Boating Accident Wrongful Death

Austin Personal Injury Attorney Works for Your Benefits

There has been a sharp increase in the number of fatal boating accidents over the past few years. According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, there was a 40 percent increase in boating fatalities in the first months of 2021 alone. Why are fatal boating accidents so common, and when do you need a boating accident lawyer? 

Causes of Fatal Boating Accidents

The US Coast Guard reports that there were 5,265 US boating accidents in 2020, causing 767 deaths and over $62 million in damages. The five most common types of boating accidents are:

  1. Collision a with a recreational water vessel
  2. Boat flooding/swamping
  3. Collision with a fixed object
  4. Boat grounding
  5. Falls overboard

While falls overboard are the least frequent cause of accidents — just 335 incidents in 2020 — it was the highest cause of fatalities. The report indicates that 161 people were injured, and 181 people died as a result of falling overboard. 

Not every fatal boating accident is cause for a wrongful death lawsuit. Some accidents are simply accidents. To determine whether there is civil liability, it is important to consider the contributing factors that led to the accident. According to the Coast Guard, the top ten contributing factors of boating accidents are:

  1. Operator inattention
  2. Operator inexperience
  3. Improper lookout
  4. Excessive speed
  5. Machinery failure
  6. Violation of the rules of navigation
  7. Alcohol use
  8. Weather
  9. Hazardous water
  10. Force of waves or wakes

Among these, alcohol use is the highest contributing factor in fatal boating accidents, with 115 deaths in 2020. Finally, out of 534 boating accident deaths, 450 victims were not wearing a life jacket. These deaths — if not the accidents — are preventable if people practice good boating safety and follow Coast Guard boating regulations. 

What To Do if You Have Lost a Loved One in a Texas Boating Accident

When there has been a boating accident, the operator of the vessel is legally required to:

  • Render any assistance necessary to minimize danger, including retrieving people from the water, providing first aid, calling for medical assistance, etc. within safe and practical limits. 
  • Give their name, address, and vessel identification to any injured person or anyone who suffered property damage in the incident. 

Boating accidents are required to be reported to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department if:

  • Any boating accident results in an injury requiring more medical treatment than simple first aid
  • Any boating accident results in death within 48 hours
  • Any boating accident causes property damage in excess of $2000

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will investigate the accident and send their incident report to law enforcement officials. As with a motor vehicle accident, a boat operator who is found to be at fault in a serious accident may face criminal charges, so the involvement of law enforcement is often necessary. 

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or suffered property damage in a boating accident, and you aren’t sure whether the accident has been reported, contact TPWD immediately

When Do You Need a Texas Boat Accident Attorney?

You’ll likely need legal representation if you or a loved one have been involved in a boating accident and someone else was at fault. There may have been dangerous or faulty equipment on the boat, or someone was behaving in a way that was negligent or reckless and caused the accident.

Additionally, if You suffered damages, consider representation. If you had to pay medical expenses, suffered property damage, lost time at work, or experienced pain and suffering you should contact a boat accident attorney immediately. You may have cause for a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit, and boat accident wrongful death amounts can include costs for medical and funeral expenses, lost work and wages, pain and suffering, and even punitive damages.

At Aaron Allison, our expert boat accident lawyer offers free consultations in the case of boat accident injuries or boat accident wrongful death. We will help you understand your rights and fight for a fair recovery. Since 1978, our family-owned law firm has been helping Texas accident victims, and we have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars in damages. Contact us to learn more about how we can help.   


Free Case Review

Read privacy policy(Required)

Available 24/7 to Take Your Call

Here’s what to expect: 

  • When you call our office you will either get a live representative, or if it’s after business hours, you’ll be asked to leave a message
  • Please leave your name, phone number, and a brief description of your situation
  • We’ll call you back within 24 hours, or next business day
  • You’ll then be scheduled for a meeting with Aaron Allison

What Others Say About Aaron Allison

“I looked at several attorney’s for my husband’s case, and Aaron looks like he was the best one. He was the best Worker’s Comp attorney in our area of Texas. So, we called and made an appointment for an initial visit. Once we talked to him we got that he knows his job. Plus he’s very nice and very personable. We could tell that right away.”

— Mrs. Mario Caballero, Austin, Texas

two people smiling