Just like car accidents, accidents involving boats can be caused by any number of things. If you own a boat or are on the water a lot with others, it is important to know what to do in the event of an accident. Following these first steps can help reduce the number or severity of injuries, and may help you in a future insurance claim.
Notify the Coast Guard
Even if it appears that no one has been seriously injured and all boating vessels involved are still seaworthy, the first step is to notify the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard will arrive to document the accident and may take photos. They will also talk to everyone involved to understand the circumstances that led to the accident. If it appears there are injuries, or if one or more boats are capsizing or sinking, it is even more important to contact the Coast Guard as quickly as possible.
Make Sure Everyone is Safe
Once someone has notified the Coast Guard, anyone involved in the accident who is capable of rendering aid to others should make sure everyone is safe. If a boat is no longer able to hold passengers, be sure everyone in the water has a floatation device or a piece of debris to help keep them afloat. Bring anyone back on board if they were knocked into the water by the collision but the boat is upright and seaworthy. Ask all passengers that are still aboard the vessels if they are safe and uninjured.
Gather Important Information
In the case of serious boating accidents, there may not be time to gather all the information you may need later to file a personal injury claim. This information can usually be found through the Coast Guard report of the accident. However, if it is possible to obtain contact information from boat operators, passengers and eyewitnesses while you are still at the scene, it is important to do so. Other information to note includes the registration numbers of all boats involved and the insurance policy information.
Your actions immediately after the accident are important if there is a possibility for financial compensation for property damage or loss as well as any injuries. An experienced personal injury lawyer may be able to help. In Atlanta, call Daniel J. Moriarty to discuss your legal options as soon after the accident as possible.
Posted on behalf of Moriarty Injury Lawyer
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