A leisurely day on the lake with friends can easily turn into a disaster should an accident occur. Poor management of the boat, a lack of safety on board, alcohol, or many other incidents can lead to serious injuries and even fatalities. Boat injuries range widely in terms of what could happen—falls, blows to the head, or even falls overboard may put a person at risk for serious injury.
Common Boat Accident Injuries
When an accident occurs, immediate medical care is often the first step. It’s critical to do this no matter what the severity of the injury seems to be at first. Some common boat accident injuries that may require medical attention include the following:
- Brain injuries. Often brought on by the rapid movement of the brain back and forth against the skull or direct blows to the head, brain injuries are dangerous injuries typically requiring immediate medical help.
- Neck injuries. If a boat is struck or hits something, this may lead to the rapid back and forth movement of the head, stretching out and damaging the muscles and ligaments in the neck. This is where whiplash can occur.
- Lower back injuries. Falls, slips, and other types of injuries involving the back muscles can lead to long-lasting back injuries, especially to the lower area. Sometimes, it can take a few days for these to become obvious.
- Spinal cord injuries. Falls, collisions, or blows to the spinal cord can lead to spinal cord injuries. These may become permanent and create limited mobility in some people.
- Lacerations. Significant lacerations, such as those brought on by the impact against a sharp object during a collision or sudden increase in boat speed, can pierce organs and tissues.
- Broken bones. Any bone in the body can suffer a break due to a collision or other type of impact during a boating accident. Compound fractures may lead to significant injury, impairment of mobility, and even amputation depending on the severity.
- Shoulder, knee, and joint injuries. Often brought on by the impact of a crushing accident, joint injuries like these can limit mobility and create chronic pain.
- Wrongful death. It is possible a person can die as a result of a boating accident. Falling overboard is one potential cause of a wrongful death.
What Causes Boat Accident Injuries to Occur?
Just as common as the number of types of boat accident injuries is the numerous types of causes. This is not an exhaustive list but a good starting point of what could go wrong to put a person at risk for injury:
- Poor weather conditions
- Improper boat maintenance and upkeep
- Reckless operation by the drivers, passengers, or others
- Operator inattention
- Operator inexperience
- Collisions with other vessels, docks, or other structures
- Falls on the boat due to poorly maintained conditions
- Falls over the boat
- Alcohol or drug use
What to Do If You’ve Been Hurt in a Boat Accident
If you’ve suffered an injury during a boating accident, your first step should be to seek out immediate help from the emergency room. It’s always a good idea to have a full exam to rule out any concerns. You may also begin to experience pain and soreness the day after the accident, which could warrant a visit to the hospital as well.
It’s always wise to document everything that’s happened as that’s going to provide you with the best way to prove negligence. Be sure to gather statements from others about what occurred as well.
Who May Be Liable for Boat Injuries?
If you’ve been hurt like this, you may be looking to pinpoint someone as responsible. Sometimes, there’s no one to blame. Other times, a range of people could be responsible. For example:
- The boat owner
- The boat operator
- The manufacturer of the boat
- A person that operates the boat that collided with your own
- A rental company or third-party operator
Potential Compensation for Boat Accident Injuries
After a boat accident, take care of your injuries. Be sure to document everything that’s occurred. Recognize, though, that many of the losses you’ve incurred could be claimed on a settlement or in a court case. It’s important to document each one of these losses. Your compensation for your boat injuries may include coverage for:
- Medical bills related to emergency room visits
- Medical bills for any hospital stays or long-term care needs
- Prescription medication costs
- Rehabilitation costs
- Lost wages during the time you cannot work due to the accident
- Loss of companionship/loss of life claims
- Pain and suffering
- Funeral and burial costs (in a wrongful death)
If you lost money in any way from the accident, speak to your boat accident injury attorney about potential compensation for it.
How and When to Contact a Boat Accident Lawyer
As soon as you can do so, report what’s occurred to you to the police for formal documentation of the events. Then, you’ll want to contact a boat accident lawyer right away. The sooner you do, the more likely it is the case is fresh in the minds of witnesses and all involved.
When you contact an attorney in Texas for boat accidents, gain insight into what your next steps are. This may include gathering evidence, proving negligence, and even taking your case to court. Your attorney’s job is to help ensure you have ample help on an ongoing basis throughout the claims or trial process.
The Button Law Firm provides outstanding support and service to our clients who’ve been hurt in a boating accident someone else may have caused. If you’ve suffered losses like this in Texas, our team wants to learn how we can help you. Contact us today to set up a no-obligation consultation to discuss your case.