What to Do If You’re Involved in a Florida Boating Accident

Florida is known for its beautiful waterways and boating culture. Unfortunately, with so many boaters on the water, accidents can and do happen. If you’re involved in a boating accident in Florida, it’s important to take the proper steps to ensure the safety of everyone involved and to protect yourself legally. Here’s what you should do if you find yourself in this situation.What to Do If You're Involved in a Florida Boating Accident

Ensure Everyone’s Safety

The first and most important thing to do after a boating accident is to ensure that everyone is safe. This means checking for injuries and providing medical attention if necessary. If someone is injured, call 911 immediately. Move any injured parties to a safe location and administer first aid if you’re qualified to do so.

Exchange Information

After ensuring everyone’s safety, exchange information with the other boaters involved in the accident. This includes names, phone numbers, and insurance information. It’s also a good idea to write down the make and model of the other boats involved, as well as their registration numbers.

Document the Scene

If possible, take photos of the scene of the accident. This can be helpful in determining fault later on. Take photos of any damage to the boats involved, as well as any injuries sustained by passengers. If there were any witnesses to the accident, ask for their contact information as well.

Report the Accident

If the accident resulted in more than $2,000 in property damage, caused an injury or death, or involved a missing person, you must report the accident to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) within 24 hours. Failure to do so can result in a fine or even criminal charges. You can report the accident by calling the FWC’s Boating Accident Hotline at 1-888-404-FWCC.

Seek Legal Advice

If you’ve been involved in a boating accident in Florida, it’s important to seek legal advice. A boating accident lawyer can help you navigate the legal process and protect your rights. They can also help you determine who is at fault for the accident and seek compensation for any damages or injuries you’ve sustained.

Cooperate with Law Enforcement

If the accident is serious enough to warrant law enforcement involvement, it’s important to cooperate with them fully. This means providing them with all the information they need and answering their questions truthfully. Keep in mind that anything you say can be used against you later on, so it’s best to be honest and concise.

Notify Your Insurance Company

Even if you were not at fault for the accident, it’s important to notify your insurance company as soon as possible. This will ensure that they are aware of the accident and can help you navigate the claims process. Be sure to provide them with all the information you have about the accident, including the names and contact information of any other boaters involved.

Review Boating Safety Guidelines

To prevent future accidents, it’s a good idea to review boating safety guidelines. Familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations of boating in Florida, and always practice safe boating practices. This includes wearing a life jacket, avoiding alcohol while boating, and staying alert and aware of your surroundings.

Attend Boating Safety Courses

To further enhance your boating knowledge, consider attending boating safety courses. These courses are designed to teach boaters about boating laws, safety procedures, and emergency response. By attending these courses, you can improve your skills and knowledge and ensure that you’re prepared for any situation that may arise while boating.

Boating accidents can be serious and traumatic, but by taking the proper steps, you can ensure that everyone involved is safe and protected. Always prioritize safety and cooperation, and seek legal advice if necessary. By following these guidelines and practicing safe boating, you can enjoy Florida’s beautiful waterways with confidence and peace of mind.

As a personal injury law firm, we can assist you if you’ve been involved in a boating accident in Florida. Our team at Serrano Law can help you determine liability, negotiate with insurance companies, provide legal representation, and help you understand your rights. We have experience in personal injury law and will work tirelessly to ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive fair compensation for any damages or injuries sustained. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and discuss your case.