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Boating Accident Archives - The Law Office of WT Johnson Blog

Weather Plays a Big Role in Texas Boating Safety

By The Law Office of WT Johnson on July 6, 2015

Texas Weather Boat SafetyWhen heading out onto the water, you check your boat and your safety equipment. But do you keep any eye on the weather?

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and many experienced Texas boating accident attorneys, the weather can play a huge role in boating safety, and sudden storms or squalls can easily cause boating accidents. Read the rest »

Posted in: Boating Accident

Jet Ski/SeaDoo Accidents

By The Law Office of WT Johnson on July 1, 2014

Top 5 Causes of Boating AccidentsI’m sure I don’t have to remind you that it’s July in Texas! And of course, July in Texas means backyard cookouts with friends and family, pool parties and going to the lake! Why here in Dallas alone, we have Lake Ray Hubbard, Lake Lavon and Lake Lewisville, and all three are packed on hot summer days with boats and Jet Skis.

Today I want to talk about Jet Ski’s. Did you know that while Jet Skis only account for 10 percent of registered watercrafts in Texas, they are responsible for 40 percent of watercraft related accidents. Amazing.

Just a couple of weeks ago, I read a horrible story about a man being thrown onto the banks of Taylor’s Bayou in Jefferson County and he was killed instantly. Apparently, he was trying to make a turn at a high rate of speed and hit a tree right on the bank in a skid. Officer Stephen Satchfield commented that with Jet Skis it’s easy to forget the safety factor because they are so much fun.

Now, if you are out on the lake on a Jet Ski or other personal watercraft, remember to drive carefully and be mindful of your surroundings! I don’t want to read about another accident like this one.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a Jet Ski accident, why don’t you give our office a call at 800-738-4046 and tell me about it.

First Steps to Filing a Personal Injury Claim

By The Law Office of WT Johnson on May 15, 2014

5 Ways to Avoid a Car AccidentUnder the unfortunate circumstances that you are involved in an accident, due to the negligence of someone else, that causes injuries, you should seek legal advice. If you decide to file a personal injury lawsuit after an accident, it’s important to know what to expect from the process and how to prepare to make your claim.

Take Notes

After you’ve been involved in an accident, if possible, document the details of the accident. Make sure to include details of your injuries and how they’ve affected your everyday life. You most likely won’t be able to recall details of your accident months down the road. These notes will be very useful when putting together your personal injury claim. Read the rest »

Safety Tips for Boating Season

By The Law Office of WT Johnson on April 9, 2014

As the temperatures begin to climb, more and more people are making plans to head out on the water.  Texas is a vast land with many options for water recreation, whether it be in man made lakes or naturally occurring rivers.  If these plans involve the use of a motorized watercraft, maintaining safety while having fun is important to getting home safe and avoiding the risk of serious injury.

One of the most important things to do when participating in water sports and watercraft activities is to assure that you know how to operate and participate in such activities.  While boating and jetskis can be fun, they do require some basic knowledge of operations before getting behind them.  There are many companies that offer boat and jetski rentals near lakes around Texas.  These companies are licensed and required to give a quick course on operation before renting them out to anyone expected to use them.   jetski

Boating and Alcohol

It’s no secret that with fun in the sun mixed with cool bodies of water, there is likely to be alcohol consumption.  Remember that legal drinking age and restrictions still apply while boating, and operating a motorized watercraft under the influence is just as illegal as it would be in a car.  Anyone who is expected to be submerged in water, whether it is from swimming or tubing and water skiing, is advised to monitor their alcohol consumption to minimize the risk of an injury or accident.

Life vests and life preservation jackets are required for any boaters and passengers under the age of 14.  If a boat is going to be moving at fast speeds it is not suggested to let young children ride in the boat.  Should you be using a jetski or smaller, personal watercraft, be sure to fasten the safety “kill switch” cord in the event that you lose control.

Accidents On The Water

Sometimes boating accidents are not caused by any wrongdoings in your own craft, but rather the carelessness of another boater on the water.  If someone behind the wheel of a boater is negligent towards wakes that larger crafts are leaving or just operating their boat recklessly, it could result in a serious accident.  Every year in Texas dozens of boating collisions occur, some resulting in tragic deaths.

