During the summer in Alabama, many residents and visitors take to the lakes to enjoy some leisurely boating. Despite the fun and relaxation, accidents can happen. In fact, the U.S. Coast Guard reported 658 deaths related to boating in the U.S. in 2021.
If another boat collides with yours, you need to know how to react and what steps to take to protect yourself and your interests.
1. Ensure safety
The first step after a collision is to ensure the safety of everyone involved. Check for injuries and call for medical help if necessary. You should also look at the damage to your boat and determine if it is safe to stay aboard.
2. Exchange information
Next, exchange information with the operator of the other boat. This should include names, contact information, boat registration numbers and insurance details.
3. Document the collision
Documentation is crucial in any boating collision. Take photographs of the damage to both boats and write down a detailed account of the incident, including the time, location and weather conditions. If there are witnesses, ask for their contact information and a statement of what they saw.
4. Report the incident
In Alabama, you must report boat accidents to the Alabama Marine Patrol Division if they result in injury, death or significant property damage. File a report with them as soon as possible after the incident.
5. Contact your insurance company
Notify your insurance company about the accident. Provide them with all the details and the documentation you collected. They will guide you through the process of filing a claim.
Boating accidents can be stressful and confusing, but knowing what to do can help you handle the situation effectively and ensure you protect your rights and interests.