Do you love spending time out on the water? If so, you are definitely not alone in your love of sun and fun.

After all, there’s really nothing more enjoyable or relaxing than boating with family and friends. Going to your favorite lake or ocean is a fabulous way to leave the worries of daily life behind and just soak in the sunlight and feel the wind in your hair.

But boating accidents happen every day. That’s why you need to understand what to do when you’re involved in a boating accident. Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place for answers. 

This article takes a look at the steps to take following a marine accident, especially when boating-related injuries are involved. Keep reading to get the inside scoop.

Make Sure Everyone Is Safe

First of all, when you’re involved in a boat crash on the water, you need to immediately make sure everyone is safe. After all, just as with any type of serious accident, there are plenty of ways to get injured. Plus there is the risk of someone drowning. 

The key to boating safety is to wear life-preserves. In fact, you should never leave shore until everyone has a life vest and understands the rules of being on the water. 

Check for injuries, both in your boat and in any other boats involved in the accident. If there are serious injuries, such as broken bones or bleeding, do what you can to stabilize the victim until you can reach the shore and wait for help to arrive. 

Get Your Boat Back to Shore as Quickly as Possible

Being out on the water is far different from having a car wreck. Depending on the amount of damage, there’s a risk that your boat could begin sinking.

This is obviously an extremely dangerous situation. You cannot simply walk away from the accident. Especially if you’re a significant distance from dry land. Thus you need to get your watercraft back to shore as soon as possible.

The key is to first make sure everyone is safe, prepare your boat for travel, and start the motor. 

It’s important to keep in mind that your boat might have sustained structural damage or is leaking water. That’s why you shouldn’t push it too hard on your way to shore. Start out slowly, and slowly increase speed as you see how it reacts to moving across the water.

If the other boat or boats involved are no longer seaworthy, you should provide those passengers with a ride to shore so that you can ensure that everyone is safe. Then once the police have arrived, they can send someone out to retrieve any damaged vessels.

Report the Accident

The moment a marine accident occurs, you should call for help as soon as possible. In fact, the sooner the better so that medical help will be waiting by the time you reach the shore.

Obviously, not everyone takes their smartphones out on the water with them, but it’s actually a good idea to keep a phone in a sealed watertight bag so it can’t get wet, yet you’ll have a way to contact emergency services if necessary. 

When the need does arise to call for help, be sure to provide as many details about the marine accident as possible. This will help the operator on duty to contact everyone necessary to send the proper response team.

It’s especially important to notify them of any injuries so that a medical team can be dispatched to provide immediate care once you’ve reached the shore.

Exchange Information with the Other Boaters Involved In the Accident

Once everyone is safe and you’ve placed a call for help, it’s extremely important to exchange information with the other boaters involved in the accident. This includes insurance information as well as personal contact information.

Keep in mind that this is information that your insurance company will need in order to get to work on your claim.

Another important tip is to never admit fault in the immediate aftermath of a boating incident. Those types of details should be left up to the police to determine. When the police or the Coast Guard asks for your side of the story, provide the clearest picture of what happened possible, and then let them fill out their report as they see fit. 

This is because prematurely accepting fault or liability for an accident could end up necessarily placing you at great legal or financial jeopardy.

Get Medical Care for Any Injuries

Next, you need to seek medical care as soon as possible. Keep in mind that you might not experience pain from injuries for several hours or even days following the incident. But you need to get looked at by a doctor for even minor pain.

This is because you will likely experience a rush of adrenaline at the time of the accident, thus the pain could be delayed until your mind and body have had a chance to relax. Plus, you could have serious internal injuries that might not be obvious or noticeable right away.

Contact Your Insurance Company

You’ll also need to contact your insurance company to provide them with information about the accident. Give them as much detail as possible so they can file your claim and cut you a check as soon as possible. They will want pictures of the damage to your boat and the names of everyone involved in the accident.

Hire an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

Boating accidents can be scary and overwhelming. After all, boats are expensive and potentially dangerous. That’s why you need to make sure that you have skilled legal representation to protect you and your family and get you the settlement that you deserve.

Here is a great law firm to call if you have a personal injury case.

A Guide to What You Should Do After a Boating Accident

Boats are a lot of fun, but there’s nothing fun about maritime accidents. Fortunately, this guide can help make a boating accident a little less stressful.

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