Boating is popular in Fairfield County. In warmer months, there may be hundreds of boats and other watercraft out on Candlewood Lake, Lake Zoar, Norwalk Harbor, and the Long Island Sound on a nice day. But when there are more boats on the water, there is a greater risk for boating accidents.
Being injured in an accident on the water can impact you physically, emotionally, and financially. Depending on the severity of the crash, injuries can range from minor scrapes to life-altering brain damage or spinal cord injuries. Insurance companies are supposed to help when you’ve been injured, but they will look for any excuse to pay you less.
If you are involved in a boating accident, there are certain steps you can take to protect your safety and your rights.
Steps to take after a boat accident
Stay at the scene
All operators of vessels involved in the accident are required to stay at the scene and provide assistance to any other vessel or people involved (if possible to do so without endangering their own vessel or people on board).
The operators of vessels involved in the accident must provide their names, addresses, and vessel identification numbers.
Notify the nearest law enforcement agency
This is required if the accident results in a death, disappearance, or injury of a person that requires medical attention beyond first aid, or the accident results in property damage in excess of $500.
Fill out a report
Use the form provided by the Department of Energy & Environmental Protection, Boating Division. The report must be submitted within 5 days. Operators are required to fill out the report, even if law enforcement has filed their own report. If the operator is unable to fill out the report, the vessel owner or survivor of the accident can initiate it.
Call a lawyer
It’s important to talk to an experienced boating accident attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options. Most accidents on the water are caused by human error or negligence. Some boaters are inexperienced or lack any safety education. Others operate vessels while they are impaired by alcohol or drugs. Still, others use excessive speed or operate their vessels recklessly. Some are simply not paying enough attention to other boats nearby. Many injury victims face a long and painful recovery process. Medical expenses for treating their injuries can become overwhelming and if victims can’t work, there is less income coming in. By hiring an attorney, you can have someone in your corner to aggressively advocate for your best interests and fight for the compensation you deserve.
Talk to an experienced Fairfield County boating accident lawyer today to protect your rights
If a negligent boat operator caused your accident, you can file a claim to recover compensation for your injury-related losses. But insurance companies will try to pay you as little as possible. They may question the extent of your injuries or try to blame you for causing the accident. Or they’ll offer you a settlement that falls far short of covering the damages you suffered.
That’s why it’s important to talk to an attorney who knows how to handle boating accident cases and can fight for your rights.
If you’ve been hurt in a Connecticut boating accident, attorney Jeremy Vishno can help. Contact Vishno Law Firm for a free consultation. We can review the details of what happened, go over your options and answer any questions you have.