or delayed drowning, contact a San Antonio drowning lawyer today.
  • Broken Bones: Broken bones commonly occur from collisions, falls on the boat, or being hit by boating equipment.
  • Lacerations and Bruises: Often caused by propeller injuries, sharp objects, debris, or impact with the boat or water.
  • Spinal Cord Injuries: Potentially resulting from high-speed impacts or falls, leading to long-term disability in severe cases. Our San Antonio spinal cord injury lawyers have what it takes to recover the compensation you deserve for catastrophic injuries like these.
  • Burn Injuries: Due to boat fires, explosions, or hot surfaces and equipment on the boat. Allow our San Antonio burn injury lawyers to fight for your justice and compensation.

The experienced boating accident attorneys at Janicek Law can help injured clients recover full and fair compensation for their suffering associated with boating accident injuries.

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When to Report Boating Accidents in Texas

When boating accidents occur, it’s mandatory for boating operators to report the incident to local law enforcement, Texas game wardens, or the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, particularly if the boating accident involves:

  • A fatality or a person going missing;
  • Serious injuries requiring treatment beyond first aid; or
  • Property damage exceeding $2,000 in value.

How to Report a Boat Accident in Texas

Following a boating accident, the boat operator is required to take specific actions. Firstly, they must stop the boat immediately and help anyone injured or thrown overboard, as long as offering help doesn’t pose a risk to their own boat or passengers. The boat operator must immediately contact emergency services in boating accident cases involving medical emergencies, missing persons, or fatalities.

All operators involved in boat collisions have a 30-day window to report the incident. However, if the accident resulted in a death, this timeframe is reduced to 48 hours. For boat operators near Lake Travis, reporting can be done by contacting local authorities, a Texas game warden in Austin at (325) 673-3333, or the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department at (800) 792-1112.

Boat operators must provide thorough information about the incident when reporting boating accident cases. This includes details such as the names of those involved, the exact time and location of the accident, and the water conditions and weather at the time of the event.

Can You Sue for a Boating Accident at Lake Travis?

Yes, it is possible to sue for a boating accident. To do so, victims and their boating accident attorneys need to prove negligence using the four key elements:

  • Duty of Care: Establish that the party at fault was responsible for operating the vessel safely, adhering to boating laws and regulations to prevent harm.
  • Breached Duty of Care: Demonstrate how this responsibility was breached. Boating accident attorneys could show this through reckless operation, intoxication, or failure to adhere to safety protocols.
  • Causation: Link the breach of duty directly to the boat accident. It’s crucial for boating accident lawyers to show that the accident occurred as a direct result of the other party’s negligence or reckless behavior.
  • Damages: Provide evidence of the damages suffered due to the accident. This includes personal injuries, emotional distress, financial losses from medical bills, lost wages, and other related expenses.

Successfully proving these elements can establish the negligence of the other party, allowing victims to recover compensation. Proving negligence alone can be complicated and overwhelming, which is why it’s so important to consult with our Lake Travis boating accident lawyers. Our skilled legal team can help gather evidence, build a solid boating accident case, navigate the legal intricacies to ensure your rights are protected, and help you achieve a favorable case outcome.

Boating Accident Damages

lake travis boating accident attorney

When involved in a boating accident, the range of potential damages that victims might experience can be extensive. Understanding these damages is crucial for all personal injury claims. Victims in a boating accident case can typically recover the following types of damages: 

  • Medical Expenses: Cost of medical bills for immediate and ongoing medical treatment, including hospital stays, surgeries, medications, and rehabilitation.
  • Lost Wages: Compensation for income lost due to the inability to work following the accident. This also encompasses potential loss of future earning capacity if the injuries are long-term or permanent.
  • Pain and Suffering: Non-economic damages for physical pain and emotional distress resulting from the accident. This can also include compensation for loss of enjoyment of life and mental anguish. Our San Antonio emotional distress lawyers can help you determine if you have a strong claim.
  • Property Damage: Costs to repair or replace the boat and other personal property damaged in the accident.
  • Wrongful Death: In the unfortunate event of a fatality, damages may include funeral and burial expenses, loss of financial support, and loss of companionship for the surviving family members. Allow our San Antonio wrongful death lawyers to fight for justice on your loved one’s behalf.

San Antonio personal injury attorneys at Janicek Law can help you recover maximum compensation for your boating accident claim.

Texas Statute of Limitations for Boating Accident Claims

Texas law stipulates a two-year statute of limitations for all personal injury cases, including boating accident claims. This means victims must file maritime claims within two years from the date of their accident. Failing to meet this deadline can result in the loss of the right to seek compensation. That’s why it’s so important to contact a Lake Travis boating accident lawyer at Janicek Law as soon as possible.

Lake Travis Boating Accident Attorneys

If you were injured in a boating accident due to someone else’s negligence, you may have grounds to recover compensation via a personal injury claim. San Antonio personal injury attorneys at Janicek Law specialize in representing victims in boating accident cases in Lake Travis and beyond. With a deep understanding of Texas maritime law and a commitment to client advocacy, Janicek Law is ready to help victims navigate the complexities of their claims. Call 210-366-4949 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced boating attorney at our law firm today.  

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