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What To Do Immediately After a Boat Accident

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Posted By DAM Firm | July 10 2023 | Personal Injury

The immediate aftermath of a boat accident in California can be an incredibly confusing and scary experience. However, there are various steps that individuals must take to not only ensure their well-being but also to preserve the integrity of any insurance or personal injury claim. We strongly encourage speaking to a skilled boat accident lawyer if you or a loved one have been injured due to the negligent actions of another party. Here we want to review some of the most important steps to take right after a boating accident.

What To Do After a Boat Accident

1. Seek Medical Care

The number one priority after a boating accident is seeking medical care. Even if an individual does not have any signs or symptoms of an injury, any person involved should go right to the hospital or an emergency clinic for an evaluation by a medical professional. Often, the signs and symptoms of both accident injuries do not appear until hours or even days after the incident. 

Prompt medical treatment serves a few purposes, the most important of which is medical treatment for those who have been harmed. Additionally, prompt medical care helps establish a solid link between the injuries and the incident, which will be beneficial for any insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.

2. Preserve Evidence

Right after any type of accident, particularly a boating accident, evidence will begin to disappear. If individuals involved are able to do so, they should gather as much evidence as possible. However, please keep in mind that boat accident injuries often occur in hazardous environments, so gathering evidence may not be possible right away.

As soon as a non-injured individual is able to do so, they should use their phones to take photographs or video surveillance of various aspects of the incident, including any injuries, damage to the boat, possible causes of the incident, and more. If there were eyewitnesses to the incident, their names and contact information, along with the contact information of anyone on the boat, should be written down.

3. Report the Incident

A boat accident must be reported to the proper authorities. Typically, this means calling 911 and letting the local police department and rescue officials get to the scene and determine the best steps moving forward. Law enforcement officials will conduct an initial investigation and fill out an accident report, while water rescue individuals will help those who may have sustained injuries.

4. Contact an Attorney

We strongly encourage any boat accident victim to reach out to an attorney who has experience handling complex claims. A boat accident lawyer in Orange County will have the resources needed to handle every aspect of the claim. Not only does this include investigating the incident, but also handling all communication with other parties and working to negotiate a fair settlement. If necessary, an attorney can fully prepare a boat accident case for trial.

5. Continue Medical Treatment

Boat accident injury victims should continue all medical treatment recommended by their physician or other healthcare professional. Any discontinuation of recommended care could be taken as a sign by the insurance carriers or the at-fault party that the injuries are not as severe as the victim originally stated. Boat accident victims should continue using medical devices and going to all follow-up visits until their doctor says they have reached maximum medical recovery.

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