I Was Injured in a Boating Accident. Can I Sue?

I Was Injured in a Boating Accident. Can I Sue?

With summer among us, boating is something that we can all enjoy here in Missouri. The Lake of the Ozarks is for many, their favorite place to be in the summer. However, getting injured in a boating accident may turn that summer fun into chaos, quickly. It’s important for you to know your legal rights in the event that you find yourself injured while boating this summer.


As for any personal injury claim, getting injured on a boat is no different in the sense that negligence must be proven. The direct actions of another individual’s negligence must have contributed to your injuries for you to be qualified to recover damages from said person. Just getting hurt is not evidence that your injury was caused by another individual. This means that to seek the compensation you deserve, you must work with an experienced St. Louis personal injury attorney, like those at Cantor Injury Law, to prove that someone broke their duty of care, which resulted in you getting injured.

How is Negligence Proven

There are many different parties who may be held liable in a boating accident. To better explain how a negligence claim works, it is important to explain the most commonly seen boating accidents. The most common examples include:

  • Collision with another vessel - In an accident between two or more boats, the boat operators will typically all be partially at fault (this doesn’t apply to accidents where one party is undoubtedly at fault). This means injured passengers on any boat involved may have a personal injury claim against all operators involved. If one of the operators was injured, they would only have a personal injury claim if the other individual was fifty percent responsible or more for the accident.

  • Another boat’s wake - In an accident stemming from a big wake, the liability may be harder to determine. While federal and state boating laws require boat operators to watch out for any hazards to their boat or passengers, this typically isn’t enough evidence to put the blame on a boat’s wake. Many other circumstances come into play, which includes:

    • The size of the wake

    • Boat’s speed

    • Visibility on the lake (clear, foggy, raining, etc.)

    • The amount of lake traffic in the area of the accident

    • Type of vessel

    • Was there warning of big waves/wake oncoming

  • In some cases, the operator of the vessel creating the wake may be held liable due to negligence. Some examples include making wake in a no-wake zone and making too large of wake in a crowded area
  • Driving into waves - While this type of accident is handled similarly to a wake accident, there will be no other vessel to hold liable. This means the boat operator may be held liable if they are acting out of negligence, and not keeping their passenger’s safety at the forefront of their mind.

  • Failure to provide proper safety equipment - Both federal and state laws require even small boats, like fishing boats, to have adequate safety equipment on board. This includes:

    • Life jackets for each passenger on board

    • Life rings

    • Proper lighting

    • Whistles

    • Flag for activities like wakeboarding, tubing, etc.

    • Fire extinguisher

While it’s not common for a lack of safety equipment to be a cause of a boat accident, in many cases it may hinder the rescue efforts following an accident, and cause additional damages—which may lead to the operator being held responsible for negligence.

How Cantor Injury Law Can Help

As you can see, there are many different forms of boating accidents and many different potential negligent parties. With the help of a qualified Missouri personal injury attorney, like our team at Cantor Injury Law, you will be able to seek the compensation you deserve for your injuries.

Our team has worked with countless clients to help them seek the compensation they are deserving of following a boating accident. We have the knowledge and expertise to fight for what you deserve.

Call us today at (314) 485-4005 to schedule a free case evaluation.


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