Boating accidents can be frightening and potentially life-altering events. In the picturesque lakes and rivers of Missouri, where recreational boating is a popular pastime in the Summer, it’s essential to understand what to do in the unfortunate event of a boat crash. As experts in personal injury law, Sticklen & Sticklen is committed to helping victims protect their rights and navigate the legal complexities that follow such incidents. In this blog, we will provide a comprehensive guide on what to do if you find yourself in a boat crash in Missouri, giving you valuable knowledge to handle the situation effectively.
The first and most crucial step after a boat crash is to prioritize safety. Ensure that everyone involved in the accident is safe and out of immediate danger. If necessary, administer first aid to the injured, and call for medical assistance promptly. It is crucial to remain calm and composed during this high-stress situation.
Report the Incident
Once safety has been addressed, it is essential to report the boat crash to the appropriate authorities. In Missouri, you are required by law to report any boating accident resulting in injury, death, or significant property damage to local law enforcement. Provide accurate and detailed information about the incident, including the location, time, and circumstances surrounding the crash.
Document the Scene
Preserving evidence is crucial for any potential legal proceedings following a boat crash. If it is safe to do so, take photographs or videos of the accident scene, documenting the damage to the vessels involved and any visible injuries sustained by the individuals affected. Collect witness information, including names and contact details, as their testimonies may be valuable later on.
Just as in a car accident, it is vital to exchange information with the other parties involved. Obtain the contact details of the boat operators and any passengers, as well as their insurance information. Be sure to provide your information as well.
Seek Medical Attention
Even if you feel fine immediately after the boat crash, it is crucial to seek medical attention. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent, and symptoms can emerge later. A thorough medical examination will help identify any hidden injuries, ensuring you receive appropriate treatment and documenting your condition for future legal purposes.
Consult an Attorney
Given the potential complexities of boat crash cases, consulting a qualified personal injury attorney is highly recommended. At Sticklen & Sticklen, our experienced lawyers specialize in boating accidents and can provide expert guidance tailored to your specific situation. They will evaluate your case, protect your rights, negotiate with insurance companies, and pursue compensation for your injuries and damages.
Preserve Evidence and Document Expenses
Keep track of all relevant documents, such as medical records, bills, and receipts for any expenses related to the accident. This documentation will support your case when seeking compensation for medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and other applicable damages.
Report to Insurance Companies
Notify your insurance company about the boat crash promptly. Provide accurate and honest information, but avoid discussing fault or accepting any settlement offers without consulting your attorney first. Insurance adjusters may try to minimize your claim, so having legal representation can help ensure your rights are protected.
Cooperate with Investigation
During the investigation by the relevant authorities, fully cooperate and provide them with any requested information. Your attorney will guide you on how to navigate this process effectively.
Experiencing a boat crash in Missouri can be a harrowing experience, but by following these steps and seeking the assistance of Sticklen & Sticklen Personal Injury Law Firm, you can ensure that your rights are protected, and you receive the compensation you deserve.