Going out on a boat for leisure can be a relaxing thing to do, particularly during warmer months when the weather is nice. Boating is a popular recreational activity that groups of friends usually partake in together. A fun event can quickly turn dangerous if the operator of the boat is being negligent or thoughtless. Perhaps the operator was speeding, failed to maintain the boat, didn’t listen to warnings about weather, or thought it would be funny to swerve around as a joke.
An attorney does not think recklessness is comical, especially when it comes at the expense of others. Victims of boat accidents may have suffered painful and expensive injuries. They can help victims seek compensation for a good time turning sour.
What to Do After the Wreck
If you are in a boating accident and the boat is still afloat on the water, then examine yourself and others for injury. Those who have fallen overboard must be helped back in by using the appropriate equipment. If the boat begins sinking, climb onto debri that floats and signal for help. Drowning is one of the main causes of boat accident fatalities. So even if you know how to swim, put on a life jacket so when you get tired you can rest while still remaining above water.
Contact the coast guard and request assistance if you are miles away from shore. If possible, move the boat out of the way of oncoming vessels but do not put yourself in jeopardy in order to do so. Do not leave the scene of the boat wreck until help has arrived and you have been checked for potential injuries.
When to Report the Boat Accident
An attorney is likely to recommend reporting a boat accident to the Coast Guard, so they can investigate to determine how the incident happened. If you are asked to provide a statement, stick to facts and do not speculate as to why you think the accident occurred. Reporting a boat accident may be required by law if the following applied:
- A person was killed
- A person was injured severely enough to require medical attention beyond standard first aid
- The boat was partially or entirely destroyed
- There was significant damage to the boat and/or other property
After confirming everyone is alright and not in a life or death situation, obtain information from the operator of the boat and other passengers. Collect the boat operator’s name, address, contact, and insurance-related details. Ask for the passengers information too, so an attorney can request an official statement in the days after. Photographs of the scene can be very influential in your lawsuit, as so much can be said in a visual captured moment.
Please reach out if you or someone you love was involved in a boating-related accident. Take us up on this opportunity before you endure even further loss because of an accident that wasn’t your fault.
Source: Middletown, NJ Personal Injury Attorney, Rispoli & Borneo, P.C.