Texas has more inland waterways than any other state, and many people choose to enjoy them by spending time out on their boats. Often, relaxing and recreation on a boat may involve alcohol. Boaters must be aware, though, that DWI laws exist for boats just the same as they do for automobiles.
In the state of Texas, DWI laws include statutes that make boating under the influence, also known as BUI, a criminal offense. Because boats are typically associated with recreation, the law and law enforcement are keen to crack down on intoxicated boating. In fact, boating under the influence causes approximately 34% of all fatal boating accidents each year, which is why enforcing these laws has become a priority
BUI laws exist to help ensure the safety of everyone out on the water, and they can subject offenders to serious criminal penalties. However, they do not provide the type of compensation victims need to cover what can be extensive damages, including medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages. To recover these damages, victims must assert their rights in the civil justice system, and pursue personal injury cases against intoxicated boaters who caused them harm.
What are Your Rights as a BUI Victim?
If you are a victim of a BUI accident, it is important to understand your rights and legal options. You may be entitled to sue for compensation from an at-fault party if you have suffered injuries that include:
- Near drowning
- Head, neck, and/or back injuries
- Permanent disability
This compensation can be used to cover medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and more. You may even be able to sue for punitive damages beyond what you would receive for simple compensation, provided that the accident involved egregious acts of negligence or wrongful conduct. With the help of a lawyer, you may also be able to collect from their insurance company.
After an accident, it is important to document as much evidence as possible that can be used in your case. Take pictures of where the accident occurred, what property damages or injuries resulted, and what water conditions looked like. Remember not to give any statements to anyone, especially insurance companies, as they may use your words to attempt to avoid a payout. After receiving the medical care you need, contact a Texas personal injury attorney from The Daspit Law Firm as soon as possible. Together, you can begin working toward holding whoever caused your accident responsible for their negligence.
To find out how we can help your case, contact The Daspit Law Firm today.