Many Florida boat enthusiasts are very responsible on the waterways and therefore assume that they are quite safe on the water. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Even if you are a very careful boater, other Florida boaters who do not take boating laws and restrictions seriously can end up costing you your health and even your life. Each year, injuries and fatalities occur on Florida’s waterways due to negligence and irresponsibility. Impaired boaters are a leading cause of accidents. Untrained boaters are also very likely to cause boating accidents that can lead to drowning, fire, spinal cord injuries, death, broken limbs, brain injuries, and many other serious injuries.
Commercial boats are required by law to have trained crew members as well as safety equipment. However, not all Florida commercial boaters follow these rules. In case of a boating accident, a commercial boat breaking these rules can find itself without the equipment to save its passengers and without a crew that can minimize injuries. Tragically, commercial boats tend to carry larger numbers of passengers than private boats, meaning that more lives are at risk.
If you are in a boating accident, your first priority should be to help yourself and anyone else in the boat get to safety. Call the paramedics and authorities right away. If anyone is injured, they will need medical help. Even if someone is not injured, the authorities will want to know about possible environmental damage as well as any possible criminal activities (such as drinking while operating a boat) that are taking place.
Once everyone is safe, you should exchange contact information not only with any other boaters involved, but also with any witnesses and with passengers who were involved in the accident. This is important in order to secure information for insurance purposes and to ensure that any investigations that need to occur can occur with at least some information in place. If you can, be sure to take photos to document damages and injuries. Exchange insurance and boat registration information with all boaters involved.
Be sure to report the boat accident to your insurance company. However, avoid signing any documents up front. Instead, consult a qualified Florida attorney who has experience with boating accident claims. In cases where someone was negligent or reckless, especially, a good Florida attorney can investigate and document the circumstances surrounding the boat accident. He or she can help ensure that those injured get the compensation needed to pay for all medical expenses. This can literally mean the difference between excellent care and inadequate medical attention.
Many people hesitate to call an attorney because they assume that their insurance company will take care of all costs or because they fear legal fees. Speaking with a good Florida attorney costs nothing upfront, however, and can cost you much legal hassle down the road. If you need to speak to a qualified Florida attorney, call 1- 800-535-2962 (1 800 5 FLAXMAN). Your initial consultation with our experienced Florida attorneys is at no cost and does not obligate you in any way.