Many of the steps you should take after a boating accident are similar to the steps you would take if you were involved in a car accident. The first priority is always, of course, to check all parties for injuries and make sure everyone is safe. Call for medical treatment immediately if anyone is injured, and perform first aid as you are capable of doing while waiting for responders to arrive.
Past that, here are some of the steps you should take:
- Get to safety: If you are in the open water, make sure your boat is still operable or capable of floating. If anyone fell in the water, avoid jumping in and instead get them a floatation device. All boats should be equipped with life jackets and life preservers. If you must jump in, make sure you are wearing a life jacket yourself. Get back to dry land as soon as yo uare able.
- Collect information: Once on land, collect all the contact information of all boat operators, passengers and eyewitnesses, and get insurance details of all relevant parties. You should also collect license or ID numbers of all the vessels.
- Take photos: If possible, take photos of damage sustained by the boats and injuries suffered by any of the passengers or operators. These photos can serve as crucial pieces of evidence in an insurance claim or injury lawsuit.
- Contact an attorney: Before you talk to any insurance adjusters or sign any paperwork, make sure you speak with an attorney, who can advise you on your best path forward.
For more information about the steps you should take after a boating accident, contact an experienced Sarasota, FL personal injury lawyer at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez & Walsh.