You can have a lot of fun when boating with friends or family. But getting into any type of accident can quickly slow that fun to a crawl. Accidents happen, so it is important to always be prepared for the worst.
Is Everyone Safe?
The safety of everyone involved is the first priority when an accident happens. Before you call a Wyoming personal injury lawyer, ensure that everyone can be accounted for – on both sides. In the middle of this check, it is common to forget the simple things like stopping your boat. Chaos eats at the mentality of everyone involved, so the faster you snap out of it, the sooner you’ll get an accurate headcount. For minor injuries, an onboard medical kit can do wonders. For major injuries, dial 911 as fast as possible!
Don’t Back Down
Heated tempers are an expectation during an accident. At this stage of the accident, your liability is at an all time high. Saying the wrong thing or admitting to something that isn’t your fault will only add more to the problem. If the accident is your fault, don’t offer compensation for ‘keeping it out of the court’. If you are the victim, don’t threaten the aggressor. Small things like this can make or break your case if the accident ever shows up in court.
Determining liability is not a simple cut and paste situation. The rules are completely different from cars, so negligence is measured based on breach of duty. With collision, the operator is liable when they break the boating regulations for a particular state. This can be tricky, since one states rules will differ from the next. It is your responsibility to learn the ‘rules of the road’ before sailing a boat in any state. Like all things in this category, ignorance of the law is not an excuse.
A person as young as 14 can operate a personal watercraft. But that same 14-year-old can’t rent a watercraft from any vendor. For renting a watercraft, 18 is the minimum age limit. That means there is an expectation of adult supervision whenever someone under 18 is using a watercraft. This is the simple version that gets more complicated since the age changes significantly based on horsepower. For obvious reason, no one can make a compelling argument for a minor getting into a boating accident on an illegally driven boat. If you are the adult supervising during an accident, be aware that the penalties will be severe, and go far beyond normal compensation. This is when the owner of the boat finds out the hard way that the age limit is one of the worst laws to break with boating!
Your Choices Matter
When you’re having fun, it is easy to forget all of the things that can go wrong. Take on the role as a leader, and your experience will grow when it comes to avoiding accidents. Choice’s matter, and it is up to you to prevent the most crucial mistakes.