If you’ve been involved in a serious boating accident due to someone else’s mistake, you deserve just compensation for your hardships.  Contact The Law Offices of W.T. Johnson to get a free case evaluation today.

Posted in: Boating Accident

Avoiding Boating Accidents This Spring

By The Law Office of WT Johnson on February 14, 2014

Though going boating in the Texas heat is meant to be a fun, sun-filled occasion, boating accidents do happen and are rather common. Boating is a good time, but involves travelling at high speeds and it is sometimes harder to see around bends if you are boating on a lake or in a bay. 4 Ways to Prevent Boating AccidentsBoating accidents can occur between commercial and recreational boating vehicles, and all boating accidents should be taken very seriously. Serious injuries can occur in a boating accident. Drunk driving also occurs on the water and can be extremely dangerous for the surrounding boats and passengers as well as the boat being driven by the drunk driver. If there is an accident there are a few things to do immediately following.


What To Do In The Event Of A Boating Accident

  • If the boat did not sink, or start sinking, see if anyone involved in the accident requires first aid or medical attention. If the boat is sinking, make sure every passenger can get to a floatation device, if they were not wearing one prior to the accident.

  • If on the ocean, and no one was seriously injured on your boat, call the Coast Guard immediately. Tell the Coast Guard about the accident and alert them if anyone needs emergency or medical attention.

  • Try and help the other involved boat(s) if necessary and see if any of their passengers need medical or emergency attention.

  • Exchange information with the following: the driver(s) of the boat(s) involved, every passenger on the boat(s) involved, any eyewitnesses, exchange registration numbers for all boats involved, and exchange names of the insurance companies of all boats involved as well as their policy numbers and any other important information that you see fit.

  • After all passengers that require medical information are attended to and the area is safe, take photographs of all of the boats involved and all visible damage

  • If the accident occurs on a lake, creek, or any other non ocean body of water, the report should be made to Texas Parks and Wildlife.

Report The Accident Immediately If:

According to Texas Parks and Wildlife Codes, you have a while to report a boating accident, and can actually wait up to 30 days to report a boating accident. However, if the following occur during the accident, it must be reported immediately:

  • If any passenger on any boat involved dies in the accident, or within 48 hours of the accident

  • any passenger on any boat involved is injured beyond the help of a first aid kit

  • the damages to any vehicle involved exceed $2,000.00.

It does not matter who is at fault in the boating accident, it should always be reported, unless the damage is very minor.

If you have any questions regarding boating accident lawsuits or what your rights are in a boating accident, contact The Law Offices of W.T. Johnson, a personal injury firm located in Dallas, Texas. The attorneys at W.T. Johnson are experienced in boating accident cases and many other personal injury cases. Contact the office at (800) 738-4046 today!

Posted in: Boating Accident

4 Ways to Prevent Boating Accidents

By The Law Office of WT Johnson on July 25, 2013

Taking your boat out on the lake during a Texas summer day is the perfect way to relax with friends and family, but it can also be very dangerous.

In 2012, the U.S. Coast Guard counted 4,515 boating accidents that involved 651 deaths, 3,000 injuries and approximately $38 million dollars of damage to property because of recreational boating accidents. To help protect your loved ones, here are four tips on how to prevent boating accidents:

  • Wear a life jacket: According to the U.S. Coast Guard, almost 71 percent of all fatal boating accident victims drowned, and of those, almost 85 percent were not wearing a life jacket. Even if you know how to swim you should wear a life jacket because it can help keep you afloat if you are injured, too weak to swim or shocked by cold water.

  • Attend a boating safety course: Since operator errors account for 70 percent of boating accidents, it’s vital that anyone driving the boat has attended a boating safety course. The U.S. Coast Guard has a list of boating safety courses to choose from that teach aspects of boating safety such as boat handling, reading the weather and navigational skills.

  • Don’t drink and drive: One of the leading causes of deadly boating accidents is because of drinking and driving. It is illegal to operate a boat under the influence of alcohol in every state. Make sure there is always a designated driver on every boat you ride on.

  • Keep your boat maintained: Even if you are a safe driver, if your boat isn’t running well it can cause boating accidents. You can get a free vessel safety check done even in your own driveway to make sure your boat is running properly and is in compliance with all boating laws.

