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    Galveston, Texas Recreational Boating Accident Attorneys

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Date Modified: November 19, 2023

Are you suffering from serious injuries or the careless death of a loved one after a boating accident in the stunning waters off of Galveston, TX? Pretty much any injury lawyer can handle a car accident, but few understand the dynamics of winning a sailboat or waterskiing accident caused by a negligent party. Navigating the aftermath of an accident at sea can often be more daunting than the incident itself. You are not alone. At Ehline Law Firm Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC, you will find Galveston’s finest boating accident attorneys ready to provide a free consultation and guide any plaintiff and their families through the complex legal proceedings that could follow.

Hello, I am Texas personal injury attorney Michael Ehline. I used to live on a 37-foot cabin cruiser as a young man and am a very experienced recreational sailor and boater and as a boat accident lawyer. As a teen, I consistently spent each summer fishing off the pier and surfing. I also spent many summers motor boating on lakes, rivers, and the ocean. I have recovered over $150 million in verdicts and settlements for past clients. My law offices and I know how to gather evidence, negotiate, and win lawsuits to protect your legal rights.

The power of the lawyer is in the uncertainty of the law.
– Jeremy Bentham

We have specialized in boating accident cases since its establishment. With our focus on personal injury law, Ehlinee has acquired a wealth of knowledge and experience handling these cases.

Our law firm has an established, strong reputation in Galveston, TX, for its expertise in expertly handling sea disasters. Below, we will share some secrets that many boaters (private and commercial), captains, and crew don’t want their passengers and victims to know.

This information will help you understand your surroundings when at sea and how to evaluate sea safety like an experienced boating accident lawyer with thousands of cases under their belt.

Why choose Ehline Law Firm in Galveston? 

  • Extensive experience in maritime law.
  • Unmatched commitment to their clients.
  • Free consultation to get the ball rolling.
  • Strong reputation for getting clients the compensation they deserve.

Texans harbor a deep love for water activities from the Gulf of Mexico, Kemah Gulf Coast, and beyond, which is nothing short of a haven for locals. Whether you are in close proximity to the serene Llano River and the stunningly picturesque Texas Hill Country Lakes, sailing and engaging in waterfront recreation carries substantial responsibilities. Fortunately, the users of Texas’ diverse waterways, bays, and gulf areas are largely accountable and cautious. However, it’s undeniable that even the slightest hint of reckless piloting can lead to dire consequences.

Remember, your choice of legal representation plays a pivotal role in your recovery process. Make a decision that aligns with your best interests and trust the experts at Ehline Law Firm.

The law is reason, free from passion.
– Aristotle

Are there any upfront fees?

No. We receive payment only after the successful resolution of your case. Your focus should be on recovery, not on how you’re going to afford the legal help you need. We only get paid once you do. 

Why Operating on a Contingency Basis Works? 

The advantage of this method not only lies in its ease of access and in aligning our motivation with that of our clients.

Following this line of thought, our dedicated attorneys strive to ensure that you understand the entire legal process thoroughly, ensuring complete transparency at every stage of your compensation claim. 

Fees and Costs: The Fine Print 

The concept of a contingency fee does not mean that you will never have any out-of-pocket expenses. Costs associated with your case, such as filing fees, expert witness fees, and costs for obtaining medical records, are sometimes reimbursed by the client. However, these costs are usually deducted from the settlement or award at the end of the case. 

What Boat Accident Statistics Are Relevant?

Understanding boat accident statistics can be enlightening. This knowledge makes a world of difference and prepares one to take preventive measures when necessary. 

Recent Statistics on Boat Accidents 

The U.S. Coast Guard reported a whopping 4,168 incidents involving recreational vessels in the U.S. alone in 2019. Out of these, there were 613 fatalities, 2,559 injuries, and roughly $55 million in property damage. 

Now, let’s break this down to some specific statistics: 

Proven Track Record: What Past Clients Say on Yelp and Google about Ehline Law?

