Kansas City Boating Accident Lawyers

Kansas City Boating Accident LawyersThe Horn Law Firm is comprised of attorneys who are Kansas City boating accident lawyers specializing in the handling of boating, jet-skiing, tubing, water-skiing, and other water-related accidents throughout Missouri.

Boating accidents are often complex cases that require immediate legal investigation. As a result, Lead Attorney Doug Horn is always prepared to provide rapid response and take care of the immediate legal, investigative, medical, insurance, and financial issues that arise in a boating or water-related accident.

Horn offers free consultations, including telephone, office, home, hospital, and video conference consultations. Headquartered in the Kansas City area (Independence), Horn Law provides legal representation to injured boaters, jet-skiers, water skiers, and others who are seriously injured in water-related accidents throughout Missouri and Kansas.

Contact Lead Attorney Doug Horn at 816-795-7500 or dhorn@hornlaw.com.

Lawyers for the Serious Injured

Over the past 25 years, Horn Law has concentrated in serious injury and wrongful death cases that arise from a wide variety of motor vehicle accidents, including accidents involving boats and jet skis. In many cases, a boating collision results in occupants suffering severe, disabling injuries, including:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Fractures and deep lacerations
  • Whiplash (neck and back) injuries

Because injured people are typically only entitled to one settlement or award, the lawyers at Horn Law will devote their full professional abilities and resources to maximize the legal recovery.

Depending on the case, a maximum legal recovery can include reimbursement of all medical expenses, lost income, and compensation to cover all past, present, and continuing pain, suffering, physical restrictions, loss of health, loss of quality of life, permanent disability, and other longer-term effects of the traumatic injury.

Missouri Lake Accidents

Boaters on the Lake of the Ozarks, Table Rock Lake, Pomme De Terre Lake, Mark Twain Lake, Longview Lake, and other lakes in Missouri can be at risk for the following types of accidents:

  • Falling overboard or within a vessel
  • Collisions with other vessels or other objects
  • Ejections
  • Water-skiing or jet-skiing mishaps
  • Striking a submerged object
  • Falling off an anchored vessel
  • Swimmers hit by another vessel or propeller
  • Weather-related capsizing or sinking
  • Fire, explosion, electrocution, or carbon monoxide exposure

While boating accidents can be attributed to a wide variety of causes, listed below are some of the most common types of cases we handle:

Alcohol-Related Recklessness: Many boating and water-related accidents are caused, or partially caused, by excessive use of alcohol. Even minor amounts of alcohol can impair judgment, delay reaction time, and result in inattention. While many people view boating as an opportunity to have a drink, relax, and enjoy time with friends, driving a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal in both Missouri and Kansas.

Operator Inattention or Improper Lookout: Boating activities are built around fun and relaxation, but drivers must remain attentive to their surroundings. Rocks, swimmers, submerged trees, floating debris, other boats and watercraft, and changing weather can quickly turn conditions hazardous.

Operator Inexperience: Safely operating a boat or jet-ski is not only knowing how to navigate and control the boat but also knowing the local boating regulations and safety rules.

Here is a link to the Missouri Boating Laws and Responsibilities Handbook. The handbook covers all aspects of boating safety, with individual sections for personal watercraft and towing skiers.

Night Driving and Low Visibility: While boaters are expected to know how to utilize special lights after hours, between sunset and sunrise, they also must obey a strict 30 mph limit when it is dark or in times of low visibility. By exceeding the speed limit or by not having the proper lighting on a boat, the driver is putting themselves, their passengers, and others on the lake at substantial risk for a collision with another vessel or object, such as a dock or floating debris.

In addition to night driving, foggy or cloudy weather should also prompt boaters to exercise extreme caution and obey all the boating laws. In fact, low visibility and unseen hazards or other boats are the leading causes of boat accident deaths.

Distracted Driving: Just as with automobiles, distractions such as cell phones, other passengers, or adjusting the music, take the driver’s eyes off the water. In fact, in some ways, it can be much easier to become distracted driving a boat than a car.

Excessive Speed: Excessive speeds on the water can lead to shortened reaction times, more possibilities for violent crashes, and less time to adjust to hazards or changing water and weather conditions. Driving a boat at high speed also amplifies other negligence, like drunk or distracted driving, because it not only limits a driver’s ability to control the boat but also significantly reduces the other lake traffic from making evasive maneuvers to avoid a collision.

Horn Law Legal Representation

While all boating accident cases are unique, here is what we are prepared to do when we are retained to represent a person(s) injured in a boating or water-related accident.

1.      Legal Investigation

In addition to obtaining the water patrol reports and other official documents pertaining to a boating accident, our law firm will conduct independent investigations. While the nature of these investigations depends on the case, we will obtain boating license records, rental records, witness statements, cell phone records, and photographic or video evidence.

2.      Establishing Liability

Most boating and water-related accidents happen because someone was negligent, and proving negligence on all at fault persons is a vital part of the case. Potentially liable parties can include, boat drivers, owners, passengers, and others who caused or contributed to cause in an accident.

3.      Establishing Insurance Coverages

Establishing insurance coverages right from the start is vital to obtaining a maximum settlement or award in a boating injury claim. Filing the proper claims with the insurance companies is an essential process in getting you a full and fair recovery and settlement. When insurance companies get notified of a new claim, under state law, they must put funds aside to help resolve the claim. This is called insurance reserves.

4.      Securing Important Evidence

Maximum settlements and awards are earned because of the early hard work that is done to secure important evidence. In addition to the liability evidence discussed above, the medical evidence and testimony will be essential to maximizing your claim.

Many times, doctors and therapists can serve a vital role in establishing past, present, and future damages to an injured person. For instance, the daily medical entries can provide compelling evidence in proving the loss of health or quality of life that results from a traumatic injury.

5.      Settlement Negotiations

We will initiate settlement negotiations by preparing a written settlement demand. The written settlement demand is sent to the insurance representatives or attorneys who are representing the at-fault parties. The written settlement is best described as a legal analysis of the case and is a key piece of legal work that allows us to obtain the best results for our clients.

In addition to presenting evidence that establishes fault and liability, the written settlement demand will summarize the medical evidence that is supportive of the injured person’s damages, including expert opinions regarding the nature of injuries, causation, medical treatments, rehabilitation, and prognosis.

6.      Advanced Negotiations/Litigation

With almost 30 years of experience in personal injury cases of all types, we are skilled in all forms of advanced negotiations. These negotiations can include confidential communications with claims supervisors, higher-level insurance representatives, mediation and arbitration, and trial court litigation.

Contact a Missouri Boat Accident Attorney to Protect Your Rights To A Fair and Full Settlement

If you or someone you know was negligently injured or killed in a boating or lake accident, the victim(s) have rights to be compensated for past, present, continuing, or future damages, including compensation for extended medical treatments, rehabilitation, and permanent disabilities.

Contact Horn Law’s Lead Attorney Doug Horn at 816-795-7500 or dhorn@hornlaw.com for rapid response, legal consultation, and legal investigations.