Boating Accident Lawsuits in Missouri

If you have been injured in a boating accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Our personal injury attorneys understand the specifics regarding boating accidents and maritime law.

Boating accidents often result in catastrophic injuries that require emergency care. There are many factors that can lead to boat accidents, mainly due to negligent or reckless behavior such as operating while intoxicated, speeding, and not paying attention.

Krupp Law Firm handles both personal injury and maritime claims, and we will use our 30+ years of experience to determine the laws, statutes, theories, and jurisdictions applicable to your boat accident claim.

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When You Should Hire a Missouri Boating Accident Attorney.

If you were injured in a boating accident, you should consult an attorney at Krupp Law Firm as soon as possible.

It is very important to act quickly. Evidence that can be critical to building a strong lawsuit could be destroyed within just a few day's time.

There are deadlines that must be met when filing a personal injury lawsuit. If you miss certain deadlines your case can be dismissed by the court.

Missouri Boat Accident Lawyer: What Do They Do?

Krupp Law Firm has 30 years of experience with personal injury lawsuits. They will use this experience to determine the laws, statutes, theories, and jurisdictions applicable to your claim.

This information helps us establish who can be held liable for your losses.

With this information, we can establish who can be held liable for your losses, depending on the body of water in which the accident occurred and the type of accident.

How Can You Get the Highest Settlement From a Boat Accident Law Suit?

To get a fair settlement, you’ll need a strong case. A solid case involves gathering evidence to prove your claim. You can strengthen your boat accident case through the following actions:

Report the accident.

Call the police, and tell officers about the crash. If the injuries are severe, the Coast Guard will send an officer to take a report. Ask how you can get a copy of that report.

Take Pictures.

Take pictures of the accident scene, your injuries, and property damage. Snap photos of anything else that helps show what happened.

Talk to witnesses.

If you were on a boat with other passengers, talk to them. Ask if you can take down their names and contact information including phone numbers. Your lawyer will reach out to them for statements later.

Make notes about the accident.

Write down whatever you can remember about the incident. If the driver said anything about their own fault, write down the statement. You can go over these details with your attorney.

Save records of your damages.

Keep a folder with your medical bills, receipts, and other evidence of your losses. You will need to provide proof of your injuries when you file your claim.

See a doctor ASAP.

Do not delay getting medical treatment, even if you feel okay. See a doctor as soon as possible. If you wait too long, it will hurt your settlement options.

Types Of Missouri Boating Accidents

Boating accidents can include any of the following watercraft:

  • Motorboats,
  • Sailboats,
  • Personal watercraft (Jet skis, Sea-Doo, WaveRunner),
  • Commercial boats and ships,
  • Ferries,
  • Boat/watercraft versus a swimmer,
  • and more.

The Missouri boat accident lawyers at Krupp Law Firm understand how traumatic a serious boating accident can be. We are passionate about helping our clients recover the maximum amount of compensation as quickly as possible.

Below are some of the common causes of boating accidents:

Negligence

An operator may be considered negligent for:

  • Operating at a high speed.
  • Failing to carry safety equipment on board.
  • Collisions with other boats.
  • Hitting a submerged object, rock, or grounding.
  • Hitting a big wave or wake at an excessive speed.
  • Deciding to navigate in heavy weather, causing individuals to fall overboard.
  • Contact with propellers.
  • Overcrowding and overloading the vessel

Alcohol-Related Boating Accidents

Boating While Intoxicated (BWI) is a leading cause of boating wrecks in Missouri. Our attorneys will evaluate toxicology and accident reports and talk to witnesses to determine if alcohol impairment may have played a role in your boating accident. If so, we can pursue punitive damages in addition to compensation for your economic and non-economic losses.

In Missouri it is illegal to operate a boat while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The operator can receive a BWI which is very similar to a DWI. If you were involved in a boating accident where the operator responsible was under the influence of drugs or alcohol contact us immediately.

Boating Accidents Due To Speeding

Driving a boat at an excessive speed not only makes the boat more difficult to control but also increases the likelihood of an injury or death occurring in the event of an accident. Our personal injury attorneys will investigate your case and may bring in accident reconstruction professional experts to prove that speeding contributed to your boating accident.

Boating Accidents Due to Equipment Defects

A negligently designed or manufactured part could result in an equipment malfunction. If a defective part contributed to your crash, our boating accident lawyers can review schematics and blueprints, speak with boating parts specialists, and identify all potentially liable parties.

Ejection Injuries

Being ejected from a boat at a high speed can result in debilitating injuries such as broken bones, a dislocated shoulder, soft tissue damage, and brain trauma. When people are ejected from boats they get caught in what's known as 'The Circle Of Death'. That's when the boat is out of control and continues to turn striking people overboard multiple times. Many of these injuries are caused by propeller strikes.

Injuries Caused by Propellers

Coming into contact with a propeller can cause deep lacerations and even amputations. Most of these injuries are caused by negligent boat operators.

