With an increase in the number of personal watercraft on the waters, comes an increased risk of boating accidents and the potential need for an experienced Kansas City boating accident lawyer to represent victims of negligence. Over the last two decades, the number of personal watercraft registered in the United States has risen by nearly one million. Boating offers enthusiasts a chance to enjoy and explore our nation’s waterways. However, with this opportunity comes certain risks.
Kansas City, MO Boating Accident Legal Counsel
Our personal injury lawyers offer free initial consultations at the law firm of Dickerson Oxton, LLC. When we do accept cases, we operate on a contingent fee basis. We choose to operate this way for the sole benefit of our clients, if we don’t win your case, you won’t pay anything.
With over a decade of combined litigation experience, our Kansas City boating accident lawyers have the knowledge needed to help you with your case. We handle boating accident cases in Kansas City and all over the states of Missouri and Kansas. To speak with a personal injury attorney call or contact us today via our free online form.
Being a smaller law firm, we are directly available to our clients and handle all cases with the utmost compassion. Unlike our larger competitors, who route calls through paralegals and assistants, our Kansas City boating accident attorneys are always directly available for questions or concerns. Adopting this client-first mentality allows us to personally connect with each victim and understand how they are suffering in order to assess their case. At Dickerson Oxton, LLC, our Kansas City personal injury attorneys are dedicated to a personal approach to compassionate representation.
As each state or even county has different boating laws, knowing which laws protect you as a victim is vital. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a boating accident, contact an experienced Kansas City personal injury lawyer at Dickerson Oxton, LLC today. Our personal injury attorneys offer extensive experience and client-specific strategies to help secure maximum compensation for your individual case.
State Law and Negligence
A common term used in describing boating accidents is negligence. Simply stated, negligence is defined as culpable conduct that a person engages in that falls short what a reasonable, responsible person would or would not do in a given situation. Boating operators have what is known as a “Duty of Care” to those around them to ensure their safety. When this duty is breached, that person is said to have been negligent and the victim of negligence has the right to retain a Kansas City boat accident lawyers to help him or her recover damages.
While many negligent behaviors can contribute to Kansas City boat accidents, several common situations generally arise. The Coast Guard reports that the following remains the most significant causation for boating accidents:
- Operator Inattention
- Excessive Speed
- Improper Lookout
- Operator Intoxication
In accordance with state boating laws, the following are also considered reckless, illegal, and negligent practices when boating:
- Entering a marked swimming or all-boats-prohibited area with a vessel
- Jumping the wake of another vessel too close to that vessel
- Chasing wildlife with your vessel
- Weaving through congested waterway traffic
It should be noted that this is just a sampling of various negligent acts that can contribute to boating accidents in Kansas City, MO. Additionally, the owner of a vessel is ultimately responsible for any damage or injury that is caused by a reckless or negligent person who is permitted to use such a vessel.
How Can I Stay Safe on a Boat in Missouri?
Boating on the waterways of Missouri will have similar protocols to waterways in other states. These precautions that can limit accidents and save lives are similar from one waterway to the next. There are several techniques to help stay safe on the water. They include:
Life Jackets – Ensure that there are enough life jackets for every individual on the water vessel. Life jackets are an imperative factor in saving lives while on the water. In a 2019 Recreational Boating Statistics Report, the United States Coast Guard reported that drowning accounted for 79% of fatal accidents resulting on boats. For those individuals that suffered fatal injuries from drowning, 86% of the victims were not wearing a life jacket. Ensure that each individual on your boat has a life jacket that fits.
Education – Educating yourself and the patrons of your motor vessel about the local and state laws is important. Take a boating safety course that outlines important safety measures before operating a vessel.
Do a Headcount Before You Start the Engine – Never start the engine if you do not know where everyone on the vessel is. If people are in the water, ensure that one person is on propeller watch.
Never Boat While Intoxicated – It is both illegal and dangerous for a vessel operator is impaired from drugs and/or alcohol. Alcohol is the leading contributing factor in fatal boating accidents. 23% of deaths had alcohol as a leading factor.
Do I Have to Report a Boat Accident?
After a boat accident occurs, it is required that the accident be reported to the Missouri State Highway Patrol within five days of the accident.
However, if there is an emergency situation where the person dies, is lost on the water, causes an injury to an individual that results in the loss of consciousness, requires medical treatment or has that injured person disabled for more than 24 hour. The boat accident must be reported within 48 hours from the time the accident occurred.
The accident must also be reported within 48 hours if the damage to the vessel exceeds $500. Notify Missouri State Highway Patrol, or dial 911 in emergency situations.
The operator of the water vessel needs to report the accident. If the boat operator was injured or suffered fatal injuries, the owner of the vessel should contact local law officials.
Boating Accidents – Statistics
The Missouri State Highway Patrol reported some alarming numbers in their 2018 edition of boating statistics and drownings. How common are boating accidents and what is generally their causation? See below for a brief recount of some of the statistics. They may surprise you.
- There were 169 total boat crashes in the state of Missouri reported in 2017.
- Boating accidents caused about $46 million in damages nationwide in 2017.
- There were 10 fatalities as a result of Missouri boating accidents in 2017.
- Missouri experiences over 14 boating accidents each month in an annual calendar year.
- The Summer months of May, June, July and August have the most boating accidents.
- An average of 33 boat accidents occur in Kansas during these summer months or more than one per day.
Contact a Kansas City Boat Accident Lawyer
Boating accidents have and continue to cause catastrophic injury and even death to those involved. You can reach one of our experienced Kansas City boating accident attorneys at (816) 268-1960. Alternatively, you can fill out our free case evaluation form on our website and we will get back to you promptly.