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What Should I Do After a Boating Accident?


Boating season is well underway in Tennessee, and having fun with one of our vital natural resources is always a pleasant time. Unfortunately, with as many boats out on the water this time of year, just like with a car accident, accidents are bound to happen, so it is important that you know what to do after a boating accident. At the law office of Mitch Grissim & Associates in Nashville, our team of highly rated legal professionals is here to help. Call the office or contact us today for a free consultation if you or a loved one has been involved in a boating accident.

Assess Medical Attention Needs

The first thing that you should do after a boating accident is to assess the medical assistance necessary for everyone involved, including yourself. Seek immediate medical treatment for anyone with serious injuries. Even if you do not believe that you are seriously injured, you should still see a doctor as soon as you get back to land. This creates contemporaneous documentation about the extent of your injuries after the accident and may help detect a serious injury, like internal bleeding, that you are unaware of. In addition, you’ll need this documentation along with an accident report to present to an insurance company and to an experienced attorney.

Move Out of Harm’s Way

After a boating accident occurs, the next step is to move out of harm’s way and seek medical attention. If you are in the water, return to the boat if it is not capsized or sinking, and alert the boat operator if possible. If you are still on the boat, get away from the vessel immediately and move away from any damage and make sure that everyone is accounted for after the accident.

Document the Scene

Take photos and videos of the scene of the accident to preserve as evidence for a later case. This includes where the accident happened, the extent of the property damage, documentation of any physical injuries, weather conditions, time of day, and anything else that may be helpful to your claims. Be sure to document the extent of the damage to any other vessels involved in the crash and anything that may have contributed to the damage, such as empty alcohol containers.

Exchange Information

Exchange information with all boat operators involved and other persons in the boating accident. If there are bystanders or witnesses to the accident be sure to exchange information with them, as well, so that your attorney can get their statement at a later date. Be sure to get any insurance information if another vessel was involved in the accident to help facilitate the claims process.

Talk to an Experienced Boat Accident Lawyer

No matter where your boat accident occurred, seek out quality legal representation for your boating accident claims. Be sure to hire a lawyer that has specific experience with boating accidents and understands the law regarding personal injury in Tennessee so that you’re better able to obtain compensation. To learn more, talk to our office about the wide range of legal services provided to our clients that have suffered injuries in a boating accident.

How to Keep Yourself and Other Boaters Safe and Avoid Immediate Danger

Boating accidents can happen when you least expect them. After all, nobody stepping foot onto a boat is expecting to be in a collision or part of an accident scene on a waterway. Boating is an enjoyable pastime, but unfortunately, another party’s negligence can cause a fun-filled day to turn costly and tragic in a matter of minutes.

Here are a few precautions that you can take to keep other boaters and yourself safe while out on the water:

  • Be on the lookout for oncoming vessels
  • Know the whereabouts of other parties on the water
  • Always wear your life jacket
  • Have life jackets available for all boaters
  • Keep a basic first aid kit close by and accessible
  • Ensure that other passengers are acting responsibly
  • Contact the authorities immediately if anyone becomes injured

Note matter how many passengers are involved in a boating accident, do your best to allow the authorities to gather evidence and seek medical help immediately.

Keep in mind that boating accidents can cause serious injuries and can also be fatal. A personal injury lawyer may be able to assist you with taking legal action after you’ve received medical attention and you have a medical report from emergency services. No matter where the accident occurred, acquiring the appropriate documentation will be essential for proving your case in court and receiving compensation for your medical bills.

How to Prove Liability in a Boating Accident

After you’ve sought emergency assistance, you’ll want to collect insurance company names and make speaking with an attorney your first priority. Even if your party was the only responsible party, all vessels involved in a boating accident claim are subject to investigation.

In the event that a person disappears or has fallen overboard, the ability for investigators to gather evidence is going to be critical in order to prove liability in a boating accident. In these cases, depending on your location, local water rescue personnel or the Coast Guard will likely need to assist in the investigation.

Proving liability in order to secure compensation for medical expenses requires a thorough investigation by the local authorities. And an insurance claim will require this documentation to proceed. In addition, the registration or identification number of the vessels involved will also need to be documented.

Let Us Help You Today

If you’ve been involved in a boating accident and have suffered medical expenses or lost wages due to being out of work and you would like to speak with a highly qualified Nashville boat accident lawyer about your boating accident claim, call or contact Mitch Grissim & Associates today.

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