Boating Accident
Boating Accident

A boating accident can be a frightening experience, and sometimes, it can be challenging to figure out what actions to take when handling such incidents. Knowing the steps to take once an accident of this kind has occurred can go a long way in helping to save lives and protect your legal rights. The law in most states allows a person to pursue a claim for damages, but in most cases, it is your duty as the victim to protect your legal rights. This article offers a step-by-step guide on what to do when you are involved in a boating accident.

1. Determine Who Require Medical Assistance

After a boating accident, your first step is to ascertain who requires medical attention. Make sure you conduct a fast assessment of your condition to be sure whether you require medical help. If you need some attention, you can call for help or ask another person to call for assistance on your behalf. If you don’t require any medical attention, check with everyone else to see if anyone is hurt. In a boating accident, there is a high chance at least one individual is injured and requires medical help.

In any case, it is imperative to remember that seeking medical assistance should be a priority for everyone involved in the accident. This can be done either at the accident scene or afterward. If you believe your injuries are not severe, you should consider getting treatment afterward. Visit a medical expert shortly after you have left the accident so you can be sure that your health condition is perfect. There could be internal injuries that you may not have noticed, which could later turn out to be more serious. Symptoms can take days before manifesting, so you are advised to see a doctor immediately.

2. Get Out of Harm’s Way

Sometimes, the impact of an accident can be so significant that you get thrown out of the boat and into the lake or sea. If you are still in the water, getting back onto the vessel is advisable unless it is unstable or sinking. Look for other people who may also require assistance getting onto the boat. You may have been lucky not to be thrown into the water, but there is a possibility that others could have been thrown as a result of the impact.

Once every individual has been accounted for, the boat can be moved to safety. While doing so, make sure you are not blocking other vessels from moving freely in the water, as this could result in another accident.

3. Notify Coast Guard

After the accident has taken place, make sure you contact the Coast Guard with immediate effect. They will need to know your precise location to easily find you. They will also inquire whether there are casualties or fatalities due to the accident so they can understand how best to handle the situation. The professionals can send for medical assistance if people have been seriously injured. Once you have notified them, remain on site and only leave if it is vital to go. The Coast Guard will have difficulty finding you if you leave the location.

The Coast Guard will collect as much information as possible about the accident so it can present a report. If they ask questions, make sure you answer them accurately and honestly for the sake of your safety and the safety of others. Knowing exactly what transpired can help the Coast Guard prevent future incidents from occurring.

4. Exchange Information

Exchange contacts and insurance information with other passengers on the boat. That way, it becomes easier for you to contact them when filing a claim after the accident. You can also document the identification or registration number of other boats involved in the accident. Remember, people who were involved in the accident can provide valuable information that will help you prove liability and recover compensation for the injuries you have sustained. Make sure you keep their details safe so you don’t lose them, and inform them that you will get in touch.

5. Document Evidence

After the boating accident, try to document evidence from the scene as much as possible. You can use your smartphone to take pictures of the boat’s condition, its surroundings, and photographs of the injured passengers. If other boats are involved, you can take their photos as well. Look around the scene and identify if any other significant items can be used in the case. If so, take images of such items as well. All the photos taken at the scene can go a long way in proving liability in court.

6. Seek Legal Assistance

After the accident, you must seek medical assistance if you have already done that. The next step after seeking medical attention is to contact a lawyer so they can represent you in your personal injury case. Since a boating accident case differs from other personal injury cases, you must look for a maritime lawyer. Let your attorney investigate for you and negotiate with the insurance company of the party at fault. While they work towards resolving your case, you can focus on the recovery part. Boating accident cases can be intricate, so if you plan to pursue a case alone, you will likely lose, especially if you do no know the law. That is why hiring a legal professional to represent you is always recommended.


The above is a step-by-step guide on what to do when involved in a boating accident. Knowing what steps to take places you in an advantaged position compared to someone without the correct information. Most importantly, you need to hire a lawyer to represent you in case of a liability claim.