Seeking Justice After a Boating Accident

Texas ranked number three in the nation for boat accident fatalities, just behind Florida and California. Many factors can contribute to accidents on the water, most of which involve operator error. If you have been hurt or lost a loved one in a boating accident caused by the negligence of another, it is in your best interests to consult with an experienced boat accident attorney as soon as possible.

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How Many Victims Die in U.S. Boating Accidents?

The 4,040 U.S. boat accidents in 2022 caused 636 deaths and 2,222 injuries, as well as approximately $63 million in property damage. Of the fatalities for which the cause of death is known, 75% (445) died from drowning. Other leading causes of death include trauma (120), cardiac arrest (12), and hypothermia (7). In Texas alone, 34 people lost their lives, and 132 were injured in boat accidents in 2022.

What Are the Most Common Types of Boat Accidents?

A vessel is involved in a boating accident when its operation, construction, seaworthiness, machinery, or equipment causes a missing person, death, personal injury, or property damage. Most boating accidents are related to the negligent operation of a vessel. The five main types of boat accidents reported by the Coast Guard are:

  • Collisions with recreational vehicles (1085 accidents, 512 injuries, 39 deaths)
  • Collisions with fixed objects (477 accidents, 314 injuries, 57 deaths)
  • Swamping or flooding (422 accidents, 93 injuries, 74 deaths)
  • Grounding (350 accidents, 208 injuries, 12 deaths)
  • Falls overboard (260 accidents, 98 injuries, 175 deaths)

What Are the Main Causes of Boat Accidents?

Although there may be other factors, such as weather conditions, hazardous waters, or equipment failure, most boat accidents are caused by operator negligence. Boat operators who consume alcohol or drugs, operate a vessel recklessly, fail to pay proper attention, or are simply inexperienced can cause severe or fatal injuries. Based on the number of resulting boat accidents, the Coast Guard has ranked the top 10 primary contributing factors as follows:

  • Operator inattention (602 accidents, 308 injuries, 45 deaths)
  • Operator inexperience (464 accidents, 249 injuries, 69 deaths)
  • Improper lookout (387 accidents, 234 injuries, 22 deaths)
  • Excessive speed (320 accidents, 288 injuries, 35 deaths)
  • Machinery failure (289 accidents, 69 injuries, 13 deaths)
  • Weather (221 accidents, 77 injuries, 44 deaths)
  • Alcohol consumption (215 accidents, 148 injuries, 88 deaths)
  • Violations of navigation rules (205 accidents, 128 injuries, 26 deaths)
  • Hazardous waters (184 accidents, 75 injuries, 48 deaths)
  • Force of wave or wake (137 accidents, 118 injuries, 5 deaths)

Who May Be Held Liable for Boat Accident Injuries?

A negligent boat operator who causes an accident may be held liable for resulting injuries. Boat operators can cause accidents if they are operating a vessel recklessly or under the influence of alcohol or drugs, disregarding boating laws, or failing to pay attention. Boat operators are also liable for failing to provide passengers with approved, properly fitting life jackets in good condition and requiring passengers to wear them.

Other potentially liable parties may include:

  • Another passenger if their reckless actions caused the accident
  • A boat owner who allowed an inexperienced operator to operate the vessel
  • A boat rental company, if it failed to perform routine maintenance and repairs, and machinery failure caused the accident and injuries
  • A boat or parts manufacturer, if a defect caused the boating accident

If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a boating accident, there may be more than one potentially liable party. Our experienced boat accident lawyer can conduct a thorough investigation to determine fault and liability and secure evidence to support your claim. 

Why Choose McCraw Law Group to Represent You?

Founding attorney John L. McCraw is board-certified in personal injury trial law, a specialty achieved by only approximately 5% of lawyers in the state. We have extensive experience representing injured people in a wide range of personal injury matters, including boat accidents. Our boating accident lawyers get better results faster, and no one will work harder for you. We work to provide an extra level of compassionate care for each of our clients. 

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If you are in need of a personal injury attorney in North Texas, please contact the team at McCraw Law Group today. We are ready to help you in a broad range of serious accident and injury legal issues, and offer multiple ways to reach us.

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If you are in need of a personal injury attorney in North Texas, please contact the team at McCraw Law Group today. We are ready to help you in a broad range of serious accident and injury legal issues, and offer multiple ways to reach us.

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