The blue waters of the gulf, coupled with the white sandy beaches, bring millions of tourists to the Gulf Coast every year. While there are a lot of great recreational activities to enjoy in this part of the country, there’s always the risk of accident that we all need to be aware of.
According to the United States Coast Guard, there were 4,463 recreational boating accidents in 2016. This equates to about a dozen boating accidents every single day. When you add to that the fact that Florida is often listed as a state with the most boating accidents, the Gulf Coast unfortunately witnesses a large number of collisions every year.
No matter the cause, it’s important to act quickly after an accident. These are the steps everyone should take if a recreational boating collision occurs.
The first thing you should do is provide aid to the other people involved in the accident. Look and see if anyone was thrown overboard, and provide a life preserver if necessary. 80% of fatalities after a boating accident were due to drowning when the cause of death was known. You should also check and see whether anyone suffered any serious injuries.
Seek medical attention
If you know someone suffered significant injuries, contact the Coast Guard or call 911 for immediate medical attention. If your injuries are minor, head to shore and visit a hospital to seek treatment. Even if you don’t feel like you suffered any injuries, it’s still a good idea to see a doctor to verify whether you’re fully healthy after the accident.
Report accident to the Coast Guard
It’s required by federal law to submit an accident report. You may need to file a recreational boating accident form with the Coast Guard depending on the state the accident occurred in. You’ll also need to report the accident to the appropriate state authority. These reports should be submitted by both boat owners involved in the accident.
Report accident to your insurance company
In addition to reporting the accident to the Coast Guard, you’ll also want to notify your insurance company if you owned one of the boats involved. This should be done no matter who is at fault. Immediately reporting the accident to your insurance company will help you avoid having your claim denied.
A recreational boating accident isn’t an enjoyable process. These four steps can help make the aftermath of a recreational boating accident less of a burden on you. And if you are involved in a boating accident, working with a lawyer that is board-certified in maritime law can help you receive adequate compensation.