Boating is a common recreational activity and is usually done in protected waters and during good weather. However, boaters still face threats to life and limb because conditions change rapidly. Personal injury and property damage often happen through the fault, negligence or lack of experience of boat owners. Injuries can also be caused by boat defects and mechanical errors. Preparing yourself for any situation and knowing what to do may help ensure that you do the right thing in case you want to contact a maritime attorney about your rights.
Injured in a Boating Accident?
If you or a loved one has suffered a boating injury after a boating accident, here are some important things that you should to do:
- Stay Calm.
A boating accident is different from a car accident, where help may be readily available. In a boating accident, the injured individual may be left stranded in the boat or in an unfamiliar place. You need to stay calm in order to assess the situation. Making a mistake could affect your rights.
- Seek Medical Treatment.
Health and safety should be your first priority. Even if you do not have visible injuries, you and your companions may need to see a medical professional immediately to properly document your injuries.
- Contact the Authorities.
Contact the Coast Guard or the police. An investigation has to begin soon in order to protect your rights.
- Exchange Pertinent Information with the Other Party.
Get the name, contact details and insurance policy information of the other boater.
- Get Contact Information of Witnesses.
Get the name and contact information of all eyewitnesses. Your lawyer may need to talk to them to protect your rights.
- Take Photographs.
You may want to gather as much evidence as possible from the scene. Photographs may provide evidence that will help protect your rights.
- File a boating accident report.
The US Code of Federal Regulations (CFR 173.55) requires that boat owners or operators are required to report a boating accident when, as a result of an occurrence that involves the vessel or its equipment: a person dies; or a person disappears from the vessel under circumstances that indicate death or injury; or a person is injured and requires medical treatment beyond first aid; or damage to vessels and other property totals $2,000 or more; or there is a complete loss of any vessel. State laws may also require you to file a report with other agencies.
- Tell Your Insurance Carrier About the Accident.
Contact your boat insurance company and inform them of the accident.
- Contact a RI boating lawyer.
It is always best to consult a lawyer whenever you are in doubt about what to do. A simple mistake lowers your chance of getting compensated properly for the damages sustained.
Do you need a RI Boating Attorney?
If you or a loved one have been in an accident on the water or in a boat, you may want to speak with a personal injury attorney regarding a potential claim. d’Oliveira & Associates, Rhode Island personal injury lawyers, are working with some of the leading lawyers in the country who are handling these cases.
Please contact the law offices of d’Oliveira & Associates at 1-800-992-6878 or fill out a contact form for a free legal consultation.