After doing all you can to prevent boating accidents, you can still become a victim of one due to the negligence of someone else. If you or a loved one were harmed in a Texas boating accident, you deserve compensation. Contact the experienced Texas boating accident attorneys at the Law Offices of W.T. Johnson today and set-up your free, no-obligation consultation.

Posted in: Boating Accident

Top 5 Causes of Boating Accidents

By The Law Office of WT Johnson on June 6, 2013

As summer begins, many more Dallas residents will be going to the lake and taking their boat out on the water. If you are headed to the lake this summer, it’s important to keep in mind these five causes of boating accidents to protect yourself from harm:

  • Operator Inexperience: One of the top causes of boating accidents is when the boat operator is inexperienced. It’s important for anyone who is going to be driving the boat to take a boating safety class to learn boating laws, how to man a boat during an emergency and how to avoid boating accidents.
  • Operator Inattention: The next biggest cause of boating accidents is when a boat driver isn’t paying attention and ends up running into another boat or someone in the water. It’s easy to lose focus on driving a boat when there is so much to enjoy or do on the water, but remember that after you stop driving you can take part in the fun too.
  • Alcohol: When you are out on the water, it’s easy to have a few drinks and not realize that your blood alcohol level might be over the legal limit. The same rules that apply to driving a car while intoxicated apply to driving a boat, so it’s important to always have a designated boat driver to protect your life and the lives of others.
  • Equipment Failure: It’s important to keep up with your boat maintenance since boat equipment problems and carbon monoxide poisoning are leading causes of boating accidents.
  • Reckless Behavior: Many boating accidents occur when passengers or drivers are acting reckless. You should always avoid:
    • allowing a passenger to ride on the bow, transom or gunwales of your boat while you are driving
    • intentionally splashing other boats
    • jumping a wake in the vicinity of another boat while on a boat

Boating accidents usually occur due to the negligence of someone else. If you or a loved one were the victim of a boating accident, you deserve compensation. Contact the Law Offices of W.T. Johnson today and set-up your free, no-obligation consultation.

Posted in: Boating Accident

5 Tips on How to Stay Safe While Boating

By The Law Office of WT Johnson on January 8, 2013

Taking the boat out on a beautiful day is a fun way to connect with family and friends, but it can also be dangerous. The U.S. Coast Guard states that in 2011 there were 4,588 boating accidents that involved 758 deaths. To keep you and your loved ones safe on the waterways, here are five U.S. Coast Guard safety tips to keep in mind:

1. Don’t drink and drive your boat.

Alcohol use is the leading contributing factor in boating fatalities. It is illegal in every state to drive a boat while under the influence of alcohol. As with driving, it is important to have a designated driver that will drive the boat and not drink.

2. Wear a life vest.

The U.S. Coast Guard estimates that life jackets could have saved the lives of over 80 percent of boating fatality victims. You never know when a boating accident may happen, how long you will be in the water, or how rough or cold the waters will be. Don’t just have your life vests on board, but ensure that everyone on board is wearing a life vest.

3. Take a boating safety course.

The majority of boating accidents occur because of operator failure. These courses will teach you the rules about how to safely operate and maintain your boat. Through this knowledge, you could protect your life and your loved ones lives.

4. Get a free vessel safety check.

This safety check is offered by the U.S. Coast Guard and can be performed in your driveway, in a slip or launch ramp by a certified vessel examiner. After you get your boat checked, you are given a VSC decal that tells law-enforcement agencies that your boat was found to be in full compliance with all boating laws.

5. Know the dangers of carbon monoxide.

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless, poisonous gas that is emitted by your boat engine and onboard motor generators. This gas can cause you to become sick in seconds and even lead to death. One way to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning is to maintain fresh air circulation throughout the boat at all times, and to run exhaust blowers whenever the generator is operating.

Boating accidents are common and can cause serious injuries or fatalities. If you or a loved one were the victim of a boating accident, you should contact the Law Office of W.T. Johnson. We will help you get the justice you are entitled to.

Posted in: Boating Accident

If you would like to discuss your claim with a member of our team, don’t hesitate to call us at (214) 231-0544. We’re ready to help you, and won’t rest until you receive the settlement you deserve.

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