Wrongful Death in Boating and Recreational Accidents
Boating and other activities on the water are generally intended for fun and recreation and an opportunity to relax. Tragically, these activities can sometimes end in fatal boating or recreational accidents. When someone else’s negligence causes the death of a person on the water, it can give rise to a wrongful death claim. Although no amount of money can ever compensate you for the loss of a loved one, a wrongful death claim is a legal way to seek justice for your loved one and compensation for your family’s future.
What Are the Causes of Fatal Boating and Recreational Accidents?
Various risk factors are associated with fatal recreational boating accidents. In a recent year, 4,040 U.S. recreational boating accidents caused 636 deaths and 2,222 injuries, as stated by the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG). Where the cause of death was known, 75% of fatal boating accident victims drowned, 85% of whom were not wearing life jackets. The top five accident types were:
- Collisions with recreational vessels
- Collisions with fixed objects
- Flooding or swamping
- Falls overboard
The leading known contributing factor to fatal accidents was alcohol use. Other top contributing factors to boating accidents and deaths included:
- Lack of safety training for boat operators
- Operator inattention or improper lookout
- Operator inexperience
- Excessive speed
- Navigations rules violations
- Machinery failure
- Lack of safety equipment on board
Negligence plays a role in many fatal boating accidents. A negligent boat operator or another party who caused the death of a person in a boating or recreational accident may be held liable for wrongful death.
What Are the Legal Aspects of Wrongful Death Claims?
To prevail in a wrongful death claim for a fatal boating accident, you must prove the defendant was negligent and caused the death of your loved one. Negligence could occur in many forms, such as operating a vessel under the influence of alcohol, speeding or reckless engagement, or operating a vessel in a distracted, inattentive, or careless manner. Our experienced wrongful death attorneys can investigate your loved one’s fatal accident to determine fault and liability, secure evidence to support your claim, and build a strong case based on the facts.
What Types of Compensation Are Available in Wrongful Death Cases?
When wrongful death occurs, surviving family members of the deceased victim may be entitled to recover compensation from the responsible party. Common damages in Texas wrongful death claims include:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Medical expenses related to the last injury or illness of the deceased
- Physical pain and suffering the deceased experienced before death
- Loss of household income the deceased would have earned
- Loss of benefits the deceased would have provided
- Loss of inheritance
- Loss of services, support, maintenance, and advice previously provided by the deceased
- Loss of companionship, comfort, guidance, love, and consortium
In some cases, in addition to compensatory damages, punitive damages may be available. These damages are intended to punish the defendant for wrongdoing and to deter similar actions in the future.
The Importance of Legal Representation
If someone caused the death of your loved one through negligence or wrongdoing, it is important to hold the at-fault party accountable. Wrongful death cases can be complex matters involving investigations, evidence gathering, and expert witness testimony. Your best chance of prevailing in a wrongful death claim is to have an experienced injury attorney handling your case.
We’re Here to Stand by Your Side
At The Lenahan Law Firm, our Dallas wrongful death lawyers can take care of the details while you focus on recovering from the loss of your loved one. We are fierce litigators and compassionate listeners, ready to fight for justice on behalf of you and your loved one.
Contact us at (214) 295-1008. We have a reputation for excellence and a history of success.