Cruising on the water on a boat is a liberating feeling. Whether you are practicing water sports, relaxing, or participating in a more intense activity such as racing, boats can be pretty risky. Any accident is something that you want to avoid, but a boating accident can prove even more dangerous. Water accidents often result in major injuries and death, and although you can never assume you will be a part of one, they do happen.
It is most important to be prepared for what happens after an accident, if it ever does. Whether you fall overboard and get run over by another boat, your boat sinks, or you have a collision with another boat or swimmer, you must protect yourself and get medical attention as soon as possible.
Call for Help
The absolute first thing you should do is to call a water authority or get help from another boat. You can call a variety of resources to help you on the water such as 911, the coast guard, or even your local police. Try to have one person focusing on keeping the boat away from more harm, and then someone else to provide medical assistance. If you are alone, try to keep the boat afloat as you call.
Get Medical Attention
Even if you do not feel that you were injured, you should always go to a doctor or emergency room after an accident. There are some injuries that do not show their symptoms until a while after the accident. Also, going to a medical provider will allow you to show proof that you have received medical attention. This can prove helpful if you decide to file a personal injury claim.
Also known as collecting evidence, you should gather as much information as possible. Write down the names, addresses, insurance information, and telephone numbers of everyone involved in the accident. You should also try to get information from witnesses. If possible, take photos and videos at the scene of the accident. Be sure to include registration numbers, insurance policy numbers, and accident details.
File a Report
There area few reasons why you should file a report:
- If it results in serious injury, disappearance, or death
- If there is property damage in excess of $500
- If you have a total vessel loss.
All deaths must be reported within 24 hours, while disappearances and injuries must be reported within 48 hours. For anything else, you have 10 days to submit a report.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
Boating laws do change from state to state, which is why it is important to have a lawyer who knows what the laws are. Hiring a Boating Accident Attorney is a great way to find out what rights you have, and recover monetary value for your injuries, damaged property, as well as pain and suffering. Hiring a personal injury attorney is the best thing you can do after a boating accident to protect yourself, and move on from the accident.