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When Is a Written Boating Accident Report Required in Missouri?

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Speedboat cruising through lake
Each year, many people enjoy boating on Missouri’s waterways. If you are involved in an accident while operating your boat, ship, Jet Ski, or another watercraft, you might wonder about your responsibilities for reporting what happened. When is a written boating accident report required in Missouri?

When Is a Written Boating Accident Report Required in Missouri?

According to the Handbook of Missouri Boating Laws and Responsibilities from the Water Patrol Division of the Missouri Highway Patrol, any boat operator who is involved in a boating collision must report the accident. You must report the following information about your boating collision within five days of its occurrence:

  • Your name and address
  • Your driver’s license number
  • The registration number of your boat

If you fail to report this information after navigating your boat during a collision, you could be liable to pay damages and costs related to the collision.

In addition, if your boating accident involved the disappearance of someone, serious injuries, deaths, or property damage of more than $500, you must file a written report with the Water Patrol Division within 48 hours of your crash.

If someone else caused your accident, you should speak to an attorney for help with recovering compensation for your losses after you have filed a report. If the boat operator was negligent and caused your injuries and losses, you might be able to entitled to damages.

Tips for Your Boating Accident Claim

If you’re planning to file a boat accident claim, review the following tips to get started:

1. Immediately report the boat accident to the authorities. Under federal law, any serious boat accident that causes significant property damage, serious injuries, or fatalities must be reported no later than 48 hours after it occurs. Make sure to promptly notify the Water Patrol Division and file a report of what happened.

2. Document the accident by gathering evidence. In most cases, documenting what happened immediately after a boating accident can help by providing critical evidence of what happened. Take photographs of the damage and your injuries. Ask for the names and contact information of anyone who witnessed the collision, and write down everything you remember from the moments leading up to the accident. Note the relative positions of both vessels and any other details that are relevant.

3. Don’t talk to the responsible party’s insurance representative. The insurance company might try to contact you soon after your accident. Since you do not have a contract with the other party’s insurance company, you have no legal obligation to speak with its representatives. Instead, politely decline and explain that you want to consult a personal injury lawyer before you will provide a statement about what happened or discuss your injuries. Insurance companies try to ask loaded questions to elicit statements that they can then use against boating accident victims in their claims.

4. Consult an experienced boating accident attorney. Dealing with an insurance company following a boating accident can be difficult. Insurance companies might try a number of tactics to confuse you and make you think your claim is worth less than it is. This makes it important for you to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible after your collision for help with dealing with the insurance company.

Talk to the Law Offices of Bryan Musgrave

If you have sustained serious injuries in a boating accident because of someone else’s negligence, you should speak to the experienced injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Bryan Musgrave. We can help you with filing your accident claim and dealing with all aspects of the process. Call us today at 417-322-2222 or contact us online for a free case evaluation.

Files under: Personal Injury