When you’re out enjoying yourself on a boat, you don’t expect an accident to happen. But Florida being home to plenty of water-related activities, boating accidents are common here. In fact, boating accidents are difficult to investigate here because evidence tends to sink to the bottom even when near the dock area.
The first steps you take after a boating accident in Miami will impact your compensation and how the investigations will be conducted to identify the responsible persons. Because of how serious and fatal boating accidents can be, it’s best to retain diligent personal injury lawyers in Miami who can investigate on your behalf and explain the intricacies involved in such cases.
What Should I Do Immediately After a Boating Accident in Miami?
Knowing what to do following a boating accident in Miami can save your life and the lives of others. This knowledge may even prevent you from being involved in a boating accident. Any accident, whether on the road or water, is scary. But a boating accident is unique.
Determine Whether Everyone On Board Is Accounted For
Confirm everyone is present. Anyone who fell overboard should be pulled back if it’s still seaworthy. And if the boat is sinking or taking in water, then you should try and climb on any floating debris.
Call 911 Immediately
Call the Florida Coast Guard for assistance if the boat is still floating. Because time can be an issue for the injured, you need to do it fast. Because some of these boating accidents may be in remote areas, the first responders may not be the paramedics but other public safety agencies. Still, call emergency responders as soon as possible.
Gather as much information as you can. This would be information about the vessel like the identification number, names, contacts of its occupants, any witnesses, etc.
The best way to document a boating accident in Miami is to take pictures. Take pictures of the damaged boat, any other boats involved, and any damaged property. Take photographs of the accident in a way that will reveal what happened – any picture that could make a difference. Again, remember to secure this type of evidence as it could easily be destroyed if it falls in the water.
Also, take pictures of the injuries and water conditions. Don’t forget to take eyewitness testimony, as this is sometimes the most compelling testimony in case of a boating accident.
Seek Medical Attention
Getting medical care is a crucial step to receiving damages for your injuries. Because of the shock and adrenaline in the aftermath of the accident, you may feel okay. But internal injuries are common, especially because people don’t wear restraint devices.
Any kind of superficial injury should also be examined by a professional. You shouldn’t make your injuries worse by not getting medical care.
Involve A Miami Boating Accident Attorney
An attorney understands what steps to take after such an accident. An experienced attorney can help you preserve evidence, document the accident, talk to witnesses, and follow up your case with law enforcement. However, it’s never too late to speak to a Miami boating accident attorney. But the sooner, the better.
An attorney will help you know your legal rights and ensure you are rightfully compensated for your losses. Most cases will end without a trial, but you’ll need a qualified and skilled representative to negotiate on your behalf. And because you only have four years to file a claim from the date of the accident, talk to a Miami boating accident attorney to begin the process immediately.
When Is Reporting of a Boating Accident Required?
Florida has upwards of one million registered boats. Accidents here are a common occurrence. But how do you know whether you should report a boat accident? Federal law offers guidelines that oblige operators or boat owners to report an accident with Florida’s reporting authority. You are required to report when there is:
- Death of a person
- Destruction of a boat
- Injury of a person who requires treatment beyond regular first aid
- Considerable damage to boats and other boats valued at more than $2,000
- A disappearance of a person from a vessel which may indicate injury or death
In such circumstances, you are required to report. In case of death, you must report within 24 hours. If there’s a significant injury or a person disappears, then you have 48 hours to report. Other reports should be made within ten days.
How Do I Report a Boating Accident in Miami?
If you want to report a boating accident in Miami, you must notify the law enforcers. You may report it to the law enforcement where you’re located.
What Happens After a Miami Boating Accident?
Miami law enforcement will investigate these cases, interview witnesses, and examine the damage. They will then file a police report and bring criminal charges or arrest any person for things like reckless operation. If there’s no report, a boat operator should still make sure an official report is filed.
What Will a Boating Accident Attorney Do for Me?
A boating accident lawyer in Miami, FL, will protect your rights as the victim. Some other things a skilled attorney will do include:
- Take the necessary steps on your behalf
- Guide you through the process of receiving compensation
- Evaluate your legal rights and where you stand
- Secure and compile evidence to prove your case
- Build a legal strategy to fight for you
- Negotiate on your behalf for maximum compensation
If you’ve suffered injuries or damage to your vessel or property after a boating accident, talk to Miami boating accident lawyers today for aggressive legal representation.
Protect Your Legal Rights Today with The Help of a Legal Professional
Sometimes because of damaged or lost evidence and the nature of boating accidents, it can become challenging to prove a solid case. That’s why you need a skilled lawyer to help you.
The personal injury lawyers at our Miami law firm are passionate about fighting for accident victims and protecting their legal rights. Boating accidents shouldn’t be taken lightly. Get in touch with us today to get started.