Summer is filled with fun, sun and time on the water. However, being out on the water with other people and other vehicles is just like being out on the road. There is always the potential you could be in an accident, and it’s best to be prepared. If you’re an avid boater, you need to be sure you know what to do should you encounter a boating accident.
Regardless of what type of accident you’re in, who’s involved or who’s at fault, here are the five main things you should do after being involved in a boating accident.
Get Help – Depending on the accident’s severity, and if other vehicles are involved, it’s usually best to call the authorities. Just like with a car accident, this will help ensure everything is done by the book and all the proper paperwork is completed. The Coast Guard, 911 or the local law enforcement agency are all options on who to contact.
Seek Medical Attention – If someone has been injured, it’s important to get first responders to the scene as soon as possible. If you don’t believe that you or anyone else is injured, it’s smart to seek medical attention as soon as you return to land just to be sure. It’s always better to be given a clean bill of health than let your injuries go unattended. Additionally, your medical records may be called into play should there be any type of lawsuit.
Gather Information – Once the authorities have been notified and medical help is on the way, it’s a good idea to start gathering evidence and information. Get names and contact information for all parties involved. Take photos of the damage and get pertinent information like registration numbers and insurance information. All of this is vital for when you file a claim.
File Reports and Claims – If the accident has resulted in a serious injury, a disappearance, a death or damage/loss of vehicle, you may need to file a boating accident report. Now is also the time to file any insurance claims you may need to file.
Hire an Attorney – Depending on the severity of the accident, you may find yourself needing an attorney to help you with any lawsuits, or claims. Find an attorney who can help you through the process and ensure things go as smoothly as possible.