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Boating Accidents Attorney in Overland Park, Kansas

Boating is a popular recreational activity enjoyed by millions of people across many states, including Kansas and Missouri. While boating is an incredibly fun activity, it can pose significant dangers to boat operators, passengers, and swimmers.

Passengers onboard a water vessel have no control over the boat. They are at the mercy of the person operating the boat. If the person fails to exercise due care or operates the vessel in a negligent manner, passengers and other people can suffer serious or even fatal injuries.

If you were injured or lost a loved one in a boating accident in Overland Park or elsewhere in Kansas or Missouri, consider contacting an attorney to help you pursue the compensation to which you may be entitled. The results-driven and dedicated attorney at Grover Law Firm, LLC has a reputation for aggressively fighting on behalf of victims of boating accidents. Mark Grover, the founding attorney, provides individualized legal services to clients throughout Kansas and Missouri, including Overland Park, Liberty, Kansas City, Shawnee, Olathe, and Independence.

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Boating Accidents in Kansas and Missouri

Any water vessel can be involved in a boating accident. According to the American Boating Association, the following three vessel types account for the highest number of deaths in the United States: open motorboats, kayaks, and pontoons. In fact, open motorboats account for half of all boating accident deaths in the country.

Some of the most common types of boating accidents that occur in Kansas and Missouri include:

  • Motorboat accidents

  • Jet ski accidents

  • Yacht accidents

  • Cruise ship accidents

  • Ferry accidents

  • Party boat accidents

  • Pontoon boat accidents

  • Rental boat accidents

When accidents occur, boats may capsize and overturn or collide with other vessels or fixed objects.

Causes of Boating Accidents

According to 2020 Recreational Boating Statistics by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Coast Guard, there were 152 boating accidents in Missouri and 32 accidents in Kansas in 2020. The accidents resulted in 14 and 8 fatalities, respectively. Some of the most common causes of boating accidents include:

  • Operator’s lack of attention. Boat operators must stay alert at all times when operating the boat.

  • Operator’s negligence. Boat operators must operate vessels in a reasonable and safe manner to avoid causing harm to others.

  • Operator’s lack of experience. Often, boat accidents are the result of the operator’s inexperience and lack of understanding of state and federal laws.

  • Driving too fast. Waterways have speed limits, too. Operating a boat at a high rate of speed increases the risk of crashing or capsizing.

  • Boating under the influence (BUI). Alcohol consumption is a common contributing factor in many boating accidents. In both Kansas and Missouri, it is illegal to operate a boat with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or higher.

  • Boat equipment failure. Often, boats may experience equipment malfunction when their equipment is defective or responsible parties fail to conduct regular inspection and maintenance.

  • Hazardous waters. Rapid tidal flows and tidal currents make the operation of a boat more dangerous.

  • Inclement weather. Many boating accidents are the result of operating a vessel in bad weather conditions.

Liability for Boating Accidents

Depending on the circumstances of the boating accident, there may be one or multiple at-fault parties. The following parties can be held liable for causing or contributing to a boat accident:

  • The operator of the boat

  • The owner of the boat

  • The boat rental company

  • The manufacturer of the boat or its parts

  • Boat passengers

If you suffered injuries in a boating accident, you would need to prove liability by establishing the following elements:

  1. Duty of care. The at-fault party owed you a duty of care.

  2. Breach. The duty was breached due to their negligent or wrongful conduct.

  3. Causation. The breach resulted in a boating accident.

  4. Damages. You suffered injuries and financial losses because of the accident.

The damages you can recover through a personal injury or wrongful death claim after a boating accident depend on the severity of the injuries, the determination of liability, and many other factors. Consider speaking with a boating accident attorney in Overland Park, Kansas, to help you determine liability for the accident in your specific case.

Laws Addressing Boating Accidents

Boat operators and owners must be aware of state and federal laws that are designed to minimize the risk of boating accidents. State laws addressing boating vary greatly from state to state. These laws may address the following requirements and regulations:

  • The operator’s minimum age

  • The limit for boating under the influence (BUI)

  • Liability insurance requirements

  • Personal flotation device (PFD) requirements

The U.S. Coast Guard also enforces federal laws and regulations, including:

  • Right of way rules

  • Navigation rules

  • Documentation and licensing requirements

  • Safety equipment requirements

If you were in a boating accident, consider speaking with an experienced attorney familiar with state and federal laws addressing boats to determine whether any of the parties involved in the accident violated the rules or regulations.

Boating Accidents Attorney in Overland Park, Kansas

Mark Grover of Grover Law Firm, LLC helps accident victims and their families navigate the complex legal system and laws surrounding boating accidents in Kansas and Missouri. He has the necessary resources and expertise to help you understand your compensation options and offer personalized legal guidance. Reach out to Grover Law Firm, LLC today to discuss your boating accident case.