As with driving a car, focus on the operation of a boat is critical to minimize risk. Yet, it’s common for boating accidents to be the result of people who are not paying close enough attention to the movement and function of the boat.
A distracted boat operator puts many people at risk, including passengers on the boat and others in nearby boats or in the water near the boat. If you’ve been the victim of a boating accident caused by a distracted boat operator, it’s best to seek out help right away from a Texas boating accident attorney. At The Button Law Firm, we're committed to helping boat accident victims protect their right to compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
What Is Distracted Boating?
Boating accidents occur for many reasons. Distracted boating occurs when the operator of the boat is paying attention to something other than safe operations. There are various examples of how this can happen.
- The operator is paying attention to guests or others on the boat with them, but not the operation of the vessel.
- The operator is paying attention to their phone or another electronic device rather than monitoring conditions.
- Poor lighting or distraction from spotlights on the boat may lead to accidents if the operator is blinded by them.
- Eating and drinking are common causes of distraction for operators.
- The use of alcohol can play a role in this type of incident, making it harder to pay attention to what’s occurring.
How to Know If Your Boat Accident Was Caused by a Distracted Boat Operator
It can be difficult to know if your injuries were caused by a distracted boat operator. However, it may be possible to pick up on some common clues and indications that this may be occurring.
- Was the boat operating erratically before it hit you?
- Who was responsible for the operation of the boat at the time of the accident? Was that person under the influence of alcohol or drugs?
- What was said just prior to the accident by anyone on board?
- Did someone walk away from the navigational control or radios and didn’t have time to react to a problem once it was detected?
- What statements did the operators make after the incident? Look for those that include “I should have been…” for example.
Types of Boat Accidents Caused by Distracted Boating
Various types of accidents can occur when people do not pay close attention to what’s occurring on the boat. Some examples may include:
- The boat capsizes or overturns due to striking an object or another boat.
- The boat strikes another boat, causing a sudden jolt to those on board.
- The boat becomes grounded and unable to move as a result.
- Erratic operation leads to severe swaying, which leads to accidents and falls.
- Poor navigational management takes the boat into a storm or rough waters, leading to accidents.
Common Types of Injuries Resulting From a Distracted Boating Accident
A boat accident like this can result in various types of injuries by those in the boat or in the water. It may also impact other people, such as those on a dock or on another boat. Here are a few common types of injuries from boating accidents:
- Head injuries from falling and striking the head
- Lacerations and cuts due to striking sharp objects or areas
- Broken bones due to collisions, sometimes involving crushing
- Muscle, ligament, and tendon damage creating immobility or chronic pain
- Loss of a limb or death
What to Do After a Boat Accident on a Texas Lake
If you’re in a boating accident of any type, here’s how to protect your right to compensation:
- See a doctor. Seek out medical care as soon as possible. Even if you feel okay, visit the hospital to ensure your injuries are documented.
- File a police report. Report what’s occurred to law enforcement while you are still at the scene or nearby, or do so later after you leave the hospital.
- Gather any evidence. That may include photos you or others took while on board the boat or videos of the erratic behavior of the vessel. It’s also a good idea to get the contact information of those on board so you can ask them for their insight into what occurred.
- Stay off social media. It’s wise to avoid posting pictures or making statements about the accident to other people. You don’t want this information to be shared on social media. It could be used against you later.
- Take care of yourself. Get all of the care you need, including specialist care and ongoing rehab. This can help to show that you are doing what it takes to heal and recover.
Contacting a Boating Lawyer in Texas After an Accident
It’s never too early to contact a boating attorney for your case. The sooner you do, the faster they can begin to help you in receiving compensation.
Your boating attorney will discuss your case with you, help you to gather valuable evidence in the case, and help to answer all of the questions you have. They will also work to prove the negligence of those who owned or operated the boat. That can be critical in a complex case like distracted operation in which proving what occurred may be hard to do. Most importantly, they are there to protect your right to compensation after a devastating accident like this.
The Button Law Firm offers comprehensive support and guidance to anyone that’s been the victim of a boating accident on Texas lakes. Connect with us now online or call us now. Our team is here to help you protect your recovery.