If your boat capsizes, the first thing to do is know whether you need emergency medical attention. In case the vessel is broken, it is best to climb on floating debris. If anyone is overboard, help them back to the boat. Before boarding the ship, you should always be on a life-saving jacket to help in case of an accident.
The First Steps to Take After the Accident
According to U.S Coast guard statistics, 70% of boat accident fatalities result from drowning. After a boating accident, if everyone is on board, the priority is to provide first aid to injured people and keep the boat out of further harm. It should be steered out of the way for any incoming vessel.
The next step is contacting the coast guard and letting them know about the accident, the location, and the essential medical assistance required. If the accident involves another boat or vessel, check on them to determine if they need any help. Remember, you should not leave the accident scene if anyone needs medical attention.
Even if you think there are no injuries in the boat accident, make sure to consult a doctor. At times, the shock can hide signs of severe injuries. Inform the doctor that you were involved in a boating accident for them to know what specific procedures and tests to conduct.
Collect Information About the Boating Accident
After ensuring that the passengers involved in the accident are stable and out of harm’s way, start gathering information. Talk to everybody involved in the incident and ask for details from any eyewitnesses. The information should include:
- name, contact numbers, and address of passengers aboard the boat involved in the accident;
- the contact number, name, and address of the boat captain involved in the accident;
- contacts and names of eyewitnesses who saw the accident from other vessels or the shore;
- insurance number and insurance company name of passengers involved in the accident;
- registration number of ships involved in the accident.
Taking pictures of the accident scene will be helpful. Take photos of the damages to all vessels, involved in the accidents, your injuries, and those of other passengers. Do not forget to capture the location of the boating accident. Getting evidence of the boating accident is essential and will be useful later if you need to file a lawsuit and prove that the other boat’s captain was liable for the accident.
Reporting the Boating Accident
Informing the Coast Guard about the boating accident is essential. They will help shed light on how the accident happened. The boating accident report can be useful to the state law if:
- a passenger is badly injured and needs medical attention beyond basic first aid;
- there is a fatality after the boating accident;
- the boat is completely damaged;
- a passenger goes missing from the ship.
You will be required to file a report with a lawyer for boating accident or other law firms. When giving out the information, ensure it is accurate and objective. Even if you are responsible for the accident, do not accept responsibility for the accident or offer apologies. This can have repercussions in court.
The investigators must take many facts into account before determining the boating accident’s cause and the person responsible. Do not give any information that may jeopardize the investigation. You should consult a lawyer for boating accidents to help you make the right report on the accident and help pursue your compensation lawsuit.
Depending on the severity of the accident, the aftermath consists of a lot of bureaucracy and recovery. If you were injured your focus should be your health. Therefore, leave the legal proceedings up to the experts, and focus all your energy on healing. During difficult times, having loved ones around can be a great source of hope and joy.
About Mark Scott
With a law degree under his belt and years of experience, Mark Scott set off to make the law more accessible to all. He decided to help people lost in the maze of legal terminology to find their way.
Mark writes clear and concise pieces and gives simple advice that is easy to follow. On account of positive feedback from readers, he decided to dedicate more of his time to this goal and became a legal columnist. In his writings, Mark covers a wide array of topics, like how to seek legal counsel, or how to deal with different procedures.
Furthermore, he directs his readers toward other trustworthy resources for more in-depth information.