A day out on the lake in the state of Texas is supposed to be a carefree and relaxing affair. Unfortunately, for many, this recreational activity can become a nightmare if an accident occurs where someone is seriously injured.
Considering the countless variables involved in boating safety and understanding watercraft protocol, an accident can take place at any moment. This can be shown through the fact that in the past 5 years preceding 2010, there were nearly 900 serious injuries and over 250 fatalities.
With these extremely alarming statistics in mind, the chances of being a victim of another's negligence are rather high. Although it may seem that your options are limited in what you can do after a boating accident in which you were not at fault, working with a personal injury can open up possibilities you may have never considered, increasing the likelihood that you receive your just compensation for all that was lost following the accident.
Houston Boating Accident Attorney
Due to the fact that there are so many ways in which you can be injured while on a boat, knowing what to expect if this ever occurs, is vital in taking the most efficient course of action. Taking the necessary steps, with the advice and counsel of a qualified personal injury attorney, will increase the chances for you to receive compensation from the party responsible for your injuries.
A personal injury lawyer can take all the relevant factors into account and use their extensive knowledge of Texas laws to develop an effective argument that puts you in the most favorable light possible. They will use their legal insight to prove, with a preponderance of evidence, that you were not at fault and the other party is liable for the pain and suffering that was a result of their negligent actions.
Ben Bronston & Associates, Attorneys at Law, is a personal injury law firm with offices in both Houston and Louisiana that focuses on providing excellent client service, while making certain that your rights are protected and respected. They are well versed in the Texas legal system and will help you successfully navigate the lawsuit process and get your just compensation.
To schedule a free and confidential consultation to discuss the details of the accident and injuries involved, call (713) 225-5236 or send an online message today. Ben Bronston & Associates proudly represents individuals dealing with personal injuries stemming from a boating accident in and around the Texas counties of Harris, Fort Bend, Montgomery and Galveston.
Boating Accident Information Center
Boating Accident Causes and Injuries
There are many ways in which a boating accident can occur, along with many injuries that can be sustained due to these accidents. Some of the primary causes of boating accidents include:
- Boat drivers operating their vessel while intoxicated
- Boats traveling too close together
- Careless of reckless boating
- Operator inexperience
- Poor signage
- Distracted boaters
As for the injuries that could stem from a boating accident, some of the most common are:
- Head injuries
- Broken Bones
- Internal injuries
- Severed limbs
- Blunt force trauma
Boating Accident Pre-Lawsuit Process
The actual steps of the lawsuit process regarding accidents in the state of Texas is complex, yet relatively straight forward. The following are the two main steps to be completed before filing a lawsuit:
- Attorney Consultation - A competent attorney will provide a thorough explanation of your legal rights, help you sort through the information that will be important to your case, give you guidance as to what to expect from the process, and advise you what steps you should take to obtain the best possible outcome. In the initial consultation, the lawyer will also establish the terms of representation, including how a contingency fee agreement works.
- Defendant Negotiation - After getting the basic facts of your case in order, the lawyer will contact the defendant and their insurance company to put them on notice that you have retained counsel. In most cases, the personal injury attorney will also attempt to settle your case without the having to file a lawsuit in court. The decision whether to settle always belongs to the client. If a reasonable settlement can be obtained, the defendant or their insurance company will pay the agreed upon amount of money.
Boating Accident Lawsuit and Trial Process
The following steps map out the proper procedure for filing a lawsuit, along with what happens during a trial by jury:
- Initial Lawsuit Filing - If an acceptable settlement cannot be reached, the attorney will file a lawsuit with the court. The paperwork filed with the court, called the original petition, will contain the specific claims being made by the injured party.
- Written Discovery - Your attorney will send formal written discovery questions to the other party to find out the evidence of the defenses made by the defendant. These questions generally include requests for the defendant to produce documents they intend to use to support their defenses, and questions that require sworn narrative responses from the defendant about the case. The defendant will almost always send written discovery to the plaintiff as well. Both sides will also most likely order copies of the relevant medical records, medical billing records, as well as employment records and tax returns.
- Depositions - Usually after the written discovery process is complete, the defendant will subpoena the plaintiff for an oral deposition. In a deposition, the attorney for the defendant will ask the plaintiff questions relevant to the case. Typically, after the plaintiff’s deposition is taken, the attorneys on both sides will take additional depositions of important witnesses who may testify at the jury trial.
- Mediation - Many courts in Texas require parties to attend mediation to try and resolve the case prior to trial. A qualified mediator can facilitate an agreement between the parties. The mediation process is confidential, and the mediator may only report to the court whether the parties reached or did not reach a settlement. If an agreement cannot be made, the outstanding issues must be presented to the judge and jury at trial.
- Trial by Jury - When the parties are unable to reach an agreement at mediation, they must present their cases to the judge and jury. Trial is a formal proceeding where the parties present evidence, question witnesses, and ask the jury to make a ruling. After all evidence is presented, the judge will present the jury with questions to answer that will decide the case. The jury’s answers to the questions presented to them are called the jury’s verdict. The jury’s verdict will determine whether the defendant is to be held liable for the plaintiff’s injuries, and if so, the amount of money the defendant is to pay.
Ben Bronston & Associates, Attorneys at Law | Harris County Boating Accident Lawyer
Dealing with an accident that involves an injury is always going to be a difficult experience. Boating accidents, although less common than accidents involving other means of transportation, sometimes bring with them a much greater chance for injury or death.
With this in mind, if you have been involved in a boating accident where your were the victim of another individuals negligence, you should immediately find out what your options are to be compensated for the damage and injuries sustained. You should never be punished for being a helpless victim of another's bad decision making, but it happens all too often when they do not understand what to do if ever put in this stressful situation.
Working with a qualified and experienced criminal defense attorney will give you the greatest chance to come away from this experience with compensation that satisfactorily makes up for the pain and suffering that you have been going through.
Call (713) 225-5236 or send an online message to schedule a free and confidential consultation with the legal team at Ben Bronston & Associates today. The attorneys represent individuals throughout the I-10 corridor between Texas and Louisiana.