Boating is a common activity in Osage Beach. People come from far and near and enjoy the beauty of the lake and its surroundings. And while many routinely enjoy themselves when they visit, a few people are injured in boat accidents on the Lake of the Ozarks.
The U.S. Coast Guard reports that there were over 4,400 boating accidents in 2021. A boat accident in Osage Beach can easily turn a fun time into a time of terror and anguish. Unfortunately, because these accidents happen on the water, there’s a real risk of sustaining major damages and injuries, which can cost a lot of money to fix or recover from.
This is why if you are ever in an accident around here, our Osage Beach personal injury lawyers can help you get adequate compensation so that you can recover your damages and/or pay for your treatments.
Establishing Negligence and Liability in an Osage Beach Boat Accident
Because of Osage Beach’s growing reputation as a fun spot for water activities, many people flock here every year to enjoy boat rides, jet skis, sailboats, or other personal watercraft adventures.
And while most of the folks who use the boats are careful and practice safety on the pristine waters, a few people don’t. This carelessness often leads to boat accidents in Osage Beach and other bodies of water in Missouri.
If you’re a victim of this recklessness on the water and are seeking compensation for your injuries or damages, you’ll need to prove negligence. And unless you’re particularly skilled at doing that, your best chances of getting adequate compensation would be to hire an experienced Osage Beach boat accident attorney.
For a free legal consultation with a boat accidents lawyer serving Osage Beach, call 573-744-4878
Who is Liable in an Osage Beach Boat Accident?
A skilled attorney will first identify the at-fault party–in some instances, there’s more than one person to blame for your injuries. This will lay the foundation for establishing negligence.
Then, the lawyer will try to show that not only did the at-fault parties not act with reasonable care but that they were negligent and/or careless in the operation of the motorboat. And that through their reckless actions, you sustained significant injuries, suffered property damages, and other associated losses.
Some of the key entities that you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against include:
- Boat operators or drivers – either your boat driver and/or a second boat operator whose boat yours collided with
- Boat owners
- Boat manufacturer
- The boat leasing company
Most of the time, boat accident compensation claims are filed against the boat operator and/or their insurance provider. This is because boat drivers are expected to be very careful and observe all waterways’ safety practices and laws. So, if the pilot, through reckless driving or negligence, caused the accident, they will be held liable.
However, if the accident was between two motorboats, chances are that both parties would be at least partially responsible for the accident. In that case, if the injured victim was a passenger on one of the boats, he/she can file a claim against both operators.
Also, motorboat drivers can file claims against other boat drivers if their boat collides with another boat. Boat owners may also be liable if their boat malfunctions or gets in an accident because it was not in tip-top shape.
As for boat manufacturers, they can be held liable if their product is found to be defective and puts passengers and drivers at risk. The same applies to boat leasing companies in Osage Beach.
Boat Leasing Companies
They owe it to their customers and passengers to provide a safe, well-maintained boat that the customers can rent. If the customers are involved in an accident because their boat wasn’t in good shape, the customers can file a compensation claim against the boat leasing service.
As you can see, there are potentially many parties that you can sue for damages. This is why it’s important to consult with an experienced boat accident attorney in Osage Beach, MO, before filing a claim.
Osage Beach Boat Accident Lawyer Near Me 573-744-4878
Recoverable Damages from a Boating Accident in Osage Beach
The kinds of damages you can claim in an Osage Beach boat accident depends on:
- The circumstances surrounding the incident
- The extent to which the plaintiff is responsible
- How bad the injuries and/or property damage are
So, if you suffered significant injuries and damages or lost a loved one, and incurred major expenses because of the injuries or damages, you may be able to recover the following damages:
- Medical expenses – past, present, and future
- Lost income or wages – if you couldn’t work while recovering
- Diminished capacity to earn an income – if the accident left you partly disabled
- Property damage or loss – if your boat was damaged or you lost some valuables when the accident occurred
- Pain and suffering
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Loss of companionship
- Wrongful death
Please note that the ability to recover these damages is contingent on the defendant having boat insurance coverage. If they don’t have insurance that can cover boat accidents–Missouri law doesn’t require boat owners to have insurance–and don’t have money in the bank, then it may be hard or difficult to get the compensation you deserve.
Talk to Dickman Law’s team of Osage Beach boat accident lawyers about your options first. This will help you determine how to proceed with your case.
Contact Osage Beach Boat Accident Attorneys
How much you can get as compensation from an Osage beach boat accident claim totally depends on the extent of injuries, property damage, and the number of liable parties. The largest boat accident settlement amount was for the duck boat sinking incident in Missouri.
That attracted a total payout of $17 million but involved the loss of 17 lives. So, unless we take a look at your case and review the facts thereof, we cannot give you a specific number. If you’d like us to evaluate your case, contact Dickman Law today.