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St. Louis Boat Accident Lawyer

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Missouri is a popular destination for lake and river boating, with ample waterways around St. Louis including major rivers like the Mississippi, the Missouri River, and the Merrimac as well as 72-acre Simpson Lake, and nearby Creve Coeur Lake. St. Louis is also a short jaunt away from Lake of the Ozarks, an iconic, bucket-list boating destination. Whether you’re vacationing in Missouri or you’re a resident who enjoys weekend boating, an accident on the water can have catastrophic consequences with impacts on physical, emotional, and financial well-being. If someone else’s careless or reckless actions on a Missouri waterway caused your boating accident, you don’t have to be left dealing with the consequences alone. Our boating accident lawyers in St. Louis are ready to provide legal counsel and guidance by navigating your Missouri boat accident claim while you focus on recovering from the injury and distress.

Call The Floyd Law Firm in St. Louis today so we can begin prompt action on your claim to recover your losses.

How the Floyd Law Firm Can Help You after a boat accident

How Our Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help After a Boat Accident in Missouri

The experienced St. Louis accident attorneys at The Floyd Law Firm have been powerful legal advocates for injury victims since attorney Walter Floyd began his firm in 1959. Since then, The Floyd Law Firm has won many millions of dollars for our injured clients during over five decades of navigating Missouri’s personal injury law. We’re ready to help your boating accident case in St. Louis through the following:

  • We’ll use our positive local reputation for success and strong connections and resources to put an assertive voice behind your boating accident claim
  • Our team’s investigative skills will ensure compelling evidence backs your claim for compensation
  • Our results-oriented approach from attorney and managing partner, Mark Floyd, puts tough negotiation skills behind your claim to maximize your chances of a large settlement so you don’t have to go to court
  • Decades of courtroom experience means you’ll have a strong litigator in court should your case require a lawsuit due to an insurer’s failure to offer an acceptable settlement amount
  • We take an approach that always puts our client’s needs first as we get to know each injury victim personally to see firsthand the impacts of the injury on the victim and their family to make a more compelling case for compensation

Attorney Mark Floyd now has over 25 years of experience after a prestigious beginning as one of the state’s youngest attorneys to earn an A rating from the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory. Both Mark Floyd and his father, Attorney Walter Floyd, have earned a 98% success rate in their cases and a 90-percent referral rate.

How Common Are Boating Accidents in Missouri?

We think of a day out on the water with the sun on our shoulders as one of the most relaxing and pleasurable summer activities in Missouri, but all watercraft and waterways have inherent dangers. In 2022, there were 152 total boating accidents in Missouri, some with property damage only, but many with injury victims as well. A known total of 77 boaters experienced injuries in boat accidents in Missouri with 17 fatalities in 2022 alone. Though this is a decrease of 22 percent since the high point in 2021—when many St. Louis residents escaped the pandemic by enjoying weekends on the water—the numbers remain unacceptably high.

Boating accidents in Missouri are the highest in number between May and August and peak on Saturdays and Sundays between noon and 9:00 PM.

We Handle All Types of Boating Accidents

At The Floyd Law Firm, we understand the importance of enjoying outdoor activities with family and friends, and nothing beats a beautiful day on the water. But an unexpected boating accident can at best ruin the weekend’s fun and cause expensive property damage, and at worst it could send lives spinning off-course and leave families devastated by injuries and/or fatalities. The Floyd Law Firm understands that knowing someone else’s careless actions caused the accident intensifies the distress. We handle boating accident claims of all types including:

  • Single-boat accidents resulting from negligence on the part of others
  • Multi-boat accidents
  • Collisions with fixed objects
  • Collisions with floating objects
  • Fires/explosions on watercraft
  • Capsizing
  • Grounding
  • Towed watersport mishaps
  • Kayak accidents
  • Pontoon boat accidents
  • Yacht accidents
  • Rental boat accidents
  • Fishing boat accidents
  • Sailing accidents
  • Speedboat accidents
  • Commercial boating accidents
  • Struck by propeller accidents
  • Near drowning
  • Ejection from watercraft
  • Dock and marina accidents

Operator inattention, reckless boating, operating under the influence, inexperience, and other negligent factors are the most common causes of devastating boating accidents in Missouri.

What’s My Boating Accident Case Worth?

Boating accidents cause property damage to valuable watercraft. Even worse, they cause serious injuries and sometimes death by drowning, fire, or other injuries. Every boating accident claim is unique, with the amount of compensation depending on the types of damages (economic and non-economic losses) the accident victims experience. What you can recover from your St. Louis boating accident claim depends on circumstances such as the following:

  • The cost of repairing and replacing a damaged watercraft and other property
  • The seriousness of the injuries
  • Whether or not you or an injured loved one suffered permanent disabling injuries, impairment, or disfigurement
  • Any psychological impacts from the injury
  • Whether or not you share in the fault or contributed to the cause of the accident

Your personal injury attorney in St. Louis can give you a better idea of the amount of compensation you can expect when your claim resolves either in a settlement or through a lawsuit. Many claims are limited by the amount of the at-fault party’s insurance coverage. If your damages greatly exceed this amount, you lawyer from The Floyd Law Firm can advise you on the best way to proceed including through claims against multiple at-fault parties or a lawsuit against the defendant in the case.

What Damages Can I Get If I’m Hurt in a Boating Accident?