There is no better endorsement for the top-rated legal representation provided by Ehline Law Firm than the testimonials shared by our previous clients. Here are just a few tales of triumph that demonstrate our commitment to securing justice and compensation for all our clients. 

The Devastating Collision Case 

Client A had been enjoying a regular day on the water when a reckless boater collided with his vessel, resulting in severe injuries. Despite witness testimonies, the defendant refused to accept responsibility. That’s when Ehline Law Firm stepped in. 

We successfully argued the defendant’s negligence, documenting every shred of evidence from the scene of the mishap, coupled with expert testimonies. After relentless negotiations, Client A was awarded a $1.5 million settlement that covered medical expenses, lost earning capacity, and more importantly — justice was served. 

The Jet Ski Tragedy Case 

For Client B, a dream vacation quickly turned into a nightmare when a high-speed crash with a jet ski led to life-altering injuries. The rental company insisted on a lowball settlement, attempting to shirk responsibility for their insufficient safety measures and inadequate instructions. 

Harnessing our deep understanding of the maritime laws, we across examined the rental company’s safety protocols and exposed significant shortcomings. The result? An impressive $4 million settlement for Client B, ensuring her future medical care, lost income, and providing peace of mind in a time of turmoil. 

Remember, these stories represent just a fraction of the victories achieved by the Ehline Law Firm. If you’re facing the aftermath of a naval disaster — you’re not alone. We’re here, ready to navigate you through the legal process, fighting for the compensation that you rightfully deserve.

Ehline Law also handles cases involving personal watercraft accidents. Whether it’s a jet ski, wave runner, or other types of personal watercraft, their team has the knowledge and experience to handle these complex cases. Battle your way to justice with Ehline Law Firm, your finest ally in the turbulent waters of Galveston’s boating law.  

Galveston’s Boat Accident Laws: What You Need to Know

Understanding the maritime laws in Galveston that govern watercraft leisure activities and the repercussions of negligence leading to danger is essential.

We know the ropes of these regulations and are eager to help you navigate the turmoil of a watercraft collision, as follows: 

Texas Water Safety Act 

The Texas Water Safety Act sets rules for safe sailing and stipulates penalties for violations. The law includes important rulings like the obligation to assist anyone injured in a nautical incident you are involved in, and the necessity to file a report when property damage exceeds $2000, or when an injury or death occurs. Violating Texas Water Safety Act provisions could significantly impact your case if you’re brought into court. 

Boating While Intoxicated (BWI) Laws 

Boating While Intoxicated (BWI) is treated very seriously under Texas law, similar to driving a motor vehicle under the influence of a drug, or spirits. Penalties can range from large fines to incarceration. If your shipwreck was due to intoxication, an experienced attorney from Ehline Law Firm can guide you through the complex legal waters on the road towards the best possible outcome. 

Recreational Boating Safety Regulations 

We can’t stress it enough – adherence to these laws, such as wearing a life jacket, keeping safety devices handy, and following signage, can save lives. After a nautical incident, these regulations are carefully scrutinized. If there’s a failure to comply, it can impact the claim process and the compensation you may receive significantly. 

Remember, dealing with insurance companies following a seaborne disaster can often feel like navigating rough seas. At the Ehline Law Firm, we can serve as your skilled guide, ensuring you stay on course during the insurance claim process. Based in Houston, we can help you in all Texas state courts.

Comprehensive Review of Insurance Policies 

In this journey, your first port of call is understanding what your insurance policy entails. Knowing what is covered, any limitations and your rights is essential. This step is instrumental in determining your claim’s strength and potential value. 

Negotiating with Insurance Adjusters 

Negotiating with insurance adjusters is similar to facing off against a sudden squall on the water. These trained professionals are often adept at minimizing payouts. Our experienced attorneys have the knowledge to negotiate effectively, armed with a deep understanding of insurance laws and the detailed visualized evidence gathered from your case. 

