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Important Steps to Take After a Boating Accident


Spending a day out on the water is exhilarating. Unfortunately, people often come back to land with more than just a suntan and some good memories. Crashes are quite common on Florida’s waterways and they can occur between two different vessels, or a boat that crashes into an obstacle in the water. These accidents are very serious and result in some of the most serious injuries. Afterward, it is natural to feel upset and confused about what to do next. Below, our Florida boat crash attorney ( explains the most important steps to take.

Stay at the Scene 

Just as you must remain at the scene of a car crash, you must also remain at the scene of a boat accident. If it is possible to do so, you must also offer assistance to anyone who needs it. People also often fall overboard during boating accidents so it is critical that you try to locate everyone who was involved in the crash.

Seek Medical Attention 

The initial aftermath of a boat accident can be disorienting and chaotic. Your first priority should be to obtain medical attention for your injuries, and for those of anyone else who was hurt during the crash. If you have an emergency on the water you can call or text 911 or use Channel 16 on a VHF radio to contact marine patrol or the Coast Guard. You can also contact the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Report the Accident 

State law in Florida requires boating accidents to be required if it resulted in significant injury, fatality, or a missing person. You must report the accident to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission within 30 days of the crash. By reporting the crash promptly, you can avoid the penalties associated with violating the law and ensure that the accident is documented. This is useful when filing an insurance claim.

Document Everything 

After a boating accident, it is critical that you document everything. Take pictures and if possible, video footage of the scene. Make sure that you take photos of all the vessels involved, your injuries, and other pertinent information. Also make sure that all boat operators provide their names, contact information, and insurance information to everyone involved in the crash, as this is a legal requirement. Locate witnesses who can corroborate your story, and keep any medical reports or accident reports that can also show how you became injured.

Contact a Boat Crash Attorney in Florida 

After any boating accident, it is critical that you speak to a Florida boat crash attorney so you can ensure your rights are protected. At 888-BOAT-LAW (The Law Offices of Frank D. Butler, P.A.), our experienced attorney can review the facts of your case, determine who is liable for paying damages, and accurately value your claim so you obtain the full and fair settlement that is justly yours. Call us today or chat with us online to schedule a consultation and to learn more about how we can help with your case.

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