Boating Accidents verses car wrecks in Arkansas

car wreck v. boat wreck

Boating Accidents verses car wrecks in Arkansas:

Boating Accidents verses car wrecks in Arkansas

The weather is finally starting to get warmer in northwest Arkansas and that means it’s time to get the boats out to Beaver Lake, Tenkiller, or your favorite Fayetteville or Springdale area fishing pond.  Before you go out, here are some things you might want to know about Arkansas boating regulations and how they compare with car wreck regulations:

Insurance for boating accidents verse insurance for car wrecks

The laws regulating boating are similar to the laws that govern cars.  As with car wreck insurance, Arkansas has a minimum insurance requirement for boat wrecks.  In Arkansas, the minimum requirement is $50,000 per incident, per watercraft (over 50 horsepower).  If you use your boat in multiple states, the state in which the boat is registered will generally mandate the liability coverage minimums.

What to do in the event of a boating wreck verse a car wreck

The rules regulating how boaters should behave in the event of a wreck are actually a little stricter than the laws regulating car wrecks in some ways.  In the event of a boating accident where someone is injured; the law requires that you stop and assist the passengers of the other boat, “so far as he or she can do so without serious danger to his or her own vessel, crew, and passengers.”   If a boater fails to follow this rule when someone is seriously injured, it can result in a class D felony.

By contrast, Arkansas laws regulating car wrecks only require that the driver take reasonable efforts to assist.  It is likely that with car accidents the primary duty of a driver in assisting the passengers of the other vehicle is to call for help and to stay at the scene until help arrives and a report is made.

Another difference between car wreck regulations and boating accident regulations is that the duty to file an official report attaches when either someone is seriously injured or killed, or when $2,000 or more of damage occurred.  In contrast, the dollar amount in a car wreck is just $1,000 before you must file with the Department of Finance Administration.  Further, a boating wreck may result in the need to file with multiple agencies.

The need for a lawyer in a boat wreck verse a car wreck

Though there are differences between boat wrecks and car wrecks, a lawyer can be just as necessary in boat a wreck as a car wreck.  As with car wrecks, boat wrecks can involve vehicle damage, personal injuries, insurance claims and settlements, and negotiations with medical providers.  If you have been involved in a boat or car wreck, you should consult with an attorney who is experienced in car wrecks and personal injury law.


Kirk Joyce is a general practice attorney in Northwest Arkansas with experience in personal injury law and criminal defense. If you would like to meet with him to discuss your case, please contact the Joyce Law Firm to schedule a consultation.

Joyce Law Firm was founded in 2002 by Kirk Joyce. Each of the attorneys at the Joyce Law Firm focus in specific areas of law, including, but not limited to: personal injury, immigration, criminal defense, family law, and business law. Contact the Joyce Law Firm today at 479-442-5577. More about Joyce Law Firm