Maximizing your Settlement 

You deserve adequate compensation for your losses – both physical and emotional. Our attorneys craft compelling arguments to maximize the settlement you receive. It’s less like hitting a windfall, and more like navigating to a designated point where justice is served and you receive your rightful due. 

Persistence and Perseverance 

In the throes of settling an insurance claim, it’s crucial not to accept the first offer you receive but to hold out for what’s right. Like the saltwater-sprayed mariner who persists amidst the storm, our attorneys stay the course, ensuring that your rights are upheld and pushing for the compensation you deserve. 

In summary, navigating insurance claims can be a challenging ordeal. Reach out today, and let’s set sail towards fair compensation.

The Ehline Law Advantage 

In addition to the wide-ranging legal expertise, what truly sets Ehline Law Firm apart is our dedication to our clients. We believe in fighting relentlessly for our client’s rights and helping them reclaim their lives after personal injury events. Trust us for personalized and professional legal support at every step of your journey to recovery.

The power of the lawyer is in the uncertainty of the law.
– Jeremy Bentham.

What is the process for filing a boating accident claim with Ehline Law Firm?

Engaging the services of Ehline Law Firm for your boating accident claim is straightforward and easy. The following steps are involved: 

Initial Communication and Case Intake 

Your journey with us starts with you reaching out to us via phone call, email, or in-person visit to our law office. We will listen attentively to your case details, capturing all necessary information. 

Free Consultation 

Next, we provide a free, no-obligation consultation to assess your case’s viability. We provide you with an honest assessment, ensuring you understand all your legal options. 

Document Compilation 

After the consultation and once you decide to

proceed with Ehline Law Firm, the next stage is a detailed investigation of your case. Our adept team of lawyers begins by gathering all the necessary documentation for your incident. This comprehensive documentation might include police reports, medical records, and witness testimonies. 

In-Depth Investigation 

Following the documentation, an in-depth investigation is carried out for your case. During this crucial phase, we dive deep into the details of the accident. Our attorneys leverage their extensive experience and apply innovative legal strategies to scrutinize every piece of evidence. This in-depth investigation enables us to create a compelling case for you. We leave no stone unturned when defending your rights and pursuing your compensation. 

Claim Filing 

Armed with substantial and convincing information, we then file your claim. This process involves drafting and submitting a legal document, termed a ‘complaint’ to initiate the lawsuit. The complaint outlines the negligence of the defendant and the compensation you are seeking. Meanwhile, you can focus on your recovery and we ensure the legal process progresses smoothly. 

Legal Negotiations 

Once the claim is filed, we engage in negotiations with the defendant’s insurance company. Our team of shrewd negotiators strives to obtain the maximum compensation for your losses. While we prepare each case as if it’s headed for trial, a majority of boating accident cases can be settled outside of court. 

Preparing for Trial 

We will prepare for trial if negotiations don’t result in a satisfactory settlement. Our trial-ready approach ensures that we remain always ready to fight in court to achieve justice for our clients. Our seasoned litigators are adept at illustrating the devastating impact of the boating accident on your life, elucidating your struggles, and presenting your case in the most persuasive manner possible. At Ehline Law Firm, we are committed towards securing just retribution and fair financial compensation for our clients.

To learn more about how we can help you to hold the responsible parties accountable in your boating accident case, reach out to Ehline Law Firm for your free consultation.

Common Causes of Negligent Recreational Boating Accidents in Texas?

Boat recreation is a popular pastime in Galveston, but it has risks. Understanding the common causes of boating accidents might equip you with the knowledge to avoid damages.

Here are some common factors that contribute to boating accidents in the state:


Operating a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs is not only illegal, but it’s also dangerous. Similar to drunk driving, drunken pleasure trips have led to tragic harm, which is preventable by simply designating a qualified, sober operator. 

Speeding and Reckless Boat Operation

This includes speeding, abrupt turns, or overcrowding the boat, all of which can throw you into a hard object, or overboard, forcing you to swim for your life.

