Jerome, Salmi & Kopis, LLC – Law Firm in Fairview Heights, IL

Boat Accident Attorney Fairview Heights, IL

Request a free consultation with an experienced boat accident attorney from Jerome, Salmi & Kopis, LLC. Headquartered in Fairview Heights, IL, we serve all of southern Illinois and eastern Missouri. 

Illinois and Missouri both have beautiful waterways that make for a great day of boating. Unfortunately, boat accidents can happen at any time. When they do, the injuries are some of the most severe. A person may get thrown overboard and drown or suffer an electrocution when the electrical components of the boat are submerged in water. When boat accidents occur, injured individuals can hold liable parties responsible for paying damages. Headquartered in Fairview Heights, IL, the experienced boat accident attorneys Jerome, Salmi & Kopis, LLC can help anyone in Missouri or Illinois who has been hurt to claim the full compensation they deserve.

Boating Speed Limits in Illinois & Missouri

When a motorist drives at excessive speeds on the roadways, it has the potential to cause a serious crash. The same is true for boats on the water.

  • Missouri does not place a speed limit on waterways for boats during the daytime hours. However, the state does implement a speed limit of 30 miles per hour 30 minutes before and after sunset. Missouri Statute 306.125 states that anyone operating a boat must drive in a careful manner and at a safe rate of speed so they do not endanger another person or another person’s property. Due to this, a boat operator can still get a speeding ticket even though there is no speed limit.
  • Illinois also does not place a speed limit on most waterways. Still, boat operators are prohibited from operating their vessel at a speed that does not allow them to stop the boat within the assured clear distance ahead. Boat operators that are in a ‘No Wake’ area must not exceed a speed limit of five miles per hour. When a boat operator is within 150 feet of a public launching ramp owned, operated, or maintained by the Department of Natural Resources, operators must also not exceed five miles per hour.

Boating and Drinking in Illinois & Missouri

The laws on boating and drinking in Illinois and Missouri are very similar. Just as it is illegal to drive a car with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or more, it is also illegal to operate a boat with a BAC over the limit in both states. Anyone found operating a boat with a BAC over the limit will face similar penalties as a DUI.

Unlike driving a car on the road, in both Illinois and Missouri, it is not illegal to consume alcohol while operating a boat. However, in both Illinois and Missouri, law enforcement officers have the authority to stop and board boats. When they do, they may become suspicious that the boat operator is under the influence of alcohol if they see consumption. The glare of the sun, the warm weather, and the movement of the boat can also cause a boat operator to become intoxicated more quickly than if they were on land. As such, it is always advised that boat operators refrain from consuming alcohol.

Investigating Boat Accidents

When two cars are involved in an accident on the roads, an investigation must be conducted to determine fault, and the same is true for boat accidents.

  • In Illinois, the investigation after a boat accident is conducted by the Illinois Conservation Police or local law enforcement. Boat operators have a legal duty to file a boating accident report under the Illinois Boat Registration and Safety Act.
  • In Missouri, the State Highway Patrol investigates all boat accidents, and boat operators must report any accident to this agency within five days. When an accident results in death or injury, boat operators in Missouri have only 48 hours to report the accident to the State Highway Patrol.

While state officials will investigate any boat accident, it is crucial that accident victims speak to a boat accident attorney who will conduct their own investigation. During this investigation, a lawyer will analyze the scene and the boats involved, speak to eyewitnesses, and collect other evidence to prove the injured party’s claim. This investigation, and the evidence that is collected during it, is essential when trying to claim the maximum damages injured individuals deserve.

Get Legal Help Today

If you or someone you love has been hurt in a boat accident, call our boat accident attorneys in Fairview Heights, IL for help with your case. At Jerome, Salmi & Kopis, LLC, we know how to conduct an investigation and collect evidence to prove liability and help you claim the damages you need to make a full recovery. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation so we can review your case.

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