Whether you’re a maritime worker or a pleasure boater, no one expects a sunny day on the water to end in tragedy. Boat accidents can happen to anyone, even if you’re equally comfortable at sea as on land.
When recreational vessels and commercial shipping traffic share the waters, as they do in the Ohio River, the risks can be even greater. Tugboats and cargo ships expect personal craft to obey the rules of the water, but personal craft operators may not even know the maritime traffic rules.
Out on the water, it’s easy to get complacent, but most boating accidents are caused by operator distraction. Following a boat accident, you are required by law to file a written report in many cases.
In addition, if you were the victim of another boater’s distracted driving, you may be wondering if you have a legal claim against them. Karl Truman, an experienced boater, Merchant Mariner, and boating accident attorney, can help you with your legal case against an at-fault vessel operator.
Boat accidents can lead to chaos and confusion. Is water entering the boat, or did someone spill their drink? Have all the crew or passengers on the boat been accounted for? Has any property damage occurred?
In the event of an accident, take a deep breath and follow these steps:
If a boating accident occurred in a lake or non-navigable body of water, you should expect the local emergency services to help with any injuries or fatalities.
If the boating accident happened in federal waters, like the navigable waters of the Ohio River, the Coast Guard will most likely get involved with any emergencies. For serious accidents, including those where you expect to have a legal claim against another party, it is a good idea to file an accident report with local law enforcement agencies. In many cases, failing to do so could be a felony offense.
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Boat accidents in Indiana must be reported if the boating accident results in any of the following:
You must immediately notify law enforcement, either the local sheriff or state police.
In order to report boating accidents in Indiana, you need to mail in State Form 42528, which can be found on the Indiana DNR permits and forms page. You must mail in an accident report within 24 hours of the accident.
Boating accident reports are required in Kentucky if the boat accident results in any of the following:
You must report a boating accident within 48 hours if a person disappears, if there is loss of life within 24 hours, or if a person is too injured to perform normal activities.
The boating accident report must be filed within 5 days if the damage exceeds $500, including total boat loss, or if an accident report was not previously needed but later meets the qualifications.
Boating accidents can result in a wider variety of injuries. People on boats are almost never wearing any type of seat belt, so there is a greater risk of injury even in low-speed collisions. When working on a boat is your livelihood, there can also be workplace hazards like unmaintained equipment, lack of training, unsecured cargo, and more.
If you were involved in a boat accident and suffered injuries or property damage as a result of someone else’s negligence, you should call a lawyer now. If you were not the captain of the vessel, make sure that they file the required boating accident reports as further record of the accident and your injuries.
Maritime law is complex and not all lawyers are familiar with it, so it’s important to find a personal injury attorney with experience in the federal law of the water. Karl Truman is not only an avid boater, but a credentialed Merchant Marine and experienced boating accident lawyer.
He can help you collect evidence to rebuild the facts of your case, including the factors that contributed to the boat collision or accident. He has extensive experience in investigating liability for boat accidents, which means discovering who is responsible for the boating accident. Karl Truman will fight for you to recover fair compensation for the damage caused by the accident, and if needed, identify other insurance policies that may cover your accident if you reach the limits of one policy.
If you’ve been injured in a boating accident on the Ohio River, or any of the surrounding bodies of water, call the Colonel. When the law of the water seems murky, Karl Truman’s extensive experience with maritime rules can be invaluable.
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.