Boating accidents are similar to car accidents in the fact that they can be both confusing and frightening – this is especially the case for those who have never been in this situation before. Understanding what you should do after you are involved in a boating accident will help ensure that you take the proper actions and reduce the stress of the situation.
If you are ever involved in a boating accident, you need to report it right away with the local law enforcement agency, and you may need to file a report with the U.S. Coast Guard. Also, ensure anyone who has been injured receives the medical attention they need as soon as possible. Once this is done, it is best to contact a personal injury attorney to ensure your right to receive compensation is protected.
What Exactly Constitutes a Boating Accident?
According to the U.S. Coast Guard, boating accidents occur when serious property damage takes place or when someone becomes missing or injured while on a boat. Some of the situations that indicate a boating accident include:
- Boats colliding with each other
- An individual being thrown overboard, killed or injured
- A boat colliding with another object
Taking Action after a Boating Accident
After being involved in a boating accident, it is best for you to contact local emergency services right away. This will include law enforcement, as well as medical personnel if someone is injured. Severe injuries often occur in a boating accident, so it is imperative that anyone injured receives treatment right away to avoid future issues.
If you think that someone else is to blame for the damage or injuries that occurred, then you need to make sure to tell the authorities this. Even though reporting the information does not automatically prove liability, it can be useful if any type of criminal violation took place and may be beneficial if you file a civil lawsuit down the road.
What if Someone Else Caused the Accident?
If you believe that another person was responsible for the boating accident, then you need to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as you are able. If you wait too long, you may lose the opportunity to file a lawsuit at all. Additionally, the longer you wait, the greater the chance of information being lost or deadlines being missed.
If you want the best chance possible to win a civil claim after a boating accident, then you have to prove that another person acted in a negligent manner and that this negligence is what resulted in the collision or injury. This will result in the person – or their insurance company – being liable for any and all damages that occurred. Keep in mind that proving negligence in a boating accident can be complicated and it is best to hire an attorney to help you do this.