Few things are better than drifting along the water in your boat on a warm, sunny summer’s day. But that pleasant afternoon cruise can quickly become a nightmare if you’re injured in a boating accident.
Many people don’t realize it, but boating accidents can be just as dangerous as crashes involving cars. If you were hurt in a boat accident, here’s what to know from a Virginia boating accident attorney.
What To Do Following a Boating Accident
The aftermath of a boating accident can be a frightening and confusing time. Take the following measures if you plan to file a claim against the negligent party who hit you.
See a Doctor
If you were hurt in a boat accident, see your doctor as soon as you can. It’s not uncommon for people to suffer broken bones, whiplash, and other injuries in boat accidents, especially when moving at high speeds.
Even if you think you walked away without injuries, it’s a good idea to see your doctor anyway. Some injuries don’t become apparent until days after an accident. Plus, seeing a doctor gives you a record of treatment, which you’ll need if you want to make a claim with the insurance company.
After a boat accident, you’re probably not thinking about doing detective work, but that’s precisely what you ought to do. The Virginia boating accident attorney you hire will need this information to build a case for you.
Information to document includes:
- The date and time of the accident
- Your injuries and property damage
- The speed of your boat and the estimated speed of the boat that hit you
- Whether your boat had lifejackets
- Whether the other boat operator appeared intoxicated
Ask the other boat operator for their insurance information. If you can find witnesses, ask for their account of the accident.
Contact Law Enforcement
If someone goes overboard and disappears or dies in a boat accident, you report it to the Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) in Richmond, VA. You can also report the accident to the nearest Virginia Conservation Police officer.
You have 48 hours to report the accident if someone died, disappeared, or was seriously injured. If property damage exceeds $2,000, you must report the accident within 10 days.
Contact a Boating Accident Injury Attorney
Boating accidents can leave you with painful, sometimes debilitating injuries that force you to miss work while you try to recover. You’re also left with expensive repair bills for the damage to your boat. It makes sense that you’d want to hold the person who hit your boat liable for the trouble they’ve caused you.
This is where boating accident lawyers can be very helpful. They can gather evidence, speak with the insurance company, and represent you in court if your case goes to trial.
If you wish to make a claim against a negligent person for hitting you, you’ll need to do so within two years. That’s all the time Virginia gives you to file a lawsuit. You forfeit your right to file a claim if you miss the deadline.
Experienced Boating Accident Attorneys in Virginia
If you’ve been involved in an accident on the water, it’s wise to call a Virginia boating accident attorney as soon as possible. At Geoff McDonald & Associates, P.C., our attorneys have years of experience assisting clients with boat accident claims in Richmond, Virginia Beach, and nearby cities.
Call Geoff McDonald & Associates, P.C. for a free consultation at (804) 888-8888 today.