Boating is a pleasurable exercise that can be quite relaxing as well. It has become popular among people and millions of them register for boating each year. It can be a real stress buster for people who have decided to spend their vacation days on the sea. It takes you away from your daily routine and relieves you of your hectic schedule.
Many people rent boats to enjoy this activity. We have also seen many people diving on one boat. Under these circumstances, there are chances that the boat might get out of control or hit another one. When you are on the boat and unfortunately any accident takes place, a period of shock is common. You might not know what to do or whom to ask for help.
There can be accidents that are negligible but there can also be ones that are serious and need immediate medical attention. Here are a few of the legal steps that need to be taken immediately after the accident.
1. Account For Everyone On The Boat
Immediately after the boat accident, you have to seek all the people that were present in the boat. Some of them might be lucky to get out without a scratch but there will also be ones that will need medical help. The main importance of medical attention immediately after the occurrence is that everyone should consult it once. Even though you do not have any injury, accidents might have an impact on your emotional balance.
Some of the symptoms of accidents are late risers. It might not show up after the accident but after some days, you might feel pain and ache.
2. Notify The Official
After you have accounted for all the people present on the plane and taken care of any casualties, you have to notify the coast guard. You should communicate to him all the necessary and true information regarding the accident. He investigates it and draws evidence from people. He then prepares a detailed report containing what happened and who was responsible for it.
He can be contacted by dialing the emergency number 911. Every boat is registered with a registration number and it should be duly informed to the coastal guard.
3. Gather details of the Accident
The coastal guard gathers all the necessary information that is required for making his report. He talks to all the people and investigates the cause of it. He also mentions whether the accident was a mistake or it was someone’s fault.
Other than the coastal guard collecting information, you should also investigate the accident for your personal cause. This personal cause can be your injury claim and evidence shall be required to win the compensation. It will act as proof of the accident and injury that the victim suffered.
Here are certain steps and pointers that you should be doing during this collection of information
- Pictures act as good evidence. Soon after the accident, make sure you take pictures of the accident, the scene, the witnesses, and the people who were a victim of the accident. Take enough pictures of the boat or vessel as well which makes sure that an accident took place.
- Investigate and note down the names and addresses of all the witnesses. They might be needed to prove that the accident actually happened and they saw it.
- If you are one of the victims, it is always advised to write everything down as soon as it happens. Your memory is fresh and soon afterward, it starts to fade.
- If you are the owner of the boat you must be aware of the insurance companies that will cover the damage to the boat. Contact them and make an application. In case you are not the owner of the boat, you have taken it on rent, you can ask the owners regarding the insurance companies and contact them on his behalf.
- You should have the contact details of medical emergency staff and emergency assistance providing agencies that will take care of the passengers.
4. Avoid Insurance Adjusters
If an insurance adjuster contacts you to provide documentary evidence of the accident or any other recorded statements of the witnesses, you are not obligated to provide the same without having your counsel with you.
The insurance adjusters may misconstruct the case and use it to your disadvantage. They will tweak your statements to win the case in favor of the insurance companies.
It is always advisable to have a legal counsel appointed for yourself before providing any such documents to the insurance companies or the adjusters.
5. Reserve All The Documents
When you are about to file a compensation claim, you will be needing all the documentary evidence pertaining to the day of your boating and thereafter. You have to mention all the expenses and losses that you have suffered as a result of the accident. Be it lost wages, travel expenses, medical bills, and expenditure on household help because of the injury.
Here is a summary of whall all documents you need to keep
- Medical expenditure bills
- Loss of wage due to injury
- Emotional distress
- Damage to any personal property.
6. Appoint A Personal Injury Attorney
Now, for all the legal cases of boating accidents, it is always advisable to select an attorney who is experienced in this field. One who has not dealt with boating accidents would not be able to have the technical knowledge required to win the case. There are various types of boat accidents like falls, impaired operator accidents, absence of emergency equipment, negligence of the operator, etc. Having an attorney who knows the technicality of the particular accident you have suffered is imperative.
If you are seeking one such trusted law firm to handle your compensation claim, consult Butter law.
They will tell you about your legal rights and whether your claim is tenable, if yes, what is the amount of claim that you can receive.