Essential Things to Do When You Get into a Boating Accident

The coastal state of Florida is perfect for all sorts of boating activities, from fishing to water sports. Its citizens are more than happy to take on the open seas. The state had over 931,450 vessels registered as of 2017.
Just in case you are wondering about the safe boating rules, watch this video.

Unfortunately, Florida doesn’t rank as high when it comes to boating safety, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Coast Guard. In a joint report, the agencies found that over 4,200 recreational boating accidents have occurred in the country. More than 700 of them happened in Florida’s waters, the most number of incidences in any state. California came in second with 350, and Tennessee in third with 170 accidents. Although the state’s beautiful waters are perfect or sailing, you may encounter a few negligent boaters who could ruin your day -- or worse, your vessel. Here’s what you need to do if you encounter one.

Check for Injuries

Before notifying the authorities, stop your boat and make sure that everyone on the vessel, including yourself, is okay.  Do a headcount to see if anyone went overboard. Use the nearest lifeboat or lifebuoy to get them out of the water. Ask each passenger if they see any bruises or bleeding on their body and if they feel drowsy.
Call for help immediately if someone is seriously injured. If everyone’s safe, it’s still best to check with a doctor after the incident. Some injuries, like internal bleeding and whiplash, may appear late. 

Let the Authorities Know About It

After you’ve determined that everyone is safe and accounted for, call the authorities immediately. Let them know about the people who need emergency care first. Next, give details about the accident, such as your location, the amount of damage done to your vessel, and the identification of the other boat and operator involved in the incident. You should also call a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to make sure you get compensation from the injuries and other damage from the accident.

Give Your Insurance Company an Update

After calling the authorities, take pictures of the damage on your boat and cooperate with the other operator involved in the accident about the next steps. You should also notify your insurance agency about this problem. Tell them the same details you told the responders and send in the images you took of the incident. If you do obtain a police report of the accident, send it over to them, too. This way, your agent can give you the best compensation for repairs and possible restoration work. 

While boating may be a fun activity to spend with friends and family, a single accident can ruin your experience and your vessel. Apart from staying vigilant on the waters, know how to deal with accidents. Ensure that everyone in your ship is safe and accounted for. Don’t take matters into your own hands. Trust the authorities, your lawyer, and your insurance company to guide you through your case and you’ll be back to smooth sailing in no time.

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