Following the Protocol: 4 Steps to Take After Getting Involved in a Boating Accident

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Boating accidents usually take place due to someone’s negligence. Commonly, alcohol consumption has been linked to numerous boating accidents, while heat exhaustion, inexperienced boat operators and poor weather conditions are among the major causes of these kinds of accidents as well. According to the United States Coast Guard, seventy percent of fatalities resulting from boating accidents include drowning victims. That is why life jackets are crucial when engaging in boating activities. If you happen to find yourself in this situation, you need to know what steps to take. Here are 4 steps to consider when you are involved in a boating accident.

  1. Provide Aid

The first step to take when you are involved in a boating accident is to help others if you are in a position to do so. Determine whether there are people who have been thrown overboard and offer life preserver. Eighty percent of fatalities are as a result of drowning during boating accidents. You should also check to see if there are any other individuals who suffered serious injuries from the accident.

  1. Seek Medical Attention

If there are people who sustained serious injuries, call 911 or contact the Coast Guard for immediate medical attention. If you sustained minor injuries, visit a hospital for treatment. Even when you feel like you are in perfect health, it is still advisable to seek medical attention so the physician can ascertain that indeed you are in perfect condition.

  1. File a Report About the Accident

The federal law requires that reports be submitted after boating accidents have occurred. Depending on which state the accident occurred, you may be required to file a recreational boating accident report with the Coast Guard. Apart from that, you may need to report the incident to appropriate state authority.

  1. Consult a Legal Representative

Once you are done with the above processes, you will need to figure out whether or not you can file a claim against the boating operator. The only way you can ascertain this is to avoid making any settlement with the insurer and talking to a personal injury lawyer instead. The attorney of your choice should have sufficient experience in dealing with personal injury cases, and should have a background in handling cases of boating accidents. The kind of attorney you select can make a great difference on how your case will turn out, so it’s advisable to take the necessary precautions to ensure you are working with an experienced legal professional.

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Wrap Up

Unfortunately, while you may use a boat for transportation and fun, all too often, boating accidents can leave you with severe injuries from which you may never recover fully. Therefore, it’s important to know what processes you can take to get the compensation you deserve.  The four steps above can help in making the aftermath of an accident less of a burden on you. The most important of all four steps, however, is ensuring you work with a lawyer with the experience in handling these kinds of cases.