Boat accidents in Miami and other coastal areas of Southern Florida can be frightening. Whether your boating collision took place aboard a chartered boat or your own private craft, there are a few steps you’ll want to take to protect yourself and your passengers:
1) Get medical help.
If you or anyone on board is injured, get emergency medical help. Even if you feel fine after an incident on the water, get a medical evaluation quickly. Some injuries may not present symptoms right away. The stress of the accidents can also prevent you from noticing all symptoms, so it’s important not to assume you’re uninjured.
2) Take steps to prevent further injury.
One of the biggest dangers with boating accidents is drowning, which is the leading cause of fatal injury in boating accidents. Make sure you assist anyone who has gone overboard. If the vessel is damaged and you are in danger of sinking, get immediate help. If your boat is not too damaged, consider moving it out of the way of other boats to prevent a secondary collision.
3) Report the accident.
You will need to report any serious boat collision to the Coast Guard, so contact them if significant injury or damages occurred. Even if no one needs to go to the hospital, it can be a good idea to report the incident to the Coast Guard; you may need their findings to file a legal claim or insurance claim.
4) Start documentation.
Just as with any vehicle accident, you will want to keep a list of injuries as well as a folder of all the documentation related to your accident and injuries. Keep x-rays, police reports, a journal of your symptoms, and any receipts related to your injuries. Take photos of the boat and accident scene and your injuries, if possible. Get the contact information of everyone involved and any witnesses.
5) Hire a boating accident attorney.
A boating accident attorney in Miami or your community can help you file a legal claim against all liable parties. Whether the boat’s engine malfunctioned and you have a dangerous parts claim or whether a boat owner was driving negligently and you have a claim against the operator, a personal injury attorney can help you find sources of compensation and can pursue a claim on your behalf so you have the resources you need to pay for medical bills and other costs after your injury.
Being injured in a boating accident can turn your summer into a very unpleasant round of doctors’ appointments and pain. If you have suffered an injury due to someone’s negligence, you deserve compensation and Florida civil law indicates you may have a right to file a legal claim. To get further details, contact Flaxman Law Group for a free, no obligation case evaluation.