Boating accidents may not occur as frequently as car accidents, but they can be equally traumatizing. They are quite dangerous, emotionally taxing along with being very expensive. While some may have an idea about what to do in such cases, but some people may be clueless in the same situation.
Well, in case you have recently suffered from a boat accident, you should definitely consider calling an experienced boating accident lawyer as soon as possible to assist with your case.
As the owner of a boat it is your prime responsibility to obey all the rules of the water. Moreover, case of an accident, you are responsible for ensuring that proper reports are filed. This is particularly important if other people or other watercrafts are involved. Make sure to keep yourself calm and also protect your interest during and after a boat accident, as well.
What are the types of boat accidents?
Boat accidents can range from minor to the major. Any boat accident should be taken seriously, though. In some cases, minor accidents can be worse than what they seem at the first glance. Major boat accidents are an obvious problem and such major accidents may include overturning, collisions as well as sinking. Accidents may involve other boaters or other watercraft.
Reporting an accident
There are quite strict laws regarding the reporting of boat accidents. These laws can vary from state to state, but in general you are required to file a report with officials if you have been in an accident where someone was hurt or fatally injured, if damage is done to another watercraft or if someone on a watercraft has disappeared.
Moreover, there is also a time limit for filing your report. If a person has died or is injured, the report must be filed within 48 hours. In case, only damage has occurred to the other watercraft, then it must be filed within 10 days. When filing the report, it is the sole responsibility of the boat operator/owner to fill out the report. The report is used to help develop safety regulations as well as for manufacturing standards.
Legal issues of an accident
While you are required to file a report as soon as possible, you should still keep your legal rights in mind. Just as with any other legal situation you have the right to speak with an attorney. You should always consult with an attorney before making any statement, be it written or oral. Anything that you say to an authority could be used against you. It could also be used by insurance companies to hold up a settlement.
When the accident occurs, ensure to tell authorities the minimum necessary information. You should tell anyone else that you have no comment. Once you’re done with speaking with your attorney, you can file the report and make official statements about it. This will allow you to keep your interests in mind and possibly protect you from costly legal action.
Boat accidents are always serious. Knowing your rights and regulations can be of a great help in case of boat accident. All you need to do is to stay calm and in control during an accident and after.