Craig P. Tiller, Esq. PLLC

What should someone do after a boating accident?

After a boating accident in Virginia, it may be necessary for the vessel's operator to report the crash. Typically, a crash must be reported if there is more than $2,000 worth of damage caused in the accident. It must also be reported if a serious injury or death occurs or if someone is missing from the vessel after the accident.

An accident report must be made within 48 hours of the accident if someone dies or is seriously injured. This is also true if someone disappears as a result of the incident. To file an accident report, a boat owner may do so in person or send a report to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

If a report is not made, the owner of the boat may be charged with a Class-4 misdemeanor. In the event that someone dies or is not accounted for on the vessel, the operator of a boat may be charged with a Class-6 felony if he or she fails to file said report. As in a car accident, those involved in a boating accident must also stop and render assistance when needed. Failure to do so could result in criminal charges.

Anyone who is injured in a boat accident may wish to consult with a personal injury attorney. If the owner of a boat fails to report an incident, this may be used as evidence of negligence in a civil suit. It should be noted, however, that no content in this article should be taken to be specific legal advice.

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