Man-made and natural lakes are the crown jewels of Missouri, attracting thousands of locals and out-of-state visitors each year. Unfortunately, boat accidents occur often here, especially in Lake of the Ozarks, which accounts for about 50% of water-related injuries.
Boat accidents occur for several reasons, including boat operator distraction. While Missouri has no specific distracted boating law, you can use the legal theory of negligence to seek compensation for your harm.
What establishes operator negligence?
When you drive your car, you know that reckless actions on your part might endanger other people. As such, you probably strive to practice caution and obey the law. You might even say you understand and accept that you owe others a duty to drive safely and legally.
It works the same way in boat accidents. If a boat operator became distracted and someone got hurt, they violated their duty to act responsibly in a potentially hazardous situation. Under Missouri law, boating while distracted is a negligent act for which you can seek compensation.
Is operator distraction a big problem?
It is a big problem because many boat operators fail to understand the dangers of distraction. They believe driving a boat across the open water poses few injury risks. However, operator focus is critical to avoid crashes when encountering other water traffic.
When severe injuries arise out of boat operator negligence, you need a way to pay for your medical care. At this point, learning more about Missouri negligence laws can help you find a solution that meets your compensation needs. For most, this involves choosing between an insurance claim and an injury lawsuit.