The last thing you want to worry about when you’re enjoying your time on the water is a boating accident. Unfortunately, with 4,168 boat accidents in 2019, it’s important to know what to do after a boat accident.
Ideally, enough preventive measures would be taken so that the risk of a boating accident is minimal. Unfortunate things are bound to happen, and being prepared will help make sure that you don’t have to deal with a huge headache.
The first thing you might be wondering is if you need to hire a boat accident lawyer. Keep reading our guide to know what to do after a boat accident and how to hire a boat accident lawyer.
What to Do After a Boating Accident
The immediate aftermath of dealing with a boat accident can be overwhelming. The first thing you want to do if the boat is still floating and you’re not in the water is to see if you or anyone else needs medical attention.
Check to see if anyone has fallen off the boat. If they have, you’ll want to help them get back onto the boat as quickly as possible.
Did your boat break apart or start to sink? Find floating debris to stay afloat and signal for help. Before boarding a boat, check to make sure that there is a life jacket available at all times. Almost 76 percent of boating accident fatalities are from drowning so be sure to wear a life jacket or have one nearby.
If everyone is on the boat, the priority should be ensuring that the boat isn’t in harm’s way. Be sure to provide any medical assistance to those on board and move the boat away from the path. This will guarantee that other vessels don’t become part of the accident.
Be sure to contact the Coast Guard immediately and let them know an accident has occurred. You’ll need to tell them the location of the accident as well as what medical assistance is required. Also, check the other vessel and see if they need assistance as well.
You may believe that you weren’t injured by the accident but you should still see a doctor following an accident. Sometimes the shock of a boating accident can hide symptoms of a serious injury. The doctor’s report will also help if as evidence if there are any legal problems you find yourself in.
Do I Need a Boat Accident Attorney?
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in a boat accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may have a reason to pursue legal action. As the injured victim, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for your missed time at work, medical treatments, and pain.
After the accident occurs and any medical problems are addressed, contact a boat accident attorney to help you start building your case.
How Do Boat Accidents Happen?
To contact a boat accident lawyer, it’s useful to know exactly what causes boat accidents. The other vessel might be liable for any damage that occurs due to negligence or misconduct. Let’s take a look at the most common reasons a boat accident occurs.
Careless Operation of a Boat
Many boat captains operate carelessly; this leads to boating and water accidents.
Passengers sitting in the wrong areas on the boat while it’s moving; jumping a wake near another boat; failing to observe other watercraft in their area; failure to maintain a safe distance from other boats; lack of attention—all of these, and similar actions, are the reason why a boat accident may occur.
Another sign of a negligent boat captain is excessive speed. Many accidents occur because of speed, boaters easily lose control of the watercraft and crash. If the other vessel involved in the accident was careless or negligent, leading to personal injury, you can pursue legal action.
Reckless Boat Passenger
The captain of a boat or operator is responsible for all of their passengers. They need to ensure that their guests are seated while the boat is moving and that no one obstructs their path. The actions of a reckless boat passenger can distract the driver and cause an accident.
In the same way that drinking and driving a car is discouraged, it is illegal to drive a boat impaired or have a blood alcohol concentration passing 0.08.
If someone operates a watercraft while under the influence of alcohol or another substance, it is not only breaking the law but it can cause an accident. If you’re involved in an accident and the other driver was under the influence, contact personal injury lawyers to get your case started.
Inexperienced Boat Driver
Did you know that in certain states, it is legal for someone that is 12 years old to operate a boat? Even if they’re required to be state-certified or have an adult on board, that doesn’t mean that the chances of an accident are low. It is vital to know as much as you can about how experienced your boat captain is before you board a boat.
How Can a Boat Accident Lawyer Help?
Should there be a lawsuit, you’ll need to gather the evidence that proves liability. Then contact personal injury lawyers to get the case started. The best lawyers will help negotiate with the other parties and insurance companies on your behalf.
Most cases settle out of court so having the right attorney to negotiate for you is crucial. If the case does go to court, a professional boating accident lawyer will fight on your behalf to get you the compensation you deserve.
The Right Lawyer for Boat Accident
Boating is an enjoyable activity that is meant to be fun and relaxing. However, accidents happen and it’s important to know what to do if you’re ever injured in a boating accident.
If you are injured due to another boat operator’s negligence, recklessness or inexperience, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Be sure to do your research thoroughly and find the best boat accident lawyer to help you deal with the legal action as swiftly as possible.
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