If you are familiar with boating accidents or have ever witnessed one, you will agree that they can be frightening. Not just that, they can also leave victims confused and uncertain about the next steps. This is why most experts advise that people who often use boats should have boating accident lawyers on their speed dial. These lawyers will help to provide clarity and guidance on responding anytime you are in an accident.

Indeed, having a Tampa boating accident lawyer on your speed dial is one good way to prepare for a boating accident in Tampa. However, it would also be best if you were armed with a step-by-step guide on what to do whenever you get into such accidents. This guide will help ensure your safety in the chaotic moments following a boat crash. But that’s not all. It will also help to boost your chances of getting adequate compensation for your damage from the accident. 

Perhaps you have yet to access accurate information on what to do after a boating accident. Well, in that case, you have come to the right place! This article will provide a detailed guide on what to do in a boating accident. We will also teach you the proper practices to help you win your accident claim. So, please ensure to read to the end for more eye-opening information. 

What does a Boating Accident Entail? 

It is probably best to start by defining what a boating accident entails. This is so we can have a good foundation to base the tips and information we share here. According to the Collins Online Dictionary, an accident occurs “when a vehicle hits a person, an object, or another vehicle, causing injury or damage.” 

The US Coast Guard says that a boating accident entails “a person being thrown overboard and hurt or killed, as well as boats colliding with each other or other objects.” A boating accident can be defined as a situation where a boat hits a person, an object, or another object. 

Boating accidents often lead to injuries and other types of damage. These damages might be minor sometimes, but they can also be severe at other times. Whatever the case, you can file an accident claim and win adequate compensation for your damages. This is especially if you can prove that the accident is the other party’s fault. 

What can You do to Reduce Your Risk of Getting into Boating Accidents? 

As much as we can not completely control our chances of getting in an accident, we can do some things to reduce them. Here are some actions that can help reduce your risks of getting in a boating accident: 

  • Always examine the boat. If you own a boat, it will be wise to always examine it, especially before and after each trip. This ensures that all the components are working fine, and you do not have to worry about system failure. Some of the components you should inspect include the throttle, steering, battery lines, switches, etc. Doing this regularly will help to reduce your risk of getting in an accident. 
  • Ensure that life jackets are on board. Boat safety laws in Tampa require boats in the area to always carry safety jackets for all their passengers. So, it would be best always to ensure that safety jackets are on board. Not only that, but you should also ensure that the jackets are functional and easily accessible in accident situations. 
  • Always watch the news and stay updated about weather conditions. One of the most frequent causes of boating accidents is terrible weather. The weather can suddenly change while you are on the water, which will get you stranded. So, you must always keep your eyes out for news about the weather, especially before your trip, if you want to reduce your chances of getting in this situation. 
  • Dress to keep warm in low weather temperatures. It has been proven multiple times that exposure to water in low-weather temperatures can be deadly. So, you want to increase your chances of surviving such conditions by dressing to keep warm.
  • Avoid alcohol and other hard substances when sailing. Navigating a boat under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or other hard substances can be deadly. This is because such substances can limit your cognitive abilities and make it difficult to control the boat. When this is the case, your chances of getting in an accident are bound to shoot up. So, it is always best to avoid such hard substances anytime you are in the water. 

What Steps Should you Take After a Boating Accident? 

You should know that the success or failure of your accident claim depends heavily on your actions after the accident. This is why it is essential to be properly guided on the proper steps to take after your boating accident. Here are some tips to help you: 

Confirm Your Safety and Check Your Body for Injuries 

The first thing to do at a boating accident scene is to ensure your safety. Perhaps you are still in the boat, and it is afloat. In that case, you should channel your efforts to see that it remains floating. But then, if you have been thrown overboard in the accident, try to locate the boat or any floating object and climb back on. Once you have ensured your safety, you can help to get other people who have been thrown into the water back on the boat or any safe place. 

After doing this, you can then go ahead to check your body for injuries. Start by flexing all your joints and muscles to confirm they are fine. Then, run your hands all over your body. While on it, pay attention to any unusual feeling, pain, or wound. If you notice these things, get the first aid box and help yourself until emergency services arrive. 

Supposing you can check around to see whether any other person was injured in the accident. If there is, help them with first aid too. Of course, your health and safety should always be a priority in all situations. So, ensure this for yourself and other parties anytime you are involved in an accident. 

Gather Pieces of Evidence on the Scene.

You should know that your chances of getting adequate compensation for your damages depend largely on whether you can prove the fault of other parties in the accident. So, to make the most out of your claim, you must present a convincing case. But, of course, making your case convincing has to start from the accident scene. 

You need to gather as much evidence to help your case as possible from the scene. Please take note of what caused the accident and document it. You can also take photographs of the damaged boat, your injuries, and other things you feel will help your case. 

Another essential thing to do on the scene is to talk to some witnesses and collect their contact information. Witness testimonies or statements can boost your chances of winning the accident claim. So, approach the witnesses and ask if they will be willing to state to support your claim. It would also be best to always approach the witnesses with respect, politeness, and courtesy. 

Contact Local Authorities and Your Lawyer 

 It is crucial to contact local authorities as soon as possible if you get into a boating accident. This is so they can get to the scene and access the situation quickly. Moreover, they can also help handle emergencies and further care for severely injured people. Some authorities you should contact in a boating accident situation include the police, the water guards, and other emergency services. 

You should know that the police will play a crucial role in determining the success of your accident claim. This is because the judge will base their decisions on facts from police reports on the accident. So, it is always best if they arrive on the scene quicker to gather more evidence. 

It is also essential to contact your personal injury lawyer quickly after the accident to guide you on the correct steps you should take in the next moments. Indeed, being adequately guided on what to do after a boating accident can improve your chances of winning your claim. 

Conclusion 

We have established that boating accidents can be devastating, and the following moments can be confusing for the victims. However, we also noted that being guided by accurate information on what to do can help you immensely. This article has discussed some essential information about boating accidents and how to react in such situations. 

Perhaps, you are looking for an experienced Tampa boating accident lawyer for your accident claim. In that case, Coleman Law Group is here for you! 

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