Oklahoma City Boating Accident Injury Lawyer

With so many beautiful lakes around Oklahoma City, it’s always pleasant to spend a lazy afternoon boating or fishing with friends and family.  Whether you choose a quick outing around Lake Overholser, or spend the day on the pristine surface at Thunderbird State Park, each trip will leave you wondering why you don’t get on the water more often to escape from the city life.

A boating accident might change your mind, though.  Colliding with an inattentive or intoxicated boater will not only cause damage to your precious watercraft, it may also leave you with lasting physical harm that changes your entire way of life.  If you have been injured an accident on the water, let one of our boating accident attorneys help you recover the damages you deserve.  We will keep your information completely private, and you will not be charged any fees for your initial consultation.

To start discussing your case in a free, confidential legal consultation, call the law offices of Hasbrook & Hasbrook right away at (405) 698-3040.  We will listen to your account of what happened, answer all your legal questions, and explain your rights as an injury victim under Oklahoma’s laws.

Negligent and Intoxicated Boaters Cause Lake Collisions

The dangers of driving on the highway sometimes pale in comparison to the dangers faced by boaters. Many boat drivers choose to disobey rules and consume alcohol when behind the wheel, without thinking of the consequences.  

Many boat drivers choose to disobey rules and consume alcohol when behind the wheel, without thinking of the consequences.

To make matters even more dangerous, licensed boat drivers will often relinquish the wheel to inexperienced friends or even children, assuming that nothing could go wrong in this seemingly innocuous situation.  Unfortunately, these are the actions that often lead to catastrophic boat accidents between two watercraft.  

While drinking and boating are always a bad mix, this isn’t the only scenario which can lead to injurious or even fatal accidents on the water.  Other common causes of watercraft collisions and falls overboard can include:

  • Boat operators who are fatigued or distracted.
  • Boat operators who are too inexperienced for the unique demands of that particular watercraft or body of water.
  • Speeding on the water.
  • Using improper maneuvers for the weather conditions (e.g. going too fast in thick fog).
  • Lack of a lookout watching for other watercraft.

In other cases, it’s not the operator who’s to blame – it’s their craft’s manufacturer or boat mechanic.  Like any other type of vehicle, boats and watercraft need periodic maintenance and repairs, and must be designed and assembled correctly in order to work properly.  If a manufacturer uses faulty or defective parts or materials, or if a boat mechanic negligently fails to notice and correct a mechanical defect, even cautious and responsible operators can find themselves involved in serious water accidents.

Drowning Statistics and Water Injuries

As anyone who has ever belly-flopped into a swimming pool can tell you, water isn’t as soft as it looks.  Not only can a high-speed impact with the choppy surface of a lake or river be incredibly painful, it can also result in broken bones and joint dislocations.  When occupants are thrown from their boats while traveling at high speeds, these types of injuries can easily occur, particularly when victims strike rocks, branches, or other debris hidden under the water.

However, bone fractures and dislocated joints aren’t the only perils accident victims are at risk for. When two boats collide, operators and passengers can be injured as they are knocked down, struck by flying objects, or crash into one another.  

nearly three quarters of all people involved in boat crashes in 2007 drowned.

Drowning is another major hazard.  According to CDC data, in 2007 approximately 43% of all drowning cases occurred in natural water settings, such as oceans, lakes, rivers, ponds, and creeks.  Boating accidents were specifically responsible for another 9% of all drownings, which means people are statistically more likely to drown in natural bodies of water than in their own swimming pools.  The CDC also cites United States Coast Guard statistics to report that nearly three quarters of all people involved in boat crashes in 2007 drowned.  

Even when victims are rescued and drowning is not fatal, submersion injury victims can still suffer from serious medical complications if they are submerged underwater for prolonged periods of time.  The longer a person is trapped underwater, the longer their brain is deprived of oxygen, which can lead to neural damage and traumatic brain injury (TBI).  In water that is colder than 70 degrees Fahrenheit, hypothermia is also a major risk.

Call Our Oklahoma City Boating Accident Attorneys

Unlike with accidents on the road, it is uncommon for there to be witnesses to a boat wreck, due to the typical lack of traffic on the water.  Because of this, it can be very difficult for you to singlehandedly show compelling proof that it wasn’t your fault – especially when you are already trying to recuperate from debilitating injuries and emotional trauma.

Let us help you so that you can get the rest you need.  Our personal injury lawyers have extensive experience in this area, and know exactly what to look for when working to secure the damages you need to cover anything from prescription medications to lost wages.  

Whenever you’re ready to talk about what happened, we’ll be here to listen and guide you with the legal support you need.  To schedule your free, completely confidential case evaluation, call the law offices of Hasbrook & Hasbrook today at (405) 698-3040.