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What to Do When Involved in a Boating Accident

By Raymon Law Group on October 1, 2022

What to Do When Involved in a Boating Accident

Though New Mexico does not have much water, boating accidents still occur in our beautiful state. If such a crash occurs when you are operating a boat and that collision caused an injury or $500+ of damage, reach out to the New Mexico Game and Fish Department to report the accident. Though there is a chance no one is at fault for the accident due to inclement weather or choppy water, it is also possible that a personal injury attorney will determine it is in your interest to file a lawsuit against a negligent boat operator or another party such as the boat manufacturer, the business that sold the boat or even the boat technician tasked with preparing the vessel for operation on the water.

Report the Accident in a Timely Manner

Do not attempt to keep the accident a secret. Instead, be open and honest about the collision. Take pictures of the damage to the boats as well as your injuries and those of others involved in the accident. Report the accident to the police department and the New Mexico Game and Fish Department. It is also in your interest to visit with a doctor soon after the collision so your injuries can be formally documented.

As noted above, if the accident caused an injury or more than $500 of damage, the state mandates that the crash be reported to the New Mexico Game and Fish Department. There is a wrinkle to this requirement that few people are aware of. Such an accident must be reported within five days or less. Fail to report your boating accident in this period of time and your case won’t be nearly as strong.

What About Insurance?

There is a common misconception that New Mexico boat operators have the exact same insurance responsibilities as individuals who drive motor vehicles on local roads. Some boaters carry watercraft insurance to protect against legal liability and also to cover the cost of property damage to a fellow water vessel and personal injuries suffered in collisions.
If you are unsure as to what, exactly, your insurance policy covers, find the paperwork that details the coverage to determine if it is applicable to the current situation. It is also possible the other boater has insurance as well. In some instances accident victims are even empowered to make a boating insurance claim that accounts for the entirety of expenses relating to the crash.

Legal Action After a Boating Accident

If boating insurance is not applicable to your unique accident on the water or if your insurance coverage is not extensive enough to account for your losses, it is in your interest to file a civil lawsuit with the assistance of our New Mexico personal injury law firm. This lawsuit facilitates the recovery of money paid for medical treatment as well as boat repairs and additional damage causally related to the accident. Furthermore, if you are even slightly suspicious that the other boat operator involved in the crash was inebriated, distracted or negligent, you have every reason to file a personal injury lawsuit with the assistance of our legal team.

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