What Does Texas Law Require after a Marine Mishap?
The Lone Star State is consistently among the top five states for watercraft-related accidents, reporting 55 boating accident fatalities in 2020 and thousands of boating accidents. Texas officials say that the use of boats on Texas has exploded as the state returns from COVID, too, with accidents, injuries and fatalities all escalating significantly.
When you have been involved in any type of boating accident in Texas, you must, by law, take certain steps, including immediately stopping and rendering reasonable aid to anyone else involved in the crash. You must also report certain types of boating accidents to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD).
What Are the Laws Governing the Reporting of a Boating Accident in Texas?
Under Section 31.104 of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code, the operator of any vessel involved in an accident, collision or casualty must report the event to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department within 30 days, provided certain conditions are met:
- The event resulted in the death of another person
- Another person is missing because of the accident
- The accident caused injury to another person that required more than basic first aid
- The accident caused another person to sustain property damage or loss of $2,000 or more
The report (PWD Form 1300-L2000) provided to the TPWD must include a full description of what happened, including:
- The date and time of the accident
- The body of water where the accident occurred
- The nearest city or town to the accident
- The weather conditions at the time of the accident, including observations about water conditions, temperatures, wind and visibility
- The extent to which the weather conditions conformed to weather forecasts
- Any other factors relevant to the accident, such as the use or presence of alcohol, the congestion of watercraft at the time of the accident, and the relative experience of the operator (among a range of other factors)
The report allows for the operator to provide a brief narrative of events and also includes a section for identifying any law enforcement officers called to the scene.
What Are the Potential Penalties for Failing to Report a Boating Accident?
Failing to report a boating accident as required can be prosecuted as a felony, should the accident involve death or serious injury. Conviction may lead to fines of $2,000 to $10,000, and potential incarceration of anywhere from two to ten years.
Let the Personal Injury Attorneys at Bailey & Galyen Help You after a Boating Accident
At the law offices of Bailey & Galyen, we bring more than four decades of proven experience to people across the Lone Star State who have been hurt in any type of accident on the states lakes, rivers and waterways. We know the potential injuries suffered in boating accidents and can help you pursue full and fair compensation for all your losses. Contact us by e-mail or 844-402-2992 call our offices at one of the convenient locations listed below. Our phones are answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week.