Boating accidents can be terrifying and in a moment of panic or shock, it may be unclear what your next move should be. There is a chance that someone is injured, there may be damage to the boat, all in addition to the fear of drowning as part of the accident. Following the accident, there is also much confusion, as to who is responsible, who to report the accident to, whether or not there is insurance coverage etc.
After the accident, it is important to seek medical care, even if you do not believe that you have been injured. Data collected by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission show that head injury, broken bones, contusions and lacerations are the most common injuries sustained from boating accidents. Also, be sure to account for all other known passengers, who may need medical attention, as well as swimmers and passengers of the other vessel, if there is another boat involved. Subsequent to ensuring everyone’s safety, it is necessary to gather information regarding the accident such as contact information for all parties involved, registration and insurance information for all boats.
Under Florida Law, in the event of a boating accident, it is illegal for the operator of a boat to leave the scene without reporting the accident. A boating accident may be reported to the local police department, the county sheriff or The Division of Law Enforcement, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Failure to report a boating accident is a criminal offense. It is also important to report the accident to your insurance if you owned or operated one of the boats, even if the other boater is to blame. If the other boater was negligent or disobeyed boating laws in any way, which led to the accident, you may be able to take legal action for compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress or wrongful death.
If you or a loved one was involved in a boating accident call Darfoor Law Firm at 1-833-DARFOOR for knowledgeable guidance in determining whether you are eligible for compensation.