Many propeller accidents involve:

  • tubing,
  • water skiing,
  • wakeboarding,
  • divers or snorkelers surfacing,
  • hitting a wave or wake and being ejected,
  • or someone falling overboard.

Violations of Boating Regulations

In the state of Missouri, there are strict laws that govern who can operate a watercraft, where it can be operated, and how it must be operated. Violating these rules not only is illegal but could also result in injuries or death.

Missouri law requires all motorized boat and PWC operators born after January 1, 1984, to pass a boater safety course and to carry a boater education card.

Who Is Liable in a Boating Accident?

In case of a boating accident, we need to establish cause.

General Rule-Negligence

If you suffer an injury while on a motorboat, sailboat, or personal watercraft, you and your lawyers need to prove that your injuries were caused by someone else's negligence.

You can recover damages from whoever is liable for the boating accident. More than one person or company may be liable for damages in a boating accident.

Establishing the parties were negligent by failing to provide reasonable and failing to act in a way a reasonable person would under the circumstances.

Damages refer to physical and/or emotional injuries, property damage, and/or loss of income someone suffers from a boating accident.

How a Negligence Claim Would Work

To grasp how negligence claims work, let us first explain the major types of boat accidents.

Boat Operators

The boat operator is the most common liable party in a boating accident. The operator has control over the boat and is responsible for the safety of the passengers and following all laws on the water.

Operator of Another Watercraft

When two motorboats collide, operators of both vessels will at least bear partial fault. So, injured passengers on both boats may file claims against the operators of both boats. A driver who gets injured and contributes below 50% to the accident, may file a claim against the operator of the other vessel.

If the collision involves a sailboat and motorboat, then the latter is likely to be at fault. This is because boating rules dictate that motorboats should clear the way for sailboats.

Boat Owners

If a boat owner is allowing passengers onboard they have an obligation to keep the boat in safe operational condition. Boat owners have responsibility for the safety of passengers whether they are operating or not. Failing to keep the boat in safe condition resulting in an injury may make the boat owner liable.

Manufacturer of the Boat

Boat and personal watercraft manufacturers owe users a duty to ensure the boats they put onto the market is safe for use. If a boat or personal watercraft is defective or dangerous, numerous laws hold manufacturers to a standard of “strict liability” for any injuries it causes. You do not need not prove negligence or intent to harm; instead, the statutes allow an injured person to recover damages if they demonstrate that a manufacturer neglected it's duty.

A boat or personal watercraft is defective if it has serious flaws in its construction, design or if the manufacturer fails to provide sufficient warning of hazards or qualifications of its use.

The Company or Person Leasing the Boat

The company or person leasing the boat has a responsibility for maintenance and servicing. If they fail to keep the boat in safe operating condition and/or fail to train the boat operator they may be held liable for damages that resulted from a boating accident. Negligence on their part may lead to equipment not working properly or even failure.

If you were in a boating accident the company or the person leasing the boat may be at fault.

What Damages Can I Recover in a Boating Accident Claim?

The damages that can be recovered by filing a boating accident lawsuit can include any type of damages in an amount that depends on the severity of the injuries, circumstances of the accident, and whether or not you share liability for the accident.

If you suffered the following types of losses, you have the right to monetary compensation if you can prove:

  • The defendant is liable for the accident.
  • The accident resulted in injuries or death.
  • The injuries led to financial losses.

We can recover the following types of damages:

  • Costs of medical expenses and treatment
  • Doctor bills
  • Hospital bills
  • Pain and suffering
  • Property damage
  • Loss of income
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Loss of companionship
  • Wrongful death

When the Owner of the Boat Does Not Have Insurance.

Missouri does not legally require a boat owner to be insured. If the owner is financing the boat the bank may require the parties to have insurance.

If the liable party does not have insurance or assets you may not be able recover damages. Automobile insurance does not cover boating accidents.

Homeowners insurance may provide insurance for your injuries. Not all Homeowners insurance policies does not always cover these kinds of injuries. Your lawyer will be able to find out if the policy does or does not cover these injuries and if you can recover damages. You will most likely not be able to file a claim for a boating accident through your won homeowners insurance policy.

Common Injuries in a Missouri Boating Accident

There are more than 12,000,000 boats registered in the U.S., and each year more than 4,700 recreational boating accidents take place, causing the death of more than 700 individuals.

Even if boating accidents are not fatal in most cases, passengers can still suffer severe, debilitating injuries, including:

  • Amputation
  • Burns
  • Concussion
  • Dislocation
  • Electrocution
  • Fractured and/or broken bones
  • Internal organ injury
  • Lacerations
  • Nerve and/or neurological damage
  • Shocks
  • Spinal cord injuries including paralysis
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Whiplash
  • Wrongful death

Call Krupp Law Firm

Krupp Law Firm has 30+ years of experience with personal injury cases serving the residents of Missouri. Call or contact us below immediately so the insurance companies don’t take advantage of you. We don’t get paid until you get paid on most personal injury cases, and the consultation is free so call us.

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