In the state of Florida and across the country, thousands of accidents happen every year. However, only some of them need to be reported to the United States Coast Guard. In 2015, Florida saw 737 reportable boat accidents. What makes accidents reportable? They must meet at least one of the five following requirements:
- Someone was killed
- Some was seriously injured
- Someone went missing, and they are probably hurt or killed
- Total damage done equals at least $2,000
- A vessel is lost or damaged beyond repair
In these instances, there is a report that must be filled out and submitted to the Coast Guard. This document can be found online, and is easy enough to fill out (though it may take some time to do so). You will need to fill out details of the accident, including damage done to the vessel and persons either injured or killed. You will also need to make note of where and when the accident happened, and how many people were on the boat at the time.
After the details of your accident, you will need to also include the details of your boat, including its make, model, identification numbers and other information. To the best of your ability, make note of the weather at the time, as well as the water conditions. If equipment failure caused your accident, you will need to note what failed. Finally, you will need to make note of any other factors that contributed to the accident, such as alcohol or drug use and excessive speed.
These factors can be potentially incriminating, so be wary with them. If you can, contact your attorney before filling out the report. However, don’t wait too long to do so. If an injury or death was the reason for the report, you only have 48 hours to file it. If it was just property damage, you have just 10 days.