As the weather gets warmer, more Floridians will be heading to the water. Boating is a perennially popular recreational activity within the state—but boating accidents can cause serious or even fatal injuries.
Here’s what you should do after a boating accident:
- Call emergency services: Just like car accidents, you should call 911, the Florida Coast Guard or other appropriate emergency services right away. Time is of the essence when passengers are injured in boating accidents, and you’ll often need to report the accident even if no one is seriously hurt. In Florida, you are required to report accidents which result in injuries requiring more care than first aid, if the damage is over $2,000, if someone disappears or if a passenger dies within 24 hours. In Florida, appropriate authorities include the county sheriff, the municipal police or the law enforcement division of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
- Assess injuries and render first aid: While you’re waiting for emergency services or law enforcement, assess the extent of any injuries and give appropriate first aid. If possible, document evidence of the injuries and damage via photos, video or written recollection.
- Gather contact information: If another boat was involved in the accident, exchange information. You may also ask for eyewitness contact information, which will help when reporting the accident to your insurance provider or filing a claim.
- Notify your insurer: Next, notify your boat insurance provider of the accident
- Talk to a personal injury attorney: Finally, talk to a personal injury attorney about your accident, especially if it was caused by someone else’s negligence or recklessness. You may be eligible to recover compensation from the parties at fault.
Following boat safety protocol can prevent many accidents—but if you’re injured in a boating accident, contact a knowledgeable Sarasota, FL personal injury lawyer at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, Murphy & Walsh.