After an injury accident, protecting your rights is crucial. If another person was to blame for the accident, you might be entitled to compensation. Below are some ways you can protect your legal rights after a boat/jet ski accident.
At John Foy & Associates, we have helped many injury victims win what they deserve over the past 20-plus years. Boat and jet ski accident cases are some of our specialties. If you work with us, there is no fee unless we win your case.
To get a FREE consultation, call us at (404) 400-4000, or contact us online.
Your Rights When a Boat/Jet Ski Accident Injures You
If someone else caused the accident, they are legally responsible. You might be able to file a personal injury claim for compensation.
Boat owners and operators have a duty of care to passengers and others on the water. If an owner or operator breaches their duty, they are liable for the damages (Georgia Code Section 51-1-6). You have the right to pursue recovery for your injuries.
You can seek compensation through a personal injury claim or lawsuit. However, there are steps you must take before that.
to find a John Foy office near you
How You Can Protect Your Rights After a Boat/Jet Ski Accident
Boat and jet ski accidents can be severe. Watersports are already reasonably risky, so an accident can cause a lot of damage. You might have painful injuries, property damage, and more.
To have the most robust case possible, you’ll need to protect your rights. Here are some essential steps you can take.
Get Medical Attention
Your well-being is the number one priority after a boat/jet ski accident. Check yourself and others for injuries. Get emergency medical attention for anyone who needs it.
Most boats will have first aid kits. If yours does, render first aid while you wait for medical help to arrive. If you are the boat operator, stop the vessel and move to a safe location.
The boat driver should also account for all passengers. According to the US Coast Guard, 79% of fatal boating accident victims died by drowning. The operator should ensure that no one has fallen overboard. If someone has, they should throw a device to help them out of the water.
Report the Accident
According to the Coast Guard, a boat operator must report an accident with:
- Injuries requiring more than first aid
- Missing people
- $2,000 or more in property damage
- A destroyed vessel
The operator should report the accident to the state reporting authority. In Georgia, that is the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. If you are not the operator, make sure your boat’s operator reports the accident.
Most of the time, the boat/jet ski accident report must happen within 48 hours. The report is essential for your case. It provides proof that the accident occurred, which helps protect your rights.
Document the Accident Scene
Gather all the necessary information you can from the accident scene, such as:
- The names, contact information, and vessel numbers for all operators
- Insurance policy information for all operators
- The names and contact information for witnesses
- Pictures of your injuries, the boat/jet ski damage, and the entire accident scene
Document everything you can from the scene. This information will help you build your injury case. You will need to show how the at-fault party caused your accident. You’ll also need to prove the damage from the accident.
Know Your Insurance Options
Not all locations require boat owners to carry insurance. However, it’s smart for anyone with a recreational vehicle to purchase coverage. Ask the boat operator if there is an insurance policy for the vessel.
If there is insurance coverage for the person who caused the accident, you can probably file a personal injury claim. The insurance company should pay for your accident damages. Also, if someone other than the owner was operating the boat, both the owner and operator could be liable.
You must know your insurance options if you suffered injuries. Insurance claims can be complicated, so contact a boat/jet ski accident lawyer for help. A lawyer can determine the best compensation options for you. To get a FREE consultation with John Foy & Associates today, call (404) 400-4000, or contact us online.
Contact Your Own Insurance Company
If your boat was involved in the accident and you have boating insurance, report the accident to your policy. Your insurance company might help pay for some of your damages.
Be Wary of the Insurance Company
After the accident, the at-fault party’s insurance company might try to call you. Be very careful about any communication with the insurer. Insurance companies are very skilled at reducing what they have to pay on a claim.
Do not accept a settlement offer or give a recorded statement to the insurer without talking to a lawyer first.
Contact a Boat/Jet Ski Accident Lawyer
It’s best to avoid contact with the insurer until you have a lawyer. A lawyer can protect your rights by dealing with the insurance company for you. They can also help you with all of the above steps.
Boating accidents are severe and stressful. After the accident, you do not have to handle your case alone. A boat/jet ski accident lawyer can take on the legal side of things. While your lawyer gets to work, you can focus on healing from your injuries.
Talk to a Boat/Jet Ski Accident Lawyer for Free Today
At John Foy & Associates, we understand how insurance companies operate. If an insurance claim is not an option, we can help you pursue compensation in other ways. While we handle your case, you can focus on getting better.
Contact us today for a FREE, no-risk consultation. We do not collect a fee unless we win your case. Call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online for your FREE consultation.