A boating accident can be a frightening experience, and it’s difficult to know exactly what to do and how to respond.
Identifying the steps you should take, including consulting with a boat accident lawyer, is crucial to protecting your legal rights.
4 Steps to Take After a Boating Accident
- Seek medical attention immediately
The first thing you should do when you are involved in a boating accident is determine whether anyone in the accident requires medical attention. Note that not all injuries are immediately visible; in the case of shock or internal bleeding, you may not even know you’ve been hurt. It’s important to seek medical attention immediately to ensure that you’re taken care of properly.
- Gather all the information
After ascertaining that everyone is safe and okay and out of danger, the next thing is to obtain all of the essential information from the other vessel and the witnesses.
The information you need to gather at the scene of the accident includes:
- The name, telephone number, and addresses of the passengers who were aboard when the vessels crashed.
- The names, telephone numbers, and addresses of the boat operators.
- The contact information of the eyewitnesses who may have witnessed the accident.
- The registration number and identification of the vessels involved.
- The insurance companies and policy numbers of those who were involved.
- Photographs of the scene of the accident and any damage to the vessels involved.
This evidence is necessary if you wish to bring a boating accident lawsuit, and your boat injury lawyer will need this information to proceed.
- Report the accident
The next thing you should do is write an accident report with the US coast guard. This will be used to shed light on how the accident happened. In most cases, you will also be required to report the accident to the federal government as well.
The boat accident lawyer will tell you that, under federal law, a boating accident report must be filed if:
- Someone is killed in the accident
- There is a bad injury resulting from the accident that needs medical attention beyond basic first aid.
- The damage to the vessels equals or exceeds $2,000.
- There was a complete loss of the vessel, and it was destroyed.
- A person disappeared from the vessel as a result of the accident, indicating severe injury or death.
- Make injury and insurance claims
After the accident, it is essential to use a boat injury lawyer to report it to your insurance carrier if you operated or owned one of the vessels involved in the accident.
The insurer must be notified whether you were to blame or not. You may need to turn to the insurer if you wish to claim any damages.
Additionally, if someone was careless and broke the rules, you may be required to bring a boating accident lawsuit using a boat accident lawyer.