Remember that boats don’t have brakes like cars, making it difficult to stop quickly if necessary. Always be mindful of your speed, especially in congested areas.

Lack of Necessary Safety Equipment

The boat owner must provide adequate safety equipment onboard. When they fail to meet this responsibility, any resultant harm becomes a case of negligence.

Equipment Failure 

Just like cars, boats require proper maintenance to operate smoothly. Regular checks for any equipment malfunctions can minimize the risks of a sudden mechanical failure while on the water. 

Weather and Water Conditions 

Unexpected weather changes and harsh water conditions contribute to many nautical collisions. Always check the weather forecast before venturing out, and be prepared to adjust your plans if necessary. 

While our team at Ehline Law Firm is ready to provide top-tier legal representation if you find yourself seriously injured, we fervently believe in the importance of prevention. We hope these insights encourage you to take the necessary precautions while enjoying the waters around Galveston.

Overcrowding and Overloading 

Many people fail to consider the vessel’s capacity when loading equipment or inviting a large group of people. An overcrowded or overloaded boat can become unstable and susceptible to capsizing, leading to potential injuries and even loss of life. 

Navigation Rules Violations 

Just like on the road, there are also rules on the water. Some recreational boaters might not be aware of or choose to ignore these rules, leading to serious injury or a wrongful death. The rules include maintaining a safe speed, avoiding collision, and understanding navigational lights and markers. 

Poor Vessel Maintenance 

If a boat owner fails to maintain their vessel properly, resulting in mechanical failures that cause a riding incident, it can be a case of negligence. A well-maintained boat is less likely to be entangled in an aquatic emergency. Regular upkeep is crucial, including checking the condition of the hull, ensuring the engine is in good working order, and verifying that all life jackets and safety equipment are functional. 

Distracted Nautical Recreation

The beauty of the waters can be distracting, leading to a situation where the operator’s attention strays from the course, and carelessness is the outcome. Just like driving, operating a boat requires your full attention. Inexperienced or distracted operators could easily cause a sinking and drowning. A boater’s education course might help you enhance your marine skills and awareness.

Failures in Communication 

On the water, boaters must communicate with other vessels to avoid dangerous circumstances. Being able to use a marine radio and understanding maritime protocols are critical skills for every boat operator. 

Collisions with Another Vessel 

Recreational boating accidents often involve colliding with another vessel on the water. These tragic outings can be attributed to inattention, speeding, or substance abuse, and can cause serious injury or even death to passengers and operators on other boats. 

Understanding what constitutes negligence in a watercraft mishap case is imperative. Contact us to learn more about your rights to compensation by phoning (833) LETS-SUE.

Common Results of Leisure Boating Accidents

Apart from the mysterious disappearances and fun-for-the-moment escapades, nautical collisions can lead to serious consequences.

Here are some common results of recreational naval disaster: 


Overloading or improper balancing can cause your boat to roll over, throwing passengers abruptly into the water. Often, this results in traumatic injuries and potential death from drowning. 


In addition to collisions, Ehline Law Firm Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC also specializes in cases involving capsizing or sinking of boats.

Slip and Falls 

Boat decks are often slippery due to the splashing water, causing risks of slip and fall injuries. The impact of a fall on a hard deck surface can lead to sprains, fractures, or concussions. 

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning 

Gasoline-powered boats can generate carbon monoxide. In small, enclosed areas of the vessel, this could lead to carbon monoxide poisoning, causing symptoms that range from headaches and nausea to unconsciousness and death. 

Propeller Entanglements

Boaters can be severely injured by being struck by the boat’s propeller. These tragedies often result in severe lacerations, bone fractures, or the loss of a limb. 

Any boat accident can significantly alter your life physically, emotionally, and financially. Understanding your rights and ensuring that you have an experienced boating accident attorney like Ehline Law Firm to fight for you is essential.

