Kansas and Missouri offer plenty of opportunities for boating enthusiasts. Blue Springs Lake, Longview Lake, Kill Creek Park, and Smithville Lake are some of the most popular destinations for avid boaters in the Kansas City region. While most days on the water don’t end in tragedy, a boating accident is always a possibility. Negligent boat operators and unsafe vessels increase this risk. If you were recently involved in a Kansas City boating accident that resulted in injuries, property damage, or a loved one’s death, contact the experienced Kansas City boat accident attorneys at Wendt Law Firm P.C.
Boat accidents such as collisions, slip and falls on decks, and falls overboard can cause many passenger injuries. From dismemberment due to contact with a boat’s propellers to burns from explosions, someone involved in a Kansas City boat accident could suffer many different injuries. At Wendt Law Firm P.C, our Kansas City personal injury lawyers help victims with boat accident claims after all types of personal injuries.
Our lawyers understand how physically and emotionally devastating a boat accident can be. We work hard to secure the compensation we know our clients need to move forward after serious boat accidents. No matter what types of injuries you or a loved one suffered – or if you need to file a wrongful death claim – we can help.
How to Report a Boat Accident in Kansas City
After a boat accident in Kansas City, you need to report what happened to the authorities. Not only is it part of municipal law, but it could also help you with your injury claim. State law in Missouri says that all vessel operators involved in collisions or other types of accidents must immediately notify the Missouri State Highway Patrol. This is also true if someone goes missing, loses consciousness, requires medical care, or suffers a disability for more than 24 hours. If the boat accident caused more than $500 worth of property damage, you must also report the crash.
You have five days maximum from the date of your boat accident to report it in most cases. If someone dies or suffers injuries, however, you have just 48 hours to submit an accident report. Repot an emergency on a boat by calling *55 on your cellphone or 1-(800)-525-5555 for the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Describe your emergency, give your location, and explain what type of assistance you require. Try to remain calm and give the information succinctly for the fastest possible response. The responder will walk you through the rest of the steps for filling out and submitting a boat accident form.
Common Causes of Boat Accidents
In our years of experience helping victims after boat accidents in Kansas City, we have learned to recognize some of the most common causes of these tragedies. Human error is the number one cause of boating disasters in Missouri. These include mistakes such as operator inattention, boating under the influence, and lack of boat maintenance. Equipment breakdowns are another common cause. Boating equipment that does not function properly could lead to hazards such as fires, leaks, or loss of vessel control. Bad weather, such as rain or fog, is another common factor involved in boating disasters. We can investigate your boat accident to help you determine its cause and identify the defendant.
Assigning Liability After a Boating Accident
While some boat accidents stem from acts of God or poor weather conditions, most result from human error. An operator may have broken one of Kansas City’s boating laws, creating an unsafe condition and increasing the risk of a collision. Boaters may operate their vessels drunk or under the influence of drugs. In other cases, an issue at a manufacturing company may lead to a dangerously defective boat part. When a boating accident turns into legal action, the first step in pursuing compensation is assigning fault. Here’s how our law firm goes about this process:
We listen to your story. During a free consultation at our Kansas City office or over the phone, a lawyer will listen to your boating accident story carefully. We will ask questions to help narrow down the cause of the incident, such as who else was involved and how the other party acted. You’ll get to know our lead attorneys and learn how we may be able to help you recover for your damages.
We offer to represent you. During insurance claim settlement negotiations and/or civil actions, a lawyer can make all the difference. If we believe your case has merit based on what you tell us, we’ll offer to represent you from this point forward. As your personal injury lawyers, we’ll list your legal opportunities and handle settlement negotiations to your greatest advantage.
We investigate your case. If you agree to retain our firm, we’ll begin our investigation right away. This may include revising the site of the crash, looking at photos, interviewing eyewitnesses, inspecting the boat(s), and gleaning information about other parties involved. Our firm will also gather medical records and police reports regarding your accident, if applicable.
After an in-depth legal investigation, our team will name one or more defendants. There may be two or more parties to blame for what happened. For example, another boater may have negligently crashed into you, but a defective boat design may have contributed to your injuries. Our firm can help you pursue compensation from all at-fault parties. The first step toward payment for your medical costs, property damage, and other losses is just a phone call away.
Ways to Prevent a Boat Accident
Boating accidents in Kansas City are usually preventable tragedies. They occur most often due to someone else’s negligence. A drunk or distracted boater, poor boat maintenance, or an inexperienced operator could all contribute to serious accidents on the water. If you operate a vessel in Kansas City, it is your responsibility to reasonably prevent accidents.
Never operate a boat drunk or under the influence of narcotics.
Only operate a boat with proper training and licensure.
Always pay attention to the waterway, scanning constantly for other boats or people.
Avoid going out in bad weather or on dangerous waters.
Obey all posted speed limits and waterway signs.
Do not violate waterway navigational rules.
Keep up with proper boat equipment maintenance.
If you believe your recent boat accident was preventable and happened due to the negligence or inexperience of another boater, you may be eligible for financial compensation. An insurance claim or lawsuit against the at-fault party could result in payment for many damages. Contact our attorneys to learn more about your specific boat accident case.
Contact a Kansas City Boat Accident Attorney
No matter who or what caused your recent Kansas City boating accident, come to our firm for answers. We have represented boat accident victims in the past and successfully fought for significant compensation awards. We have what you need to go up against major boating insurance companies, manufacturing facilities, and other parties. To get started with your particular case, call (866) 539-4415.