missouri boating accident injury

Memorial weekend can be considered as the start to summer and with the holiday and warm weather comes boating. Like many of you, my family and I will be hitting the lake this summer for some quality time.  In Missouri and the four-state area we have many beautiful recreational lakes and rivers. With that, comes boating and PWC accidents.  The negligence of boat and PWC operators can cause accidents involving serious or fatal injuries.

According to the United States Coast Guard, in 2020, there were 5265 boating accidents, 767 deaths, 3191 injuries, and 62.5 million dollars in property damage.  The number of accidents in 2020 increased by 26.3% and the fatality rate increased by 25.1% from 2019. 

According to the U.S. Coast Guard’s 2020 Recreational Boating Statistics Report, alcohol use is the leading known contributing factor to fatal boating accidents. Operator inattention, operator inexperience, improper lookout, machinery failure and excessive speed ranked the top 5 primary contributing factors in boating and PWC accidents. 

If you or a loved one is ever injured in a boating accident, there are several actions you should take to ensure that your medical needs are met and to protect your rights to recover the compensation you deserve. 

What Should You Do if You or a Loved One is Involved in a Boating or PWC Accident? 

Call for Emergency Medical Care

Make sure everyone is safe, including being pulled from the water, then seek medical care. If you are seriously injured, you or someone else who is able should call for emergency medical help right away. If you are not injured, check on everyone else involved in the collision and call for help if they need medical attention. 

If you are able to get to a dock, provide the address posted on the dock to emergency services.  In Missouri, dock owners on the Lake of the Ozarks and all lakes managed by the United States Army Corp of Engineers must post the appropriate 911 address on the dock. This allows emergency personnel to locate you and get to you quicker. 

Note: if you don’t call for help at the scene of the accident because no one seemed injured, you should schedule a medical evaluation with your primary care physician as soon as possible after the accident. This evaluation by a medical doctor is important because you may have symptoms start to show up after the accident and because you will need it in order to recover fair compensation from an accident claim.

Contact the Missouri State Highway Patrol (Water Patrol)

Next, contact Water Patrol to report the accident and ask for help. MSHP Water Patrol is equipped to help out in all sorts of boating accident situations as long as they are provided with the location of the boat and the severity of the crash. Once you have talked to Water Patrol, follow any advice they give you. 

Water Patrol is in charge of creating an accident report that outlines what happened in the accident and they will do this by gathering evidence from the scene. They may take pictures and talk to passengers, boat operators and witnesses. Insurance companies will want a copy of this report to help determine fault for the accident so be as helpful and honest as possible without admitting fault for any part of the accident.

Gather Evidence and Exchange Information

It’s a good idea to take your own pictures at the scene including any property damage, visible injuries, safety gear, and the area around the boats. If there is anything like empty beer cans that can show the other operator may have been intoxicated, take a picture of that as well.

In addition, it is very important to exchange information with the other boat operator(s) and passengers who were involved in the collision and witnesses who saw the collision. Ask the other boat operator if they have boat insurance and either write down the information or take a picture of their card.

Seek the Help of a Boat Accident Lawyer

If you or a loved one was injured in a boating collision because of the negligence of another, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal rights. Let an experienced boat accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. 

The Attorneys at Dreyer & Tinney Can Assist You if You Have Been Injured on Any of the Surrounding Lakes

​Lake of the Ozarks

Table Rock Lake

Grand Lake

Beaver Lake

Bull Shoals Lake

Truman Lake 

Stockton Lake

Taneycomo Lake

Mark Twain Lake

Pomme de Terre Lake

Lake Wappapello

Lake Ouachita

Lake Hamilton

If you have been injured on a lake or waterway, let us handle dealing with the insurance company so that you can get back on your feet.

The attorneys at Dreyer & Tinney have the experience and knowledge of boating and PWC cases to help. The attorneys at Dreyer & Tinney have obtained millions of dollars for clients injured in boating related incidents. Additionally, Shelly Dreyer and Keegan Tinney are both experienced and avid boaters and are familiar with the laws and rules regulating boating.Contact Dreyer & Tinney today at (417)782-6822 for free consultation about your case. You pay nothing up front and there are no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you. ​