Hollis Law Firm

Wichita Bus Accident Lawyer

Boat Accident Attorney in Wichita, KS

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Wichita is a perfect place for boating enthusiasts with its many popular and loved destinations, such as Kill Creek Park, Smithville Lake, Blue Springs Lake, and Longview Lake. Additionally, the city offers beautiful, picturesque landscapes perfect for fishing days or simply enjoying a day by the water. It’s a great way to relax and enjoy the best parts of nature. 

Unfortunately, a beautiful day can quickly turn into a trip to the emergency room if the proper precautions aren’t in place. Riding a boat, as with any other vehicle, requires proper training, and the driver must follow the laws and regulations in place to keep people safe. When safety measures are ignored or disregarded, the consequences can be devastating. Boat accidents can cause severe injuries that completely alter someone’s quality of life. At Hollis Law Firm, our Wichita boat accident lawyer has handled numerous boat accident claims and is dedicated to helping clients seek out fair compensation. 

Reporting a Boat Accident in Wichita

It’s essential to report a boat accident to the authorities as soon as possible, not just to adhere to municipal law, but to protect your right to compensation. Missouri state law states that all vessel operators involved in an accident must immediately report an accident to the Missouri State Highway Patrol. 

Contact a boat accident attorney right away, as people injured in the boating accident have up to five days from the date of the accident to report the crash. However, if someone is fatally injured, then the vessel operator has 48 hours to report the accident. 

Who Is Liable for a Boat Accident in Wichita?

One of the first things that must be established to recover compensation is who is at fault and liable for any damages. If you’re injured in a boating accident contact a personal injury lawyer, as it needs to be proven that your injuries are the result of someone else’s negligent actions. Just because you’ve been injured on a boat does not mean that there was negligence involved. 

Negligence is critical to personal injury claims. The theory of negligence applies when one or more parties fail to act within the legal standard of reasonable care to prevent causing others harm. 

In determining the type of boating accident, your Wichita boat accident attorney can investigate the circumstances that led to the collision and help determine who is responsible for the accident if there was negligence at play. Some of the most common ways that boating accidents occur include:

Collision With Another Boat

In a collision with two boats, typically, both operators are at least partially responsible. Therefore, an injured passenger on either of the boats may have a legal cause against both boat operators. If one operator was injured, they might have a claim against the other operator if they are less than 50% responsible for the collision, in accordance with Wichita’s comparative negligence law. 

Hitting Another Boat’s Wake

When a boat hits another boat’s wake, it can jolt the boat, resulting in passengers being knocked down or thrown out of their seats or potentially even being thrown overboard. Legal liability in a wake accident is not always clear. Federal and state boating laws require boat operators to keep a proper lookout for anything that might be hazardous to their boats and passengers. 

However, the operator’s liability in a wake accident generally depends on circumstances such as: 

  • The size of the wake
  • The boat’s speed
  • The boat traffic around the accident
  • Whether the operator gave the passengers warning that the boat was approaching a wake
  • Whether the injured person was in a motorboat or a sailboat 

The operator of the boat that created the wake may also be negligent, depending on the location and the traffic in the area. For instance, if the boats were in a no-wake zone, then any wake violates the boating safety rules, making the operator negligent. 

Collision With a Submerged Object, Rock, or Land

Even with the best weather and visibility conditions, a boat can still hit a submerged object. Therefore, the operator’s liability for a collision with a submerged object will heavily depend on the circumstances. 

For instance, if the operator has a nautical chart and is driving with caution but still hits a rock or another submerged object, then they generally cannot be found negligent. However, if they are zooming along in a dense fog, without charts or a GPS, and hit a submerged object, that can be considered negligence. 

Failure to Have Proper Safety Equipment on Board

Federal and state boating laws and regulations require that all boats have various kinds of safety equipment on board to ensure the safety of the operator and passengers. This includes having items such as life jackets, throwable life rings, flares, and fire extinguishers on board. 

While failing to have the necessary safety equipment board is unlikely to be the cause of an accident, it does hinder rescue efforts in the event of an accident. Therefore, if there’s an accident and someone is injured because the boat operator failed to have the necessary safety equipment on board, they can be liable for any harm that passengers suffered.

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Wichita Boat Accident Lawyer at Hollis Law Firm

Filing a personal injury claim for injuries suffered in a boating accident can be incredibly complicated due to the many different components of a boating accident. Not only is there the possibility of numerous liable parties, but the venue in which you need to file the claim may not always be apparent. 

At Hollis Law Firm, a Wichita boat accident attorney has experience in handling boat accident claims and can ensure you file your claim through the correct channels and against all liable parties to seek out maximum compensation. Our Wichita boat accident attorneys believe in helping our clients pursue the best possible outcomes for their claims. Contact our firm today by calling (800) 701-3672 or filling out our contact form.


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