The State of Missouri is populated with over 560 lakes – in fact, Missouri is home to more lakes than almost any other state in the US, and the Lake of the Ozarks alone spans 92 miles. Missouri is also home to two of our country’s longest rivers (the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers).
It is no wonder that each year, millions of people from all over flock to our rivers and lakes to swim, ski, boat, float, and enjoy the hot Midwest sun.
When you think about summertime and vacation, and when you take your family and friends to the lake house or go swimming or fishing, you should not be thinking about being at risk of serious injury or death.
Unfortunately, many people are hurt or killed enjoying Missouri waterways, and worse still is that the number of deaths and serious physical injuries on Missouri waterways is already three times higher this year than in 2012.
Statistics show that most accidents that occur on our lakes and rivers in Missouri are caused by:
- operating a boat while drunk
- operating a boat at dangerous speeds
- operating a boat with too many passengers
- unfamiliarity with the watercraft
- inexperience navigating the waters
- being distracted
- a combination of these factors.
In other words, most of these tragic accidents were simply the result of recklessness – meaning, many of these accidents could have been avoided.
How safe water rules protect you:
To ensure our waterways are safe, the Missouri State Highway Patrol regulates boat operators and requires all watercraft to be maintained and properly functioning. To read more about Missouri’s laws governing boating safety, click here.
The rules are fairly simple: boaters and operators of jet skis or other water vehicles must follow safety rules, just like any other driver. These safety rules include:
- you cannot operate a boat or other watercraft while intoxicated
- you cannot operate a boat unless you are over the age of 14
- all boats and other water vessels must be registered with the State
- all boat operators must pass a safety course and obtain their Boater Education Card.
Simple, indeed; we follow similar safety rules every day when driving to work.
Yet despite these simple safety rules and training requirements, the number of water-related accidents and deaths in Missouri continues to increase. The fact is, even if we operate our boats, jet skis, automobiles, and trucks as safely as possible, still, there may be countless others who carelessly disregard these simple safety rules and put us, our families, and themselves in danger.
Add to that unexpected bad weather, defective boat parts, and other out-of-our control risks, and suddenly the dangers of this Missouri pastime loom much larger.
How a boating accident lawyer can protect you:
We should all be able to enjoy our lakes and rivers during the summer months without fear of injury or death. And no one should lose a family member or friend just because another person was recklessly speeding or too drunk to control the boat.
If you have been hurt as a result of a boating, jet ski, skiing, or other water-related accident in Missouri, contact us and tell us what happened. We are here to listen and we will answer your questions. There is no charge or obligation.
We are a group of lawyers with over 100 years of combined experienced representing clients who were involved in traumatic boating accidents and water catastrophes. We understand that victims of these kinds of accidents often have damages that amount to more than just the cost of a wrecked Jet Ski or sunken boat. If you have been involved in a major boat accident, we know you may be suffering from physical injury, expensive medical bills, property damage expenses, or something even worse. Victims of serious boating accidents can also often feel lingering emotional effects of such trauma, such as trouble sleeping, nightmares, or even anxiety about being near water.