5 Steps To Take If You Are Involved In A Boating Accident

While leisure boating is at its highest during the summer and on holiday weekends, the number of boating accidents tends to rise. The 2022 Recreational Boating Statistics from the U.S. Coast Guard data shows that the most crashes happen on boats in June, July, and August. Summer 2021 saw the most crashes, with 1,045 in July, then June with 911, and then August with 800.

Boating accidents can be serious and often result in injury, property damage, or even loss of life. When involved in a boating accident, the faster you act, the more lives you can save and the less damage you do to other people. Having the skills to give first aid and keep the scene safe could mean the difference between life and death, says boating accident lawyer Joshua Evans.

Learn these 5 important steps to follow if you find yourself in a boating accident.

Ensure Your Safety and the Safety of Others

Make sure you’re okay and check on everyone else around you to ensure they’re safe and not in immediate danger. If there’s anyone injured, call for medical assistance right away.

The main focus in a boating accident is to prioritize safety. If you’re in the water, try to swim to a safe place or grab onto a flotation device. If there are others in the water, throw them a life jacket or any other floating object to help them stay afloat.

Atlanta boat accident lawyer Lorenzo C. Merritt suggests that you remain calm and clear-headed, as panic can hinder your ability to think clearly and make sound decisions. In case of severe injuries or if someone is unresponsive, administer CPR if you’re trained to do so, or seek help from someone who is.

Call for Help and Notify Authorities

Contact the nearest authorities and let them know about the boating accident, painting a vivid picture of the chaotic scene on the water. Immediately grab your phone and dial emergency services or the Coast Guard. Give them your location, the number of people involved, and a brief description of the incident. Stay calm and provide clear and concise information.

While waiting for help to arrive, make sure everyone involved is safe and accounted for. Assess any injuries and offer first aid if necessary. It’s important to remain at the scene until authorities arrive, as they will need to gather information and conduct an investigation. Remember, prompt notification guarantees a swift and effective response to the boating accident.

Gather Evidence and Document the Accident

Once everyone’s safe, start capturing the details of the chaotic scene and preserving evidence of the accident. Begin by taking photographs from various angles to document the damage to all involved boats and any injuries sustained. Make sure to include close-up shots of any visible injuries, property damage, and the surrounding area.

Following this, you can start gathering witness statements and contact information, as their accounts can provide valuable evidence for insurance claims or legal proceedings. Note down important details such as the date, time, and location of the accident, as well as weather conditions and any potential factors that may have contributed to the incident.

Remember, the more evidence you gather, the stronger your case will be when dealing with insurance companies or authorities.

Seek Medical Attention and Report Injuries

After ensuring everyone’s safety, promptly seek medical attention for any injuries sustained during the accident and report them. 

Even if you think your injuries are minor, it’s important to get checked out by a healthcare professional. Some injuries may not show symptoms immediately, and early treatment can prevent further complications. When seeking medical attention, provide a detailed account of the accident and how it occurred. This information will help the healthcare provider assess your injuries accurately. 

Aside from this, reporting your injuries to the appropriate authorities, such as the Coast Guard or local law enforcement, is essential. This documentation creates an official record of the accident and can be used for insurance claims or legal purposes.

Contact Your Insurance Company and File a Claim

To ensure a smooth claims process, it’s imperative that you promptly inform your insurance company about the incident and initiate the necessary paperwork. Contact your insurance company as soon as possible after the boating accident.

Provide them with all the details about the incident, including the date, time, and location, as well as any other relevant information. Be prepared to answer any questions they may have regarding the accident.

Even if you don’t believe you were at fault, file a claim with your insurance company. They will guide you through the process and determine the coverage and benefits you’re entitled to. Keep all records and documents related to the accident, such as medical bills and repair estimates, as they may be required by your insurance company during the claims process.


Remember to always stay calm so you know what to prioritize. Immediately call for help and notify the authorities to ensure prompt assistance. Seek medical attention for any injuries sustained, and report them accordingly. 

Don’t forget to contact your insurance company and file a claim to receive the necessary compensation. Stay safe and take the necessary steps to navigate through this challenging situation.

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