Understanding the amount of compensation you can expect in a successful claim depends on the damages available to you. Common damages claimed in St. Louis boating accident cases include the following:

  • Property damage
  • Medical expenses
  • Future medical costs related to the boating accident injuries
  • Out-of-pocket expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Anticipated future income loss
  • Diminished future earning capacity from disability
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional damages like PTSD, loss of enjoyment of life, or diminished quality of life
  • Any other non-economic damages that apply such as compensation for disfigurement or traumatic limb loss

Your St. Louis boat accident attorney from the Floyd Law Firm will carefully calculate your existing damages and consult with medical and economic experts to anticipate your future economic losses. Then we will add the maximum available monetary amounts for non-economic damages in your case like compensation for pain and suffering and emotional damages.

Although non-economic damages like pain, suffering, and PTSD related to the boating accident are intangible and more difficult to assign a dollar amount, they are the most damaging consequences of injuries with a huge impact on a victim’s life. Financial compensation for non-economic damages doesn’t erase suffering but it adds substantially to the amount of compensation you recover, making the best medical care available to you and relieving financial hardship for families.

common causes of boat accidents

What Causes Most Boating Accidents?

How does a day of sun and fun on the water turn into a frightening accident with injuries? No one expects a weekend outing, vacation, or day out fishing to end in an accident, but Missouri watercraft accident reports show the prevalence of boating accidents in the state. Common causes of boat accidents include the following:

  • Operator error
  • Inexperienced operator
  • Alcohol and substance-related accidents
  • Speeding
  • Improper lookout
  • Equipment failure
  • Running aground
  • Capsizing
  • Sinking
  • Poor navigating
  • Overloaded boat
  • Boating in inclement weather

Operating a motorized vessel in Missouri requires passing a boater education class and obtaining a safety identification card. Despite this requirement, drinking while boating, distractions, and operator error remain frequent problems contributing to accidents.

At the Floyd Law Firm, we believe you should be able to enjoy a day on the waves without the fear of injury or death. If someone else takes this joy away from you, they are accountable for the damages.

Who Can Be Liable for a Boat Accident?

If you suffered injuries in a boating accident, the liable party could be another boat operator, the manufacturer of a defective boat part or equipment, the owner of a commercial boating enterprise, or the manager of a watercraft rental company. If the boating accident resulted from negligence, the party at fault is liable for the damages—typically paid through their liability insurance. Proving liability requires showing evidence of the following legal points:

  • The at-fault party owed a duty of care to others on the water to take reasonable measures to prevent injuries
  • They breached this duty of care by acting carelessly, recklessly, or with purposefully wrongful actions
  • Their breach of duty directly caused the boating accident and injuries
  • The injury victim suffered significant consequences from the injury, including economic and non-economic damages.

It often takes an experienced attorney to investigate all aspects of the boating accident, document evidence of one party’s liability, and make a compelling case for compensation to the injury victim.

How Will Sharing Blame for a Boat Accident Affect My Ability to Recover Compensation?

In most boating accident cases in Missouri, one party is clearly at fault. Typically it’s a reckless boat operator, boat owner, captain, crew member, a negligent commercial boating or boat rental company, or the maker of a defective watercraft part. However, in some cases, two parties in an accident share a percentage of fault. Suppose, for instance, one boat operator was under the influence of alcohol and caused a collision and explosion on another boat, but that boat owner didn’t have a functioning fire extinguisher on board. Both parties contributed to the injuries. In these cases, an injury victim may still recover a portion of their damages minus their percentage of fault under Missouri 537.765 which states:

“A Defendant may plead and prove the fault of the plaintiff as an affirmative defense.  Any fault chargeable to the plaintiff shall diminish proportionately the amount awarded as compensatory damages but shall not bar recovery.”

In other words, if an injury victim’s total damages equal $100,000 but they were 40 percent at fault they’d recover $60,000.

Your attorney from The Floyd Law Firm will protect your rights and best interests, especially if the insurance company of the other party in the accident attempts to assign you an undue percentage of fault. This is a common insurance company tactic to minimize payouts and protect their profits.

How Long Do I Have to File a Boat Accident Lawsuit in Missouri?

Missouri has an unusually generous statute of limitations for filing personal injury lawsuits, including those from boating accidents. While the majority of states allow only two years, Missouri allows up to five years from the date of the accident under Missouri 516.120. However, this doesn’t mean you should wait too long or that you have five years to file a claim against the at-fault party’s insurance. Instead, it means the state allows up to five years to file a lawsuit petition to go to court in the case. This typically only occurs when an injury victim files a claim for compensation and their attorney makes efforts to negotiate an out-of-court settlement. In cases that don’t end with an acceptable settlement amount or when an insurance company wrongfully denies a boat accident claim the case proceeds to court. In these cases, a lawsuit is necessary to allow a jury to decide a disputed claim. A lawsuit must be filed within Missouri’s five-year statute of limitations.

Contact a St. Louis Boat Accident lawyer

Contact A Boat Accident Lawyer Today

The boating accident attorneys at The Floyd Law Firm understand the devastating toll serious injuries have on families. We know that even less serious injuries can quickly cause stress and financial hardship with as little as a single missed paycheck on top of a bill for emergency medical treatment. We believe in dedicated client advocacy throughout the process of your claim. It’s challenging and distressing to have to deal with reluctant insurance companies that have profits as their main priority in all interactions and commonly blame the victim. You need a lawyer whose main purpose is to protect your rights and advocate for your best interests.

Call or contact The Floyd Law Firm today so you don’t have to take on the legal challenge of a case for compensation alone. Instead, you can focus on your physical recovery and your family while we focus on your full financial recovery.