The Mississippi River runs along the edge of town, dividing St. Louis from Illinois. Boating is major part of the area as many people choose to spend sunny days on the water.

However, watercrafts pose a unique danger in the event of an accident as boaters run the risk of drowning. If you were hurt due to a negligent boater, do not hesitate to get in touch with a St. Louis boat accident lawyer. A seasoned injury attorney could help you hold the negligent party accountable so you could recover the damages you are owed.

Proving Fault for a Watercraft Accident

The burden of proof falls on the injured boater and their local attorney to prove someone else was negligent and therefore liable for the accident. To do this, they must establish the four elements of negligence which include:

  • Duty of care
  • Breach of duty
  • Causation
  • Damages

All boaters owe others on the water a duty to operate the vessel safely and avoid causing harm. If a boater is intoxicated, speeding, or otherwise acting recklessly, that could be considered a breach of that duty. If this breach directly resulted in the watercraft colliding with someone swimming or boating or causes a passenger on the boat to suffer harm, that is causation. Proof of financial and personal losses is evidence of compensable damages.

Available Compensation for Boat Accidents

People injured in boat wrecks in the area could seek financial compensation for both their economic and non-economic losses associated with the accident. Economic damages include all out-of-pocket expenses related to the watercraft accident such as medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, prescription costs, and decreased earning capacity.

Non-economic damages are more difficult to quantify, so injured boaters often benefit from the guidance of a skilled local lawyer when calculating these losses. These damages include the intangible, human losses such as pain and suffering, emotional anguish, disability or disfigurement, and decreased quality of life. If the boating accident resulted in a fatality, the family of the deceased could also seek compensation through a wrongful death claim.

Statute of Limitations

In Missouri, a personal injury lawsuit has a statute of limitations of five years. While this is quite a lot of time to file suit, claimants should be aware that evidence fades, and eyewitnesses can become harder to find after many years have passed. For this reason, it is often advised to start a civil claim as soon as possible after an accident.

Get in Touch with a St. Louis Boat Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one were harmed in a watercraft collision, do not hesitate to reach out to an experienced local attorney. A boat accident lawyer could help you through every step of the legal process. This includes gathering vital evidence, calculating damages, and representing your interests during settlement negotiations or trial.

These accidents can cause devastating financial and personal losses, and the person responsible should be held accountable. Call today to schedule your first consultation.