Florida has a reputation for attracting boating enthusiasts worldwide. Thousands of them gather in the Florida waters each year during the boating season. It might be you. There is a risk of getting injured in boat accidents in the Florida Ocean.
In other words, it’s vital to ask the questions: “In Florida, what should you do when involved in a boat accident?” “Is there any way of identifying your own boating situation that would help?”.
What Should You Do If You Are Involved in a Boat Accident in Florida?
In the case of a boating accident in Florida, there are numerous actions you should take both at the site and soon after the accident. Some of these measures are needed by law, while others are in your best interests.
Contact Emergency Services
As previously said, you should immediately call or radio for emergency help. First responders will be able to provide urgent medical assistance as well as assist in documenting the details of the event.
Gather data from all parties
Make a note of the names, addresses, and boat registration numbers of any other parties involved in the accident. Boat owners, property owners, boat operators, and passengers may all be included. It is preferable to have too much knowledge than too little. Additionally, share your information with any parties that are impacted. If you are in a boating accident and the owner is not present, Florida law requires you to take all reasonable measures to inform the owner of the accident.
Gather evidence at the Accident scene
Much of the important evidence you may need to obtain compensation or prove your claim will be gone once you leave the site. Taking images and videos is the best way to preserve this evidence for future use. Damage to boats and property, water and weather conditions, channel signs or dock conditions, and any other characteristics that you believe are pertinent to the accident should all be included.
Speak with Eyewitnesses
Eyewitnesses are an important source of information in any personal injury case, including boating accidents. Make every effort to get contact information from anybody who saw what happened.
Obtain Medical Attention
Even if you got emergency care at the site of the accident, you should always go to the local emergency department as soon as possible following it. Hospitals are the most competent at identifying your problem, particularly if it does not manifest itself quickly. This also aids in the establishment of a direct record of your injuries and links them to the accident.
Speak with a Florida Boating Accident Attorney
Once your injuries have been handled and treated, it is never too early to call an attorney to assist you in reporting the boat accident and recovering from your losses. Your attorney can help you file your formal report, negotiate with insurance companies and other parties, and take your case to court so that you may achieve the justice you deserve.
Is it a crime to leave when you are involved in a boat accident in Florida?
Yes, leaving the site of a boating accident is a criminal act. Fleeing the accident site without first reporting the accident, exchanging information, and rendering first assistance is a third-degree crime under Florida code 327.30.
It is a second-degree misdemeanor if the collision simply causes property damage. A third-degree felony can result in up to five years in prison, a $5,000 fine, and victim compensation.A defendant may potentially face additional accusations such as boating while intoxicated or reckless operation of a vessel.
Cases you need to report to the authorities as soon as possible
Vessel operators engaged in an accident must notify the authorities as soon as possible if the accident results in one of these factors:
- A person’s death or disappearance;
- An injury requiring medical treatment beyond basic assistance;
- $2,000 or more in damage to the vessel and other items
Reporting requirements for boat operators after accidents in Florida
When engaged in an accident, boat operators are required by law to take specific actions. These are some examples:
- Inform law enforcement as soon as possible.
- As far as they are able, they provide emergency first aid.
- Give everyone involved in the accident your contact information, including their name, address, and vessel identification number.
- Maintain your presence at the site until they have complied with the law.
- If an operator hits an unattended vessel, the operator must take reasonable measures to inform the vessel’s owner.
Florida Revised Statutes 327.30 governs the reporting of watercraft accidents. Collisions, Accidents, and Casualties on Vessels. The legislation makes it clear that it applies to a broad variety of boating mishaps, including sinkings and accidents when entering or departing the sea.
There are federal rules that apply to boating accidents in Florida as well. These rules require reporting for instances involving a death, disappearance, or injury that needs care beyond first aid. In general, Florida laws impose greater standards and have a shorter time frame than federal regulations.
However, keep in mind that both sets of legislation may apply in the event of a boating disaster.
What kind of report must be completed if a boating accident occurs in Florida?
Boat accidents that result in injury must be notified within 48 hours. The report must be submitted by the person who was operating the boat. If the boat operator is disabled, the report should be submitted by the boat’s owner.
If the only damage was to the boat or property, you have up to 10 days to report the mishap.
When speaking with police enforcement, it is best to be as truthful as possible. Your adrenaline may be pumping, but you should try to relax.
After speaking with the police, you must contact your insurance carrier. Before speaking with anybody from your insurance provider, you should consult with a lawyer.
A skilled boat accident lawyer in Florida can assist you in obtaining the claim you deserve.