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Columbia, MO Boat Accident Lawyer

Spending time on the water can be one of the most relaxing things that you can do with your spare time. This can include driving a powerboat, going sailing, taking a fishing trip, or simply swimming. Even with all these possible benefits, entering the water throughout the many Missouri waterways is not without risk. Chief among these risks is the chance that another boater’s negligence may cause you a personal injury.

All boaters have a legal obligation to not place other people at a risk of harm. This includes following all rules that govern safe boating as well as operating their boats while in a proper frame of mind. A single moment of carelessness can be all that is needed to forever change an individual’s life.

A Columbia, MO boat accident lawyer may be able to help you if you have suffered an injury while on the water. A skilled personal injury attorney could help investigate the incident, form a comprehensive demand package, and take the case to court, if necessary, to obtain the payments that you need. Let an experienced attorney at the A.W. Smith Law Firm, P.C. help your case.

Understanding The Rights of Boaters

All people utilizing Mid-Missouri’s waterways have the right to remain safe from harm. This includes a right to remain safe from the reckless or careless actions of others. These protections extend towards boaters, kayakers, fishers, swimmers, and even people simply sitting on a dock. In fact, the law says that operators of all vessels assume a duty to provide this protection to all other people.

This includes a pair of legal concepts. First, a boater must be sure to follow all rules that apply to the waterway in question. For instance, a river may carry a speed limit, a docking area may not permit quick turns, and all vessels must display appropriate lights during times of low visibility. A failure to follow these rules places others at risk and may indicate negligence after an accident.

The other obligation is a general one to not operate a boat in a careless manner. This means using one’s judgment concerning the current conditions on the water, keeping one’s eyes on their surroundings, and refraining from boating while high or drunk. A dedicated Columbia boat accident lawyer could help to evaluate the actions of defendants to determine if they have violated their duty to keep the plaintiff safe.

Claiming Compensation for Defendant Negligence

A negligent boater always has the obligation to provide compensation to an injured person for all their losses. This includes reimbursement for any medical treatment required to fix the injury. However, a comprehensive claim must examine the total effect of the incident on a plaintiff’s life.

Many individuals also suffer economic damages following a boat accident. Of course, this can include damage to their boat, but may also include a loss of income for time missed at work seeking medical care, or any permanent loss of work ability sustained in the incident. Cases may also include non-economic damages. These damages can be difficult to measure, but can also form a significant part of a boat accident case. Individuals may be eligible to recover compensation for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life.

Lake Ozark, Table Rock Lake and many of Missouri’s river’s continue to be the scene of some of the states worst boating accidents. Many times these consist of boat collisions, drownings and other serious injuries due to the negligence of certain individuals. Drugs, alcohol, speed and distracted operators are unfortunately becoming all too common.

The Statute of Limitations

However, no matter how severe the damages, a person’s case will fail if they do not act on time. In the State of Missouri, injured claimants have within five years of the date of injury to file their personal injury lawsuit. A diligent Columbia boat accident lawyer could help to establish a plaintiff’s right to compensation and to do it in a timely manner.

Seek Help From a Columbia Boat Accident Attorney

The days and weeks following a boat accident can be a critical time. You need to act quickly to protect your legal rights, all while dealing with the physical injuries, property damage, and mental anguish that may result from the incident. Let an attorney handle the details in pursuing your claim for damages.

A negligent boat operator is responsible for any damage they cause. A knowledgeable Columbia boat accident lawyer could help you to pursue your claim for its full value. Many cases end with a settlement without ever needing to file a case in court. But if a trial is necessary, a Columbia boat accident lawyer is ready to fight to protect your legal rights. Contact the AW Smith Law Firm today to schedule a consultation.