damages after a missouri boating accident

It’s officially summer, which means that thousands of Missouri residents are taking their boats to the state’s many beautiful rivers and lakes. With so many boats in the waters of Missouri, though, the likelihood of being involved in a boating accident increases. Inexperienced and seasoned boat drivers alike are known to cause accidents across the state, and intoxication can sometimes be a factor. There are many factors that may contribute to a boating accident, often resulting in injuries, property damage, and death.

According to Missouri State Highway Patrol’s Department of Public Safety, there were nearly 200 boating accidents in 2021. Out of all the total reported accidents, 122 involved an injury and 28 involved a death. That means that the probability of incurring damages from a boating accident is high. If you were involved in a Missouri boating accident, you should understand the types of damages you may be able to recover. 

Determining Fault: The First Step to Recovering Damages

Before you can pursue damages, it must first be determined which party is at fault. Because Missouri uses the pure comparative fault system to assign responsibility. The system is used to determine each party’s fault assigned by a percentage. Often, both parties are found to be partially at fault, but you can still claim compensation for your losses; it will just be reduced by your percentage of fault. That means that, if you were found to be 20% responsible for the boating accident, your total damages will be reduced by 20%. 

If you were found to be less than 50% at fault for the accident, you can pursue compensation by Missouri law. Because Missouri doesn’t require boating insurance, you may need to pursue other ways to recover your damages, like filing a lawsuit against the negligent party. 

Boating Accident Damages

Once you are able to prove that the other driver was at fault, you can start the process of recovering your losses caused by the accident. Examples of the types of damages you can recover after a boating accident include:

  • Medical Bills – Doctor and hospital visits, surgeries, physical therapy, etc.
  • Loss of Income – Lost income or earning capacity due to missed work after the accident.
  • Wrongful Death – Some boating accidents result in drowning, which you can be compensated for. 
  • Pain and Suffering – Trauma and suffering caused by the accident. 
  • Property Damage – Repairs to your boat or other personal belongings damaged in the accident. 

Some types of damages, such as medical bills, are simpler to determine because they can be calculated. Others, like pain and suffering, are harder to determine since the damage is non-economic. There’s no specific value placed on mental anguish or the experience of physical pain. But, a lawyer can help you with assigning a monetary value to both types of damages so that you can receive fair compensation for all types of damages.

Discuss Your Case with a Missouri Boat Accident Lawyer

If you have questions about your boating accident case, the boat accident attorneys at Dreyer & Tinney can help. We represent victims in boating accidents across Missouri by helping them calculate their damages and fight to receive compensation. Our experience with local and state boating laws and regulations has assisted us in recovering damages for our Missouri clients. Contact us online or by phone to schedule a free consultation today.