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Involved in Boating Accident

What to do if I have been involved in a boating accident in Missouri?

1. Check for everyone’s safety

After an accident, check to make sure everyone else is ok and accounted for.   A person who has lost consciousness while on the water is obviously in grave danger, particularly if that person is not wearing a life preserver. 

This is not only good neighboring, but also is required by law:

RSMo§306.140. Accident or collision, duties of operator--report required, when.

  1. It shall be the duty of the operator of a watercraft involved in a collision, accident, or other casualty. . . to render to other persons affected . . . assistance . . . as may be necessary in order to save them from or minimize any danger . . ., and also to give his or her name, address, and identification of his or her watercraft in writing to any person injured and to the owner of any property damaged . . .

2. Contact the authorities and exchange insurance information

For any accidents or collisions that result in injury, death, or property damage exceeding $500, it is necessary to file a report with the Missouri State Highway Patrol Water Division. 

RSMo§306.140. Accident or collision, duties of operator--report required, when.

  1. In the case of collision, accident, or other casualty involving a watercraft, the operator thereof, if the collision, accident, or other casualty results in death or injury to a person or damage to property in excess of five hundred dollars, shall file with the water patrol division a full description of the . . . accident. . .

Click here to download the Missouri Handbook of Boating Laws and Responsibilities:

3.  Call your doctor

As with any other collision or accident, you should seek medical attention.  Sometimes bumps and bruises may take a few days to notice, particularly when they are on soft tissue.  And sometimes what seems like a minor bump can actually cause long-lasting or permanent damage.

Your doctor knows what questions to ask and what to look for if you have been involved in a boating accident.  He can treat you for obvious injuries and keep a look out for any that may later emerge.  You need a medical professional’s assistance to keep you healthy, and such medical records may be necessary if for any legal claims arising from the accident. 

4. Hire an attorney experienced with boating accidents

Water-related accidents can involve complex legal issues and serious and complicated injuries and damages.  Questions of who was at fault or what factors contributed to the accident are not always black-and-white.  Finding the answers requires an investigation to gather necessary facts to start to put together a case.  And this type of investigation must be handled by a skilled attorney familiar with these types of cases and the laws governing Missouri’s waterways. 

Newman Bronson & Wallis has over 100 years of combined legal experience representing people who were injured in boating and other water-related accidents.  We know how to represent our clients and help them start to recover.  Contact us today– boating laws have specific timelines to be followed in order for your case to survive.  We are here to listen and answer your questions – there is no charge or obligation. At NB&W, we want our waterways to be safe for your families and ours.  Help us help you; help us help protect our community.