Dangers of Maritime Collisions

Photo of Jay Jackson

Maritime collisions can produce substantial property damage as well as injuries, and even death. Often, we think of such crashes in the context of commercial shipping. But, yesterday, a grand jury did not issue any indictments in a boating collision that involved pleasure craft.

The incident occurred after dark on July 1, 2014. A bass boat participating in a tournament struck a pleasure boat on Lake Conroe: tragically, a 9 year old boy died, along with his mother and her sister. The grand jury apparently determined that the evidence was insufficient to demonstrate that criminal negligence contributed to the collision. In particular, there were no reports that intoxication caused it.

Pleasure boating can provide an enjoyable outing. But those involved must maintain care. In the fatal collision on Lake Conroe, investigators considered whether speed and lighting, or lack of it, caused the crash.

Alcohol is an obvious danger than can lead to death both on the water and off of it. Earlier this year, the Texas Supreme Court exonerated a company when one of its guests allegedly got drunk on a fishing trip, and then, when driving back to Houston, crossed the centerline and severely injured two people on a motorcycle. While maritime law usually governs watercraft and damages that stem from their use, in that case the Court ruled that maritime law did not apply. The effect was to allow the company to escape responsibility, because, in nearly every situation, decisions by the Texas Supreme Court and the Legislature will not impose "social host" liability when someone provides intoxicants that cause injuries. Thus, when one operating a fishing boat provides alcohol, allows his guest to get drunk and then drive, which leads to a horrible crash, the person providing the alcohol will typically not be held responsible for his actions. Observers naturally wonder how our state can improve safety when those who do not maintain it are not held responsible for their conduct.

If you or someone you know has been injured or killed in a boating accident, contact an attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Friend by calling 713-222-7211 or 1-800-870-9584.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Awards & Recognition

  • 2016-2017 Equal Access to Justice Champion

    The Equal Access to Justice Champions Program was started by the Houston Bar Association in 2006, to help ensure placement of Houston Volunteer Lawyers cases with pro bono volunteers. Originally, firms were tiered according to size, and firms within each tier committed to accept a certain number of pro bono cases from HVL each year for five years.

  • The National Trial Lawyers | Top 100 Trial Lawyers

    The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 is an invitation-only organization composed of the premier trial lawyers from each state or region who meet stringent qualifications as civil plaintiff and/or criminal defense trial lawyers. Selection is based on a thorough multi-phase objective and uniformly applied process which includes peer nominations combined with third-party research.

  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum

    Established in 1993, the Million Dollar Advocates Forum (which includes the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum) is one of the most prestigious groups of trial lawyers in the United States. Membership is limited to attorneys who have won million and multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements. There are over 4000 members throughout the country. Fewer than 1% of U.S. lawyers are members.

  • Recognized by Best Lawyers America | Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Aziz | 2017

    Recognition by Best Lawyers is based entirely on peer review. Their methodology is designed to capture, as accurately as possible, the consensus opinion of leading lawyers about the professional abilities of their colleagues within the same geographical area and legal practice area.

  • Lead Counsel Rated

    In order to earn the Lead Counsel Rating, an attorney must not only demonstrate significant legal experience, but must also receive multiple peer recommendations advocating his or her ability. This is a key component in the screening process.

  • Texas Super Lawyers | Texas Monthly

    Each year, Super Lawyers recognizes the top lawyers in Texas via a patented multiphase selection process involving peer nomination, independent research and peer evaluation. The Texas lawyers who receive the highest point totals during this selection process are further recognized in Texas Super Lawyers Top Lists.

Get Your Free Case Review 713.587.9668

Let Us Help You Today! Request a Free Consultation

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

  • $50+ Million Personal Injury Fire and Explosion

    The firm successfully represented nearly 100 victims who suffered personal injuries and damages to property from a large fire and explosion resulting in a settlement of more than $50 million. The firm served as lead lawyers on the steering committee in this litigation.

  • $80 Million Personal Injury Large Plant Explosion

    The firm successfully represented 270 plaintiffs', taking a lead role in the plaintiffs' steering committee, who suffered injuries in a large plant explosion resulting in a settlement of nearly $80 million.

  • $50+ Million Personal Injury Plant Fire and Explosion

    The firm successfully represented 45 personal injury victims in a plant fire and explosion, serving on the plaintiffs' steering committee, concluding with a settlement of more than $50 million.

  • $22+ Million Personal Injury Work Site Accident

    The firm prevailed in a personal injury trial for a worksite injury client with the jury returning a verdict and resulting in a judgment of over $22 million for the firm's client.

  • $12 Million Auto Accident 18-Wheeler Collision

    The firm successfully achieved a $12 million settlement for the family of a man who died in an 18 wheeler collision.

  • $30 Million Personal Injury Burn Victims

    The firm prevailed on behalf of three burn victims with settlements totaling nearly $30 million.

Our Record Of Success.

When you are hurt and you choose a law firm to represent you in court or at the negotiation table, you need to carefully consider the firm's record.

More Success Stories