While boating accidents are less common than car crashes, they still cause a considerable amount of injuries and fatalities each year. The United States Coast Guard’s 2020 Recreational Boating Statistics reported 767 boating accident fatalities in 2020. In the study, many of these accidents result from negligence and are easily preventable with the proper care and attention.
These concerning statistics point to a severe lack of regard for others’ safety on the water. Georgia law enforcement continues to take reckless boating very seriously, and the consequences for unlawful boating are severe. If you suffer major injuries because of another individual’s negligence while on a boat, you have the right to seek compensation for your damages.
5 Steps to Take After a Boating Accident in Georgia
The severity of a boating accident depends on several factors, including the type of boat, its speed, and the location of the accident. Other elements also include whether everyone on the boat can swim, if there are any lifejackets on the vehicle, and how long it will take for someone to come and help.
In order to protect yourself and others, consider the following steps you should take after a boating accident in Georgia:
Get to Safety
Your first priority is your health and safety. The water can become extremely dangerous if your boat is not stable or is in an unsafe location. While you may not initially suffer injuries from the collision, staying in a dangerous area may inflict severe harm.
Seek Medical Attention
Once you know you’re in a safe area, you can check to make sure you suffer no severe injuries. If you require immediate medical attention, contact the coast guard as soon as possible and perform the necessary first-aid. Once you have checked yourself for any injuries, observe if anyone else needs medical attention.
Contact Emergency Assistance
Boating accidents often lead to severe and devastating consequences. Once your health and safety are not in question, contact local law enforcement or any type of accessible emergency assistance. They will be able to help you and document the accident.
When you’re in a boating accident involving another person’s negligence, collecting evidence is essential to building a personal injury claim. The following are examples of types of evidence that can significantly help you claim:
- Physical Evidence
- Scene or Accident Evidence
- Injury Documents
- Witness Testimony
- Photos and Video
If you suffer injuries and cannot collect evidence, speak with your lawyer about how they can help gather documents and information on your behalf.
Contact a Boating Accident Lawyer
A boating accident lawyer has the experience and resources to provide trustworthy legal representation. Having to handle the complexities of a boating accident claim while recovering from your injuries is challenging and puts your claim at risk.
Following the above steps will increase the likelihood of having a smooth and successful claim. Speak with a boating accident lawyer as soon as possible and learn how they will help you formulate and build your claim.
Speak with an Experienced Georgia Car Accident Attorney Today
The sooner you contact a boating lawyer, the more time they have to communicate with your insurance, gather the necessary documents, and answer any questions about your claim. Our Stewart, Melvin & Frost boating accident lawyers have years of experience protecting our client’s rights and interests. We understand the physical, emotional, and mental challenges that you may encounter after a boating accident and will do everything in our power to provide you with a successful outcome.