What To Do If You Get Hurt On A Boat

While a boating accident can be traumatic, it is critical to move quickly to remedy any injuries and safeguard the victims’ legal rights. When injured in a boating accident, boat owners should always do certain things.

After a Boating Accident

Getting medical attention is the first priority after any disaster. Boat owners should first check themselves for injuries, then aid anyone onboard. If someone fell overboard during the accident, help them back on board. Boaters should always have a first aid kit on board.

Notify the Coast Guard of the accident, its location, and whether medical aid is required. After a watercraft accident, victims may sue for damages. Follow these suggestions to maximize your chances of success:

Start taking photos of the accident

Nowadays, most people carry a cell phone with them. If a boat owner does not carry a cell phone or does not want to bring one on board, consider a prepaid phone or a digital camera.

Ideally, images should be taken immediately after a watercraft accident to document the location and damage. Take photos of the whole boat and any damaged sections. Take images of any other involved vessels or property.

Collect data from those involved

After taking images of the area, start interviewing witnesses for vital information. Names, addresses, and phone numbers of boat operators and passengers at the time of the crash.

Note any eyewitnesses who saw the collision from another vessel or from shore. Notify any other vessels involved in the collision. Ask for the names and policy numbers of all persons involved in the accident.

Notify the Authorities of the Mishap

Like a car accident, a watercraft accident should be reported immediately to the authorities. In addition to calling local authorities, the boat owner should notify the Coast Guard.

Federal law requires that some boating accidents be reported. An accident report is required if:

  • The accident kills one.
  • Someone is gravely hurt and needs more than first assistance.
  • Damage to the vessel or property surpasses $2,000.
  • The ship is lost or destroyed.
  • A person leaves the vessel due to injury or death.

Contact Your Insurance Company

A hand reaches out. Contact insurance companies within 24 hours after the boating accident. A boat owner or operator should notify the Coast Guard as well as their insurance provider. Regardless of who was at fault, it is critical to contact the insurer in case the boat owner needs to file a claim for damages.

Ideally, the insurance company should be called within 24 hours following the boating accident. Get a copy of the accident report and keep it safe.

Consult a Personal Injury Lawyer

The victim may sue the other boat operator if their carelessness, negligence, or violation of the law caused or contributed to the boating disaster. A boating accident victim may be eligible for compensation for medical bills, lost wages, emotional anguish, pain and suffering, and wrongful death.

Injured or killed in a boating accident? Contact a personal injury lawyer familiar with boating laws and regulations.