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The U. S. Coast Guard reported 5, 265
recreational boating accidents in the U. S. in 2020. As a result of
these accidents, 3, 191 people were injured, approximately $62. 5
million in property damage was caused, and 767 people died.
With lots of opportunities for inland and offshore boating,
Delaware is a popular destination for boating enthusiasts and
recreational water activities. In summer, thousands of people make
use associated with the Delaware waterways, plus unfortunately, accidents happen.
When they happen, you should know what steps in order to take in the
immediate aftermath of the accident, and in the ensuing days and
weeks. In this article, our
experienced boating accident attorneys at Morris James , help to prepare you for a day
that hopefully will never happen.
If you have more questions about boating or jet ski accidents in
boating accident attorneys at Morris James are available to help. Contact us
online , at one of our local Delaware offices or even by calling
302. 655. 2599.
Delaware law mandates that a boat operator involved in a boating
incident must stop at the scene of the accident plus offer
assistance to anyone who is injured or in danger, unless doing so
would seriously endanger the boat operator’s own vessel or
passengers. Do not flee the particular scene of the accident.
Get to safety
Whenever you are in any accident, the first priority is to get
yourself and others to a place of safety, and tend to any injuries.
In a boating accident, getting to safety may mean turning off your
engine, signaling with regard to help, helping someone out of the water, or
getting yourself safely to shore, depending on the circumstances.
There are many different types of vessels and different bodies of
water, each of which can create dangerous scenarios. For example, a
fast-flowing river could carry someone downriver to rapids or
hazards, or a lake that is congested with inexperienced boaters
carries a high-risk of secondary collisions or even injuries. You should
take reasonable actions in the moment to minimize the risk of more
Call for help
In Delaware, you can call 1-800-523-3336 or 302-739-4580 in a
sailing emergency to contact the Delaware Natural Resources Police
24-hour emergency line. You can also use your VHP radio, channel
Even if you do not need emergency medical services, you should
see a healthcare provider as soon as possible after a boating
accident if a person have any injuries as a result of the particular accident.
Seemingly minor injuries can develop into more serious or chronic
problems, especially if left untreated, plus can lead to pain,
missed work, and a lot more medical expenses. It will be also important to notice
a healthcare provider in order to obtain a medical report of your injuries,
which usually will be important evidence in an insurance claim or
Proof of how an accident happened, who was involved, and the
extent of any injuries or even damage, will be important when the dust
settles after your boating or jet ski accident. It may be hard to
remember to do this in the midst of an incident but it is an
important step to take after everyone is usually safe and tended to,
because evidence can be lost and memories can be unreliable,
especially of a traumatic experience like a boating accident.
Evidence of accidents that happen on the water can also be more
difficult to obtain when time has passed because, unlike in a road
accident, the surface of the water does not preserve evidence, and
some evidence can sink, or be washed, or washed away, by the
Evidence that you ought to gather includes:
- Vessel registration numbers
- Insurance information of boat operators
- Name and contact details associated with boat operators, passengers, plus
- Photos and/or video of the scene, boats, damage, and (with
- Medical report
- Delaware Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police accident
Smartphones have simplified the immediate collection of proof
in a boating incident. Use the camera in order to photograph insurance cards
and boat details. In addition, take some video. Video captures
conditions and action in a way that will photos cannot. A short video
recording of the particular scene of the accident can capture a lot of
information that may later be relevant to a good accident investigation
or insurance claim.
Report the accident
Many boating accidents must, by law, be reported to the U. S.
Coast Guard and the Delaware Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources
Police by the owners or operators of the boats involved inside the
accident. Even if you are not legally required to report your
boating accident, it may become required by your insurance policy, and
the accident report will be important to any claim for insurance coverage or
compensation. The incident report will include useful details about
the people involved, set out facts about the accident, and in some
cases, will assign blame.
Delaware law requires that a boating accident is reported
immediately if the person:
- disappears, or
- is injured plus requires medical attention beyond first
Delaware requires that accidents are reported within
writing in order to the Delaware Fish and Wildlife Natural
Resources Police on a Recreational Boating Accident Self Report
- immediately if a person goes away or is
injured requiring medical attention beyond first aid;
- within 24 hours if a person dies; or
- within five days if damage to the particular vessel and
other house exceeds $500.
Federal law requires that a boating accident is reported towards the U. S. Coast Guard and the state
reporting authority within 48 hours if a
- dies within 24 hrs;
- is injured requiring medical treatment beyond first aid;
- disappears from the vessel under circumstances that indicate
death or injury.
And must be reported inside 10 days of the
accident or even death if any associated with the above happen or there is damage to
vessels and other home totaling $2, 000 or even more, or the boat is
Notify your insurance company
If you are the owner or operator of a vessel that is involved in
a boating accident, you should notify your insurance company of the
accident. This may be required under the terms of your policy so
that your own insurance is not invalidated, plus will be necessary within
order to submit an insurance claim for damage caused by the
You should not, however, enter into a discussion with your
insurer, or any other insurance provider, about the accident before
getting legal advice. And you should NEVER admit any blame in the particular
accident, or accept the settlement offer from a good insurance company
without first consulting a boating incident attorney. An insurance policy
organization will generally try to avoid a large payout, and will make a
lowball offer that will they hope will end up being accepted, especially if the
victim is unrepresented. Once you agree to a settlement with your
insurance company, or even the insurer of somebody else involved in the particular
accident, you will likely be prohibited from making another claim
for compensation. You must ensure that any kind of compensation is definitely
sufficient regarding your injuries, loss, and damage from the sailing
accident, including future expenses such as medical costs plus
Call a boating accident attorney
A boating accident attorney has experience dealing along with all the
difficult but crucial steps after a boating accident. Boating
accidents can easily be particularly complex as they often involve state
and federal agencies, out-of-state people and businesses, multiple
layers of boat owners plus operators, and catastrophic injuries, A
boating accident lawyer can advise you upon what you are able to and need to
do, and they can deal with the insurance plan companies, authorities,
and other people involved in the accident on your behalf. After a
boating accident, you should get the particular advice of an attorney
experienced in handling boating accidents.
The content of this particular article is intended in order to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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