Reporting a Recreational Boating Accident

Federal law requires that boating accidents be reported if:

  • A person dies
  • A person disappears from the vessel and the circumstances suggest injury or death
  • A person has sustained an injury requiring medical treatment beyond simple first aid
  • Property damage totals $2,000 or more (some states require reporting of lower amounts)
  • The boat has been destroyed

The operator of the vessel, or the owner if the operator is deceased, should file an accident report with the appropriate state or territorial authority. The U.S. Coast Guard offers an online accident reporting form that is accepted by most states and territories. For fatal and injury accidents, the form should be filed within 48 hours, and for accidents with property damage only, the form should be filed within 10 days.

When completing the Coast Guard’s recreational boating accident form, a person should be prepared to provide information such as:

  • When and where the accident occurred
  • How many people were onboard
  • How many people, if any, were being towed on tubes, skis, etc.
  • How many people, if any, were wearing life jackets
  • Whether any other vessels were involved
  • What exactly happened
  • What damage was caused to the boat and/or other property
  • How many people were injured and/or killed

If you have been injured in a recreational boating accident, or if your loved one was killed in one, contact a qualified maritime attorney today to learn about your legal rights. An experienced maritime attorney will not rely solely on the accident report, instead conducting an independent investigation on your behalf to ensure your rights are protected.

Were you injured in a recreational boating accident on a lake, in a harbor or at sea? Let a dedicated Boston maritime attorney fight for you.

Latti & Anderson LLP – Boston maritime trial lawyers