Missouri and Kansas are home to many beautiful lakes, and with summer upon us, many local residents will head to Truman Lake for fishing, the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri or Clinton Lake in Kansas. Unfortunately, the United States Coast Guard reports 4,000 yearly boating accidents throughout the United States, which results in hundreds of injuries and even deaths. If you are considering taking to the waterways in Kansas and Missouri this summer, the following can help you determine if you have rights to compensation if you are involved in a boating accident.

Federal and State Boating Laws

The Federal Boat Safety Act established national guidelines for boat registration as well as navigation on waterways. The state of Kansas and Missouri also have regulations regarding what is acceptable on the waterways to remain safe.

Types of Boating Accidents

Research shows that the best way to avoid a boating accident is to receive proper instruction and safety training. Understanding how boats operate, how to implement safety protocols, and taking the time to learn the rules and regulations of the waterways vastly reduces the chances of an accident occurring. The following are the most common types of boating accidents that occur on the waterways of Kansas and Missouri:

  • Boat hits another boat’s wake or hits another boat directly
  • Boat collides with an object underwater
  • Passenger overload
  • Slippery deck of a boat
  • Bad weather
  • Congested waterways with too many boats
  • Boat operator inexperience and failure to implement necessary safety protocols
  • Boat manufacturing equipment failure
  • Distracted, negligent, reckless or careless boat operation, i.e. speeding
  • Negligent maintenance of a boat
  • Inadequate safety gear or no safety gear at all
  • Operation of a boat under the influence of drugs or alcohol

Most of these boating accidents are completely preventable. Unfortunately, one of the most common occurrences is operating a boat under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This entirely avoidable cause for an accident actually results in almost 20% of all boating accidents.

What to do Following a Boating Accident

Every state has their own protocols regarding what to do following a boating accident. In Kansas, you should file an accident report with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism within 48 hours if the accident involved injuries beyond first aid or the death or disappearance of any person, or damage to a vessel over $2,000. In Missouri, you must file an accident with the Missouri State Highway Patrol if a person dies, disappears, an injury causes a person to lose consciousness or require medical treatment or the damage to the vessel exceeds $500. Again, every state is different, and visiting with an attorney immediately following a boating accident will help ensure that you follow the rules and laws required.

Contact a Boating Accident Lawyer

If you were involved in a boating accident in Kansas or Missouri, contact a boating accident lawyer at Griggs Injury Law at (816) 474-0202 to help you determine how best to move forward with your case.