What Should You Do If You Are Involved In A Boating Accident? - Diamond and Diamond Lawyers

What Should You Do If You Are Involved In A Boating Accident?

Have you ever wondered if you are involved in a boating accident, what is the first thing you must do? The answer to this question is critical for many reasons. One of them is that you won’t be stressed in an emergency, which can be helpful in many ways. Although it’s a scary situation, being calm often prevents others from panicking and helps you get through procedures faster.

A road collision is reasonably straightforward to understand when handling it, but things get a bit more complicated when it’s a boat accident. Many people aren’t aware that not all boating incidents need to be reported. A little knowledge on how to handle accidents when sailing could save your life and those of everyone around you. Your actions will also determine what happens next, and if you’ll be compensated.

Additionally, many people don’t know their rights when they are involved in boating accidents. You could be falsely blamed for the collision or damage. It’s vital to know what to do in this situation. Using the tips here, you’ll have what is needed to deal with anything that may occur.

What Exactly Constitutes a Boating Accident?

A lot of people aren’t clear about what falls within the definition of a boat-related accident. We recommend being thoroughly informed about this before you leave the docks.

The simplest explanation is that boating accidents happen when significant property damage occurs, someone goes missing, or a person is injured while on a boat. Some situations that fall under this definition include: 

  • Collisions with another boat: Crashes with another watercraft cause most deaths and injuries while on a boat.
  • Crashing into stationary objects: A boat hitting buoys, jetties, rocks, and other objects may lead to passengers getting hurt.
  • Swamping or Flooding: Wake from a larger boat can easily swamp smaller boats. A boat can be flooded by water, often because of large waves. 
  • Grounding: When the boat sails into a rock, pilings, or reef, grounding occurs. Sufficient damage to the hull can sink the boat.
  • Falling off the boat: It’s possible for anyone to fall off because of sudden changes in the boat’s movement and speed.

Check Who Needs Medical Attention

You need to know how to respond when you’re involved in a boating accident, and the top priority is finding who is hurt and needs help. Injuries can be addressed at a scene or a medical facility if required. To be as efficient as possible, we recommend following this procedure:

  • Quickly check your condition to make sure you don’t need any medical treatment. If you do, ask for help or get someone else to get help.

If you don’t require emergency medical treatment:

  • Check on everyone who might have been injured in the accident. 
  • There’s likely to be at least one person who is injured and needs help.

If there aren’t any serious injuries:

  • It’s not necessary to be treated right away
  • Visit a doctor as soon as possible after returning to land

Even if you’re not experiencing symptoms of an injury, going to a doctor is an essential step. Symptoms sometimes take hours or days to show, so see one immediately instead of waiting to find out if you are hurt.

Collect Information About Your Accident

After checking if everyone is okay, collecting information and evidence is the next step to complete. Having these details will help with the steps you’ll need to take later. Eyewitness reports are crucial, but we advise talking to the boat operators first.

These are the most important things that should be gathered from all parties: 

  • Ask for the contact details, name, address, and vessel identification of all the boat operators
  • Get the insurance company names and policy numbers of everyone involved in the accident, especially the vessel operators.
  • Speak with anyone who may be a witness to the boat crash and get their names and contact information.
  • If you’re able to, take as many photos of the accident scene and the resulting damage as possible. Make a record of the accident’s location, the boat or boats’ position, any damage that can be seen, and crucially, the injuries of anyone involved.

Ensure your rights are protected when you’re involved in a boating accident. Get a free consultation with a Diamond & Diamond lawyer today.

Making Insurance or Injury Claims

A major reason behind knowing what steps to take if you are involved in a boating accident is if you need to go to court or an insurance company. If you decide to file a claim or pursue a lawsuit against the owner, you’re required to prove they’re to blame before you get any money. In court, you’ll prove:

  • That the operator was responsible for your safety
  • The boat operator acted in a negligent way        
  • Direct or proximate negligence from the operator is the reason for the accident
  • Your injuries were caused by said accident

There are also comparative fault laws that you should consider when you file for compensation. Your injury claim could become lower or be denied if it turns out that you’re also to blame for the accident or your injuries.

In some provinces, compensation can be forfeited if it’s found that you caused 1% of your injuries. Other provinces can still allow you to be compensated if the operator is to blame more than you. If you’re not the only one to blame, then there’s a chance you’re still eligible for compensation.

Call a Boat Accident Lawyer

You can talk to a personal injury lawyer, but be aware that not all of them have the same expertise. A boat accident lawyer can advise you about what you should do if you’re involved in a boating accident. 

When you’re injured due to a boater’s negligence, remember that you have the right to claim compensation. Don’t let the insurance company determine what you can get on your behalf. If you’re accused of being at fault in the accident, a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer can help with your defence against any allegations related to comparative negligence.

Many people don’t seek legal advice because they’re worried about the cost. Some lawyers offer a free consultation, and some don’t charge unless they win your case. 


“Learn about your rights, especially during emergencies.”

What Should You Do If You Get Into A Boating Accident?-FAQs 

I witnessed a boat accident. How do I respond?

The best thing you could do is contact the authorities, especially when it’s dangerous to approach. If you can help people out without putting yourself in danger, then do so.

What types of boating accidents must be reported?

Boating accidents must be reported if a person dies, some injuries need immediate medical attention, someone disappears, or there’s a large amount of property damage.

Who is the responsible party when it comes to avoiding a collision between boats?

The operators of all boats involved in an accident are responsible for avoiding a collision.

Leave a Reply


Get the help you deserve


Call NOW for a free consultation


Diamond & Diamond Ontario Head Office

255 Consumers Road, 5th Floor, Toronto, Ontario

>> Learn More

Diamond & Diamond Alberta Head Office

4246 97 Street NW, Unit 103, Edmonton, Alberta

>> Learn More

Diamond & Diamond British Columbia Head Office

1727 West Broadway, Suite 400, Vancouver, British Columbia

>> Learn More


168 Bayfield Street


1331 Macleod Trail SE, Suite 645


2713 14 St SW


600 Crowfoot Crescent NW #240


4246 97 Street NW, Unit 103


256 Pall Mall St, Suite 102

Oakville / Mississauga

2939 Portland Drive, Suite 200


50 Richmond Street E, Unit # 108 B


955 Green Valley Crescent, Unit 315


31 Larch Street, Unit 300


1104 – 13737 96 Ave, Surrey, BC V3V 0C6


255 Consumers Road, 5th Floor


1678 Bloor Street, Suite 302


1727 West Broadway, Suite 400


13158 Tecumseh Rd. E. Unit 3B