BUI Injury Lawyers in Austin
Because Texas has more square miles of inland water than any other state, accidents on the water are not uncommon. What is one risk factor that increases the chance of a boating accident? Boating under the influence. One source pointed out that, “When you combine alcohol with a day of absorbing solar rays and exhaustion, boating drunk can quickly become disastrous. Many waterways are filled with traffic and boats are getting bigger and bigger while personal watercraft remains smaller. Imagine what a drunk driver in an 18-wheeler would do to a motorcyclist on the road; boating drunk when captaining a large vessel can have similar results for a Jetski user.”
In 2010, 300 people were arrested in Texas for boating under the influence. Like on the road, a person is not allowed to operate a boat if his/her blood alcohol content level is 0.08 or higher. Also, it is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to be operating a boat with any trace of alcohol or drugs in his/her system.
Boating Under the Influence is Against the Law
According to Texas law, “It is unlawful to operate [a vehicle] while intoxicated.” When an individual breaks this law, he/she can face a fine up to $2,000, a jail sentence up to 180 days or worse penalties if it is a subsequent offense. Alcohol causes individuals to lose their coordination, feel confused, have impaired vision and it also interferes with their equilibrium and sense of direction which gives them a significantly slower reaction time- all of which can be very dangerous if a person is operating a boat. The following capacities can also be impaired by drinking and boating:
- Peripheral vision
- Nigh Vision
- Ability to distinguish colors
- Cognitive abilities
It is reported by the Boating Accident Report Database that there were 758 boating fatalities in 2002 and 2,181 non-fatal, hospital admitted boating injuries. It is estimated that there were 30,000 non-fatal and non-admitted boating injuries in 2002.
Between 2002-2003 at 23% of fatalities and 9% of non-fatal injuries were due to accidents where alcohol or drugs were a contributing factor. The U.S. Coast Guard estimated that someone with a blood alcohol content level of 0.10 or greater is more than ten times more likely to be involved in a fatal boating crash. Current statistics seem to indicate that BUI is responsible for 34% of fatal boat accidents every year. When a boat operator is drunk, it is more likely that he/she will be inattentive, use excessive speed, fail to yield and lose control of the wheel.
BUI injuries can sometimes be worse than DUI injuries, where at least signage, lights and lanes come into play. In the words of the U.S. Coast Guard, “Alcohol is more hazardous on water than on land.” Common boating injuries include:
- Hypothermia- if you were thrown from your water craft
- Head injuries
- Back and neck injuries
- Injuries requiring amputations
- Permanent disability
When you sustain a serious injury, as the result of another party’s negligence, you incur expenses such as hospital visits, medical bills and physical therapy. Besides the physical pain you face- you also experience loss of wages and also tend to be more anxious or depressed. These are called “damages” and if you can prove that another person’s breach of care resulted in the injuries you sustained, you could be eligible to receive compensation.
After being involved in a BUI accident, you should take pictures of your injuries, of the boats involved or anything that could help your claim in court. The next important thing you should do is contact an Austin boat accident lawyer from Zinda Law Group who can help you file your claim and fight for the damages you deserve. Our boat accident lawyers in Austin works on a contingency basis- so if you don’t recover any money, neither do we. What are you waiting for? Give our firm a call today to speak with a Personal Injury Lawyer!