Typical Defendants in a Recreational Boating Injury Case?

A pleasure boating accident such as a yacht, or speedboat, can involve various possible defendants, and identifying the correct parties to the lawsuit is critical to your claim’s success.

Boat Operators and Owners 

Frequently, boat operators and owners are the primary defendants in boating accidents. Negligence, recklessness, or violation of seafarer safety measures on their part can lead to severe catastrophes. If the owner knowingly allowed an unfit or untrained driver to operate the boat, they too can be held liable for the accident. 

Boat Manufacturing Companies 

If a manufacturing defect in the boat component contributed to the accident, the boat’s manufacturer could be held accountable. These cases often involve complex product liability laws; having an experienced injury attorney by your side can be invaluable. 

Boat Rental Companies 

The rental company may also be a potential defendant when accidents involve rented boats. For example, if they failed to provide appropriate safety equipment or proper instruction to the renters, their negligence could be held responsible. 

Other Boaters 

Often, the carelessness or negligence of other boaters can lead to collisions or other accidents. If another boater’s actions caused or contributed to your accident, they could be defendants in your case. 

These are just examples of potential defendants in a recreational boat crash. Every case is unique, and determining the liable parties involves careful consideration and investigation.

Compensation for Your Injuries

When you’ve suffered injuries at sea, navigating the complex web of legal processes can be overwhelming.

We specialize in seeking justice for you and have made this possible for numerous clients. 

  • Medical Bills: We prioritize getting you compensation to cover all your current and future medical expenses resulting from the accident.
  • Lost Wages: Lost your ability to work temporarily or permanently due to your injuries? We strive to recoup the income you’ve lost and might lose in the future.
  • Pain and Suffering: While no monetary value can be attributed to your physical and mental distress, we believe in garnering generous compensation to ease your emotional burden. If we can’t settle, we discuss it with the jury and let them determine who’s liable and for how much.
  • Property Damage: Any damage to your boat or other personal items in the mishap? If so, you’re eligible for compensation if you win on liability.

Free Consultation With a Boating Accident Attorney at Ehline Law Firm

After attending to the immediate needs, speaking with a professional boating accident attorney is essential. Given the complexities involved in marine laws, having an experienced representative like Ehline Law Firm’s attorneys by your side can help you easily navigate the legal maze when you contact us. Remember, it’s not just about the immediate aftermath but the prolonged impact of a boating accident that could turn your life topsy-turvy. At Ehline Law Firm, we understand the estate of the situation and strive to ensure you receive the justice and the compensation you deserve.

When you find yourself entwined in a boating accident case, reaching out to an attorney should be your top priority. But you might ask, “What about the cost?” Here at Ehline Law Firm, you need not worry about the legal fees before starting the process. We truly believe in our motto of ‘Justice for All,’ to make that a reality, we offer free consultations to visitors and locals injured in boating accidents seeking our assistance. Contact a superior Galveston, Texas boater injury lawyer today, 24/7 using our convenient website form or phone (833) LETS-SUE to speak with us right away. We have the resources to make the at-fault party pay the plaintiff, or we will take no fee!

The clearest way to show what the rule of law means to us in everyday life is to recall what has happened when there is no rule of law.
– Dwight D. Eisenhower

Michael Ehline is an inactive U.S. Marine and world-famous legal historian. Michael helped draft the Cruise Ship Safety Act and has won some of U.S. history’s largest motorcycle accident settlements. Together with his legal team, Michael and the Ehline Law Firm collect damages on behalf of clients.
Animation of injury lawyer, Michael Ehline Animation of injury lawyer, Michael Ehline

Michael Ehline

Top Injury lawyer, Michael Ehline, Esq.
We pride ourselves on being available to answer your most pressing and difficult questions 24/7. We are proud sponsors of the Paul Ehline Memorial Motorcycle Ride and a Service Disabled Veteran Operated Business. (SDVOB.) We are ready to fight.