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What to Do if You Are Injured in a Boating Accident

Serving Families Throughout Jacksonville

In Duval County, where boating is a popular pastime leading to accidents that can cause significant harm, staying educated on local regulations and safe boating practices is vital. In 2022, the county witnessed 18 reported boating accidents, resulting in 12 injuries and one fatality. The spring season's increase in boating traffic means extra caution is crucial for accident prevention and knowing what to do if one occurs.

Keep reading to learn what to do if you are involved in a boating accident.

Seek Medical Attention Immediately

Your health and safety, and that of others involved, should be your top priority following a boating incident. Even if you do not believe you are injured, it is important to be checked out by a medical professional, as some injuries may not be immediately apparent. Keep in mind that the shock and adrenaline from the accident can sometimes mask injuries.

If you or anyone else is injured:

  • Assess the situation: Quickly identify if you or anyone else requires urgent medical attention.
  • Call for help: Contact the Coast Guard or emergency services immediately.

Understand Your Rights: Consult an Attorney

Once you have ensured everyone’s safety, consult with a personal injury attorney experienced in boating accidents. These accidents can be complicated to deal with and are quite different from car or truck accidents. A dedicated attorney can be an invaluable asset when you or a loved one is injured.

An experienced attorney can help you with:

  • Legal guidance: An attorney can help you identify potentially liable parties, negotiate with insurance companies, or bring a personal injury claim when necessary.
  • Seeking compensation: If another party's negligence caused your injuries, they can help you understand what compensation you may be entitled to receive for your injuries, damage to your property, or any other losses.

At The Law Offices of Jason K.S. Porter, P.A., we provide comprehensive counsel to help you understand your situation and legal options.

Document the Accident

Evidence from the accident scene plays a crucial role in any legal case or insurance claim. Your memory can fade over time; the sooner you document what you remember from the accident, the better.

Things to document and share with your attorney include:

  • Pictures of the accident, any property damage, and your injuries
  • The names, contact details, and boat registration information from all parties involved
  • Witness accounts and contact information
  • Any official reports from the Coast Guard or other authorities

Reporting the Accident

According to the Coast Guard and federal law, boating accidents that involve fatalities, disappearances, injuries requiring medical treatment beyond first aid, complete loss of a vessel, or significant property damage must be reported to the state reporting authority.

Required Reporting Timelines

  • Within 48 hours, if there is a fatality within 24 hours of the accident, significant injury requiring more than first aid, or a person disappears under circumstances that indicate potential death or injury.
  • Within ten (10) days of the accident or a fatality if earlier reporting isn't triggered.

Contact our law firm for guidance if you need clarification on your reporting responsibilities after an accident.

We Are Here When You Need Us

Boating in Jacksonville can and should be a joyful activity, but always be prepared and informed. Remember that if you are involved in a boating accident, taking swift action can significantly impact the outcome of your health and legal rights.

Should you need legal advice following a boating incident, The Law Offices of Jason K.S. Porter, P.A., are just a phone call away. To learn more about our services, please contact us. Stay safe and enjoy Florida's waterways with peace of mind.

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