You can reduce the possibility of a boating accident by following the rules of the waterways and using responsible boating practices. However, as the name implies, “accidents” can still happen.
If you are involved in a boating accident, you may wonder if you must report it. After all, there are no police on the water like on the road. Outlined below is some useful information on reporting requirements for boating accidents in Florida and how to handle the situation to avoid legal issues.
When to report Florida boating accidents
It’s required for you to report a boating accident within 48 hours if any of the following occur:
- Someone is injured and requires first aid
- A vessel or equipment causes a death (must report within 24 hours of the occurrence)
- Someone disappeared, and it is likely because of an injury or death
It’s also required that you report an accident within 10 days if any of the following circumstances are present:
- The accident resulted in damage of over $2,000 to property or boats
- A casualty occurred after 24 hours because of the accident
- A vessel is completely lost
Steps for reporting a boating accident in Florida
If you are involved in a boating accident in Florida and any of the above criteria apply, you must report the incident to one of the following authorities:
- The municipality police department for where the accident took place
- The county sheriff for where the accident took place
- The Division of Law Enforcement (FWC)
Protecting yourself after a boating accident
If you are involved in a boating accident, you should always avoid caution and report it. This is especially true if another party caused it and you believe you are due compensation. Reporting the incident will help you protect your legal rights.