Boating accidents can be scary; above everything else, we don’t know what to do because it’s not something widely covered. Suddenly, what was supposed to be a getaway from work has turned into a nightmare. If you collide with another boat or hit a dock, we have some advice.
Check on Everybody and Stay with the Boat
Immediately after the accident, make sure you’re feeling well and then check on everybody else. If somebody has fallen into the water, stay calm, toss them a lifejacket, and assess any other floating tools you have that might help. If necessary, slowly approach them in the water and cut the engine while they climb back on board.
If you don’t wear a lifejacket at all times, grab the nearest one in an emergency and stay on the boat. Why? Because passing boats or people on the shore will find it much easier to locate a boat in trouble compared to individual bodies in the water.
If you don’t have enough life vests or can’t find one, try to stay near anything that will float in the water.
Reporting the Accident
As long as everybody is safe and healthy, your next question should be whether or not the boating accident needs to be reported. In our wonderful state of Florida, there are some occasions where reporting will be necessary;
- If a passenger disappears (and it seems likely they’re injured or dead)
- If somebody dies
- If the vessel has been damaged beyond repair
- If there’s an emergency that requires urgent medical attention
- If there’s property damage of at least $2,000
Just as you would on the road, you should swap important information if the boating accident involved another operator. This includes;
- Phone Number
- Insurance Information
- Hull ID Number
If the accident wasn’t your fault, we recommend building a case as early as possible so start taking pictures and write down all lost or damaged items. In many cases, the insurance company will get in touch to try and arrange some form of settlement or at least get a statement. Don’t panic, simply reject any offer, reject a statement for now, and contact a professional attorney with experience in boating accidents.
At The Injury Firm, we can help. Our expertise and passion will be incredibly useful in generating the compensation you deserve!