After a boating accident, your goal should be to make sure everyone involved is safe. If the boat is still afloat, do a quick headcount to confirm that everyone is still on board. If someone has fallen overboard, assist them in safely getting back into the boat. Once everyone has been accounted for, check for injuries and administer first aid as needed.
The next step is to move the boat to a safe area away from boating traffic or oncoming vessels. If your boat is completely wrecked or sinking, you should abandon ship, climb onto floating objects in the water, and call out for help.
Even though boat insurance isn’t required for boat owners in North Carolina, not having the proper insurance can be costly. With the right insurance, the monetary impacts of the loss of property as well as injuries to passengers will potentially be covered.
Report the Boating Accident
Even if you follow proper safety protocols while out on the water, accidents are bound to happen. If you’ve been involved in an accident, you might be required to report the accident. Reporting your boating accident to the U.S. Coast Guard can help shed more light on the details of the accident. Federal law requires that a boating accident be reported if:
- There are fatalities
- The damage is valued more at $2,000+
- There are injuries that require medical attention
- Your boat is destroyed
How To Operate Your Boat Safely
While insurance isn’t required for boaters in North Carolina, there are specific laws that need to be followed by boats and other water-crafts. Adhering to speed limits is incredibly important, and because of this, activities like boat racing and reckless operation of your boat are not tolerated by law enforcement. Additionally, making sure to slow down to a no-wake speed for law enforcement vessels and in fishing access areas will help you avoid accidents and remain safe while out on the water.
Contact A North Carolina Boating Accident Attorney
If you need help understanding your rights or possible liability exposure if you are involved in a boating accident, lawyers Geoffrey A. Losee, Pardis Camarda, and Brian Akers from Rountree Losee can help. Contact us online or call us today to learn more about our legal services.