Anyone who is into boating or outdoor sports knows that there is always an element of danger involved, but most people don’t expect to get injured. However, the fact remains that injury in these cases is not uncommon and can really ruin what might otherwise be a good experience. Dealing with an injury in the correct manner is of the utmost importance, as otherwise you are at risk of potentially making the situation worse, and making yourself liable for a criminal lawsuit. While most people know they need a good lawyer, there’s more to it than that.
Handling a personal injury related to boating or outdoor sports (four-wheeling, biking etc) can be a difficult, scary experience, but you can lessen the damage by taking the right approach.
1. Get to Safety
The first thing you should do in the event of an accident (especially a boating accident) is get to safety immediately. This may mean swimming to shore, back to your boat or jet ski or perhaps over to another person who is in the water. If you aren’t badly injured, be sure to look around to see if you can help others who may have been hurt in the accident.
2. Identify Everyone Involved
Identification of everyone involved in the accident is key and should always be among the first things that you do (in addition to seeking medical help). You’ve got to get your story straight right as its happening, as there is little room for error when it comes time to make a case. Take note of any witnesses around, and be sure to identify yourself clearly to those involved.
3. Get Medical Help
It’s important that you do not wait to seek medical help if you have been injured in a boating or other type of accident. A slight headache, for example, could actually be a concussion and might require medical assistance. Call 911 if you can’t find someone to drive you to the hospital; the longer you wait, the more likely it is that you’ll suffer irreparable or long term damage.
4. Document the Scene
Smart phones have made it easier than ever before to document a personal injury scene, and photographs can be extremely helpful in building a case. If you have the means, snap a few photos of the accident site, making sure to document the details of what went wrong if at all possible. While not nearly as important as getting prompt medical assistance, documenting the scene can prove beneficial in many cases. If someone appears to be drowning, call out for help and immediately dial 911. If you can, reach out or toss out an object for the person to grab onto, but do not jump in after them unless you’re trained to do so.
5. Find the Right Attorney
Once you’ve been cleared of any health issues after your accident, it’s time to hire an attorney to handle the case for you. Finding the right attorney can be difficult and is typically a very personal decision, but a little bit of research can go a long way. Look for an attorney that specializes in handling cases similar to yours, and don’t hesitate to go off of reputation when looking to hire someone. Before you get a chance to speak with an attorney, be sure not to discuss the details of your case with anyone – even friends and family.
There’s always a light at the end of the tunnel when dealing with personal injury cases. Take the right steps, and you can expedite the process.