Boats play a significant role in Brownsville-area commerce and recreation. Residents here kayak the waters of San Martin Lake and Bahia Grande, navigate the Brownsville shipping channel for work, and dock their pleasure vessels in nearby Port Isabel.
With all the boating activity happening in and around Brownsville, accidents are bound to happen. And they do, causing severe injuries and fatalities to innocent victims.
Kenny Perez Law represents Texans in lawsuits and insurance claims seeking compensation for injuries caused by someone else’s careless or wrongful conduct. Contact our Brownsville boating accident attorneys to learn how we can help after a Brownsville-area boating accident harms you or a loved one.
Common Causes of Boating Accidents in Brownsville
Most boating accidents in Brownsville involve some degree of human error. Below you’ll find some common ways negligent or reckless boaters cause accidents in and around Brownsville that harm innocent victims.
Even if you do not see the cause of your boating accident below, however, the Brownsville boating accident attorneys at Kenny Perez Law invites you to contact us for a free consultation to learn about your rights to compensation.
Similar to driving a car, boat navigation requires boaters to pay attention to their surroundings at all times, and to take care to watch out for hazards like rocks, bad weather, other vessels, and swimmers. According to U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) data on recreational boating accidents, operator inattention is the most common cause of preventable incidents on the water.
Electronic device use contributes to inattentiveness on the water. Boaters frequently get distracted by their phones or their onboard GPS plots and depth finders, for example. Eating food at the helm, talking with a passenger, or towing a float or a water-skier can also contribute to dangerous boater inattention.
Consumption of alcohol is a common cause of fatal and nonfatal boating accidents, according to the USCG, especially in Texas. Alcohol use causes accidents on the water in numerous ways. It impairs operators’ ability to navigate and steer safely, and increases the chance of them making a mistake that leads to a collision or running aground.
It contributes to on-board falls that lead to lacerations and broken bones. Boat passengers who consume alcohol have a heightened risk of drowning, suffering from heat-stroke, and falling overboard. In short, drinking and boating is a bad idea with potentially deadly consequences.
Boats, like cars, must maintain a safe speed at all times. Texas does not have a numerical speed limit on its open waters, but ports and channels may post speed limits. The Brownsville ship channel, for example, has a speed limit of eight knots. Regardless of the presence of a fixed speed limit on the water, boaters can receive a citation for operating at unsafe speeds. Some locations may maintain no-wake zones, for example.
The dangers of speeding in a boat are probably obvious to most boaters, although that does not necessarily stop them from doing it. Operating a vessel at an unsafe speed leaves insufficient time to react to hazards, lengthens a boat’s stopping distance, and may cause a hazardous wake that can damage or interfere with other vessels.
Brownsville boaters cannot control the weather, but they do have an obligation to make safe decisions about when and how to navigate in any given weather condition. Boaters who ignore marine forecasts and posted advisories, and instead steer into bad weather, face a host of unnecessary risks. High winds and strong waves may capsize the boat, push it off course, or damage onboard equipment, to name just a few hazards that can lead to serious and fatal injuries on Brownsville-area waters.
Eligibility for Compensation in Brownsville Boating Accidents
If you suffered injuries in a preventable Brownsville-area boating accident, then chances are you have the right to receive compensation from the at-fault party. The team at Kenny Perez Law knows how to secure compensation for boating accident victims like you.
Who can owe you compensation?
Anyone whose unreasonably dangerous decisions or actions led to the boating accident that injured you may owe you compensation under Texas law.
That might include, for example:
- Careless or reckless boaters whose wrongful conduct leads to a preventable accident.
- Boat charter or rental companies that fail to exercise reasonable safety precautions in operating, maintaining, or leasing vessels.
- Port or marina operators whose conduct at the water’s edge creates dangerous conditions for vessels operating in tight quarters.
- Vessel and marine product manufacturers that sell defective equipment that contributes to a boating accident.
Contact Kenny Perez and his team today to learn who might owe you damages for the harm you suffered in a Brownsville boating accident.
What compensation can you get?
Every Brownsville boating accident is different.
However, in most cases, the Kenny Perez Law team can seek compensation for boat accident victims that includes payment for:
- Medical expenses and other non-medical costs
- Lost wages from missing work while recovering from injuries
- Lost income when disabilities prevent you from returning to work
- Pain, suffering, and diminished quality of life
In cases where the actions causing a boating accident were especially extreme, Kenny may also secure payment of punitive damages on behalf of a client.
A Brownsville Boating Accident Lawyer Answers Your Questions
The Brownsville area is great for boating. The weather in our community lends itself to wonderful days on the water soaking in the sun and relaxation. However, as with all water-related activities, serious accidents are always possible.
Boating accidents can happen in a flash. Maybe the boat isn’t prepared for the chop or hasn’t been maintained well. Situations like these can turn a leisurely day on the water tragic. Texas is second only to Florida in annual boating accident deaths. While not every boating accident results in death, a boating accident can easily cause life-altering injuries.
Whether you have been injured working at the Brownsville Port or cruising out in Laguna Madre, boating accident injuries can be severe and it may take some time to get medical attention when an accident happens. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries on a boat anywhere around Brownsville, you may be entitled to compensation. Speak with an experienced boat accident attorney right away to find out your legal options. Below, we’ve answered some of the most common questions we get from injured boaters.
What can Kenny Perez Law do for me?
When a person suffers injuries in a boating accident, their life may change in a flash. Boating accident injuries are often traumatic and can result in serious, long-term medical issues. Getting the best medical treatment possible to help you recover will require a substantial sum of money.
Paying medical expenses, however, should be the last thing on your mind. Your only focus should be on your health and wellbeing. To achieve that goal, you need a skilled Brownsville boating accident lawyer at your side to help you figure out who is legally responsible for your injuries and then hold them accountable. By working to collect maximum compensation from the negligent party, your lawyer can help you focus on your recovery and not worry about paying your bills.
That’s what Kenny Perez Law does for boating accident injury victims. Raised in the area with a deep understanding of water safety, Kenny Perez makes it his mission to help his neighbors recover from their boating accident injuries by being the legal advocate they need.
Why do most boating injuries happen?
Alcohol—plain and simple. According to the BoatUS Foundation, about half of all boating accidents are caused by drugs or alcohol. It is legal to have a beer or cocktail while driving a recreational boat, but a boat driver can get arrested if they are too intoxicated. Getting to that level of intoxication is unsafe for the driver, their passengers, and other people on the water.
Intoxicated boaters rarely notice the details of their surroundings and can’t react quickly. Just like a person driving a car after having too many drinks, a boater who is driving after having too many drinks can cause tragic accidents.
Who is responsible for my injuries?
The exact cause of your injuries will require a detailed investigation into your boating accident.
But generally, there are a few common people who may be at fault, including:
- A boat operator, especially if they were drinking alcohol;
- Passengers who may have acted recklessly, causing the accident;
- The boat’s owner;
- The boat’s manufacturer, if a manufacturing defect caused the accident; and/or
- The company or person responsible for maintaining the boat.
Making this determination is key to collecting maximum compensation for your injuries. When you partner with a trusted Brownsville boating accident attorney, you gain access to their years of experience and their resources. These resources may include partnerships with boat accident reconstruction experts who can investigate on your behalf, looking for evidence to support your claim. Without a boat accident reconstruction expert, you can’t always determine the exact cause of your accident and injuries.
Do I have to file a claim soon?
Yes. Once you determine who caused your boating injuries, you want to file an insurance claim or lawsuit as quickly as possible. Every state has a limit on the amount of time you have to sue after suffering injuries. Texas law limits that time to just two years.
This might sound like a long time right now.
But consider all the hurdles and time-consuming issues you may face, including:
- Multiple medical procedures;
- Extended hospital stays;
- Long times out of work;
- In-facility rehabilitation; and/or
- In-home care.
Each of these hurdles will take your full attention and focus. To help you achieve your goal of making a full recovery, you need an aggressive legal advocate at your side, fighting to protect your rights. Without a knowledgeable Brownsville boating accident injury lawyer guiding you through the legal process, you risk missing out on your chance to recover every dollar you deserve.
Should I talk to the insurance adjuster?
Simply, no. When you get injured in a boating accident, you may get a phone call just days after your accident. This call may come from an insurance adjuster who represents the at-fault party. They may make you a quick settlement offer, giving you hope that you can put this part of the process behind you and focus on your physical health.
Ultimately, the insurance adjuster is looking to make you go away for as little money as possible. Their job is to settle your case quickly and cheaply. They do not want to pay the full value of your claim. An experienced lawyer can handle these negotiations on your behalf. Not only does your lawyer take this burden off your plate, they may also help increase your settlement, getting you more money so you can keep your focus on your physical recovery.
Do I really need a lawyer?
Yes. To make sure that you have legal representation with your best interests in mind, you deserve a Brownsville boating accident injury lawyer who has the experience and resources necessary to help you recover every dollar you deserve. Without a trusted legal advisor at your side, you may miss out on your chance to recover compensation for your injuries.
Contact a Brownsville Boating Accident Lawyer
Boating accidents cause serious injuries and senseless tragedies. They burden victims and their families with expenses they should not have to carry on their own. With the help of a skilled boating accident injury lawyer, they can often obtain financial compensation to support their physical and emotional recoveries.
Attorney Kenny Perez and his team of skilled legal professionals can help. We’re based in Brownsville and we understand the impact boating accidents can have on local families and communities. We fight to make sure our clients receive fair compensation so that they can move forward with their lives.
If a Brownsville boating accident injured you or a loved one, contact Kenny Perez Law online today or call us at (956) 544-9292 for a free consultation to learn about your rights and options for seeking compensation.
Kenny Perez Law
3505 Boca Chica Blvd Suite 151
Brownsville, TX 78521
“Definitely a law firm that you can trust! Professional, reasonable, and knowledgeable. The legal team has great customer service skills. They were able to help and guide us every step of the way after our accident.” – Cynthia Barrera
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