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What should you do after you’ve been in a boating accident?

By Ken Gibson on May 10, 2017

Just like car accidents, boating accidents can be frightening and confusing, especially the first time one happens to you. Knowing what to do right after a boating accident can help prepare you, and help make the situation better.

It’s important to report a major boating accident to local law enforcement, and potentially file a report with the U.S. Coast Guard. Also, make sure anyone injured receives medical attention, and contact an experienced lawyer if you have concerns.

What Is a Boating Accident?

A boating accident is any situation in which serious property damage occurs, or in which someone becomes injured or missing on a boat, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. Boating accidents include a person being thrown overboard and hurt or killed, as well as boats colliding with each other or other objects.

What Should You Do First?

After a boating accident, contact local emergency services immediately, including law enforcement and medical personnel if someone seems injured. Serious injuries can occur in a boating accident, so it’s vital that people receive medical treatment right away to avoid future complications.

If you believe that someone else is responsible for the accident or the damage or injuries that happened, include this information in your report to the authorities. While reporting the information does not prove liability, it is useful if a criminal violation has occurred, and it may be helpful if you choose to file a civil lawsuit later.

What If Someone Else Is to Blame?

If you think someone else was responsible for the boating accident, contact an experienced personal injury attorney immediately. The longer you wait, the greater the chance of information being lost, deadlines being missed, or for you to unknowingly waive your rights.

To win a civil claim in a boating accident, you have to demonstrate that someone behaved negligently, and that negligence caused the accident. This makes the responsible person (or their insurance company) liable for damages. Proving negligence is difficult and not something we recommend you try on your own.

Find Out If We Can Help Recover Your Costs

If you or someone you know has been injured in a boating accident because of someone else’s negligence, then you may be entitled to compensation for pain, suffering, and other damages. Call us at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys today at (804) 413-6777 or toll-free (855) 781-6777 and speak with a Virginia boat accident lawyer to find out your options in a free consultation.

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