Boating accidents although rare, can cause devastating injuries. After boating around in the sun all day, accidents are bound to happen. Add alcohol into the mix and accidents become negligence. Even the most experienced boaters can find themselves in accidents. You can’t control someone else. If something goes wrong, it is hard to mitigate the damages to yourself, your boat, and passengers. For a boating accident, the general procedure will remain the same.
At a basic level, make sure to stay at the scene of the accident until the issue is over. Take photos, take witness statements and exchange information. Fleeing the scene of a boating accident is similar to a hit and run. Even if you don’t think there is any damage, leaving could potentially land you in serious criminal trouble. If the damage is small, still be sure stop and make the assessment with the other boater or a dock if you crashed into it. If you find yourself the victim of a hit and run boating accident, check out our article on what to do if you are in a hit and run.
No matter the problem or type of accident, do not panic. You have a dedicated team of lawyers and professional staff at Freundlich & Littman, LLC. We are boating accident lawyers who are here to help you.
What Should I Do?
After the boating accident occurs, your first concern is safety and well-being of yourself and others. Turn off your boat and follow proper procedure as instructed in the Pennsylvania boating course. Every motorized boat driver must have a certificate from the state.
If you need it, immediately seek medical attention. Use your judgment. Even if you do not need medical attention, call 911 or the Coast Guard. The police will make an incident report about the accident. Ask for a copy of the report if you are not given one. Keeping these in your records will be helpful during the insurance claim process.
A boating accident can lead to serious injuries. Accidental drowning, neck injuries from whiplash, and other physical injuries are common. Financial recovery can help ease the stress of the injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured, contact the accident lawyers at Freundlich & Littman today at 215-545- 8500 today for a free consultation.
The Insurance Side
After the initial process, the next step is dealing with insurance company. Give your insurance company a call after the accident. Call them as soon as possible after the incident to keep the details fresh in your mind. They will ask you basic information about yourself as well as the nitty- gritty details of the accident. DO NOT SPEAK WITH ANY INSURANCE COMPANY OTHER THAN YOUR OWN. Insurance companies are not your friends and will attempt to distort statements you make and use your own words against you. If there is another party involved, speak with a lawyer immediately, know your rights and do not get taken advantage of.
If the accident involved another boater let the insurance company know. If a natural disaster or act of God caused the boating accident, then your insurance company will want to know. It can affect your insurance payouts.
Your insurance company may assign your claim to an insurance adjustor. The insurance adjuster assigns a value to your claim. Their job is to sort through potentially fraudulent claims to find the valid ones. An adjustor’s job is to also save the insurance company money. They are, after all, a business. Keep that in mind during this process. If you are even in doubt of the insurance companies motives or want to make sure you are protected call a lawyer.
The insurance representative or adjuster will likely offer you an initial settlement. This settlement is just that- an offer to settle your claim. You are not obligated to do so at that stage. If the insurance adjuster or representative tells you otherwise, do not hesitate to contact the accident and insurance lawyers at Freundlich & Littman. Contact us for legal advice especially if you feel that you feel entitled to more money or the insurance company is denying your claim.
Insurance claims can get denied for many reasons. There are common reasons are mistakes. These include mistakes in the filing, abnormal costs for repairs, inadequate coverage, or some complicated loophole in your insurance plan. Insurance companies are looking for fraudulent claims. As a result, insurance companies tend to deny a claim because something does not appear to be completely legal – at least on paper.
Philadelphia Boating Accident Lawyer
Do not panic if the claim is initially denied. As stated, an initial denial may not be outcome determinative. The reason for the denial could be a simple error in paperwork that leads your claim astray. Even if the insurance company denies the claim on substantive grounds, you may still seek some financial relief.
On the other hand, if your claim may go through, you may receive an insurance payout from your insurance company. Still, it may not be enough to cover all your bills, or the amount is not the full amount that you feel entitled to under your insurance policy. Do not wait to reach out for legal advice or representation.
If you need advice or help, contact boating accident lawyers at Freundlich & Littman, LLC. Call us today at 215-545- 8500 to schedule a free consultation.