Drinking and Boating Don't Mix: What to Do If You're Hurt in a Boating Accident Involving BUIShare July 29, 2022 | Category: DUI
For many people, boating and drinking seem to go hand-in-hand. But, boating under the influence (BUI) is extremely dangerous, and each year numerous drunk boaters cause accidents on the water that could—and should—have been avoided. If you’ve been injured in a BUI accident, keep reading to learn what you need to know from Fort Myers DUI accident attorney Randall L. Spivey.
7 Important Steps to Take After a BUI Accident in Florida
When you are involved in any type of accident on the water, there are some steps you should take promptly. Taking these steps is especially important if you were injured and you suspect that the other boater was drunk at the helm. As soon as possible after a suspected BUI accident in Florida, you should:
1. Report Your BUI Accident
Reporting requirements for boating accidents exist under both state and federal law. As outlined by the U.S. Coast Guard, under federal law, boaters (and passengers) must report any accident in which:
- A person dies;
- A person is injured (and requires more than basic first aid);
- A person is lost in the water;
- Total damage to all vessels and other property exceeds $2,000; or,
- A vessel is destroyed.
Florida law imposes similar requirements. To report your boating accident, you can either contact the Florida Division of Law Enforcement’s (DLE) Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission or the local police or sheriff’s department.
2. Seek Medical Treatment for Your Injuries
As soon as possible, you should seek medical treatment for your injuries. If you do not need emergency medical attention on the water, you should visit your doctor’s office or the local hospital once you are back on land. While you may be concerned about your boat, right now your health needs to be your priority. Take care of yourself first, then you can focus on making sure your boat gets where it needs to be so it can be repaired as quickly as possible.
3. Take Notes, Photos and Videos
Even if the boater who hit you was clearly drunk, you will still need proof to recover your losses. With this in mind, you should take notes with as much detail as possible. When you contact a Fort Myers DUI accident attorney, he or she will rely on the information you provide to conduct an investigation and assess your legal rights.
If possible, you should also take photos and videos of your boat and your injuries. If you have any photos or videos from the scene of the accident, be sure to keep these as well.
4. Learn about Your Legal Rights
In Florida, BUI accident victims have clear legal rights. As you move forward, it will be important for you to understand how Florida law protects you. Our catalog of BUI articles is a good place to start, and Fort Myers DUI accident attorney Randall L. Spivey can explain everything you need to know during your free initial consultation.
5. Avoid Costly Mistakes
If you are entitled to financial compensation for a BUI accident, you will need to avoid several costly mistakes in order to recover the compensation you deserve. For example, after a BUI accident, you should not:
- Ignore your medical needs;
- Post about your BUI accident on social media;
- Let the insurance companies decide how much to pay;
- Overlook the non-financial costs of your injuries; or,
- Assume justice will prevail.
There are other mistakes you need to avoid as well. As you work through your recovery, it will be extremely important for you to make informed decisions based on the advice of an experienced lawyer.
6. Commit Yourself to Making a Full Recovery
Recovering the compensation you deserve will take time, and if you were seriously injured in the accident, you could be facing a long and difficult road ahead. By committing yourself to making a full recovery, you can put yourself in the right mindset to achieve the best outcome possible.
7. Talk to a Fort Myers DUI Accident Attorney
Finally, to maximize your chances of a full recovery, you should talk to a Fort Myers DUI accident attorney as soon as possible. From proving that the other boater was drunk to calculating your financial and non-financial costs, there are many ways a lawyer can help you. Your lawyer can also deal with the insurance companies for you, negotiate for a fair settlement on your behalf, and take the insurance companies to court if necessary.
Schedule a Free BUI Accident Consultation with a Fort Myers DUI Accident Attorney
Were you hurt in a BUI accident? If so, we strongly encourage you to schedule a free consultation. To speak with Fort Myers DUI accident attorney Randall L. Spivey in confidence, call 888-477-4839 or contact us online now.