Boating Accidents: When to File a Report

by Jul 20, 2022Article

One of the most popular places in the world for boating is Florida. Visitors and residents of this coastal state need to be aware of applicable boating laws in order to make it a safe activity for everyone out on the water. If an accident were to occur, you should be informed on when the law requires you to report the incident and when it doesn’t. Read on to learn more about the laws surrounding boating accidents in Florida. Terry M. Rosenblum & Associates will help answer some of your most pressing questions about when to report a boating accident and how long you have to file a report.

When a Written Boating Accident Report Is Required 

Florida law mandates that you must file an accident report if the following circumstances occur while you are boating in Florida:

  • Someone dies
  • Somebody disappears due to the accident
  • The boat or boats sustain $2,000 or more in damage
  • An injury that requires further assessment beyond immediate first aid
  • Any personal property or structures that sustained more than $2,000 in damage

Where to Report a Boating Accident in Florida

If necessary, you can report a Florida boating accident to the Division of Law Enforcement, Fish, and Wildlife Conservation Commission at (888) 404-3922. You can also submit a boating accident report to the sheriff of the county where the accident occurred. If the accident happened within a municipality, you can report the accident to the police department of the city where it occurred. 

How Much Time Do I Have to File a Written Report if I’m Involved in a Florida Boating Accident?

If you’re involved in a boating accident, Florida Statute 327.30 requires those involved to report the accident as quickly as possible. Under federal law, certain kinds of boating accidents require reporting within 48 hours. There may be written reports that you need to send in after the initial report, such as the Coast Guard Form CG-3865 Recreational Boating Accident Report.

What Kind of Boating Accidents Must Be Reported in Florida?

A boating accident that falls under any of the following criteria must be reported in Florida:

  • Accidents
  • Collisions
  • Accidents in the water
  • Capsizing
  • Incidents that happen while entering or exiting the water
  • Sinking
  • Personal injuries requiring medical treatment beyond first aid
  • Disappearances
  • Death
  • Apparent damage to vessels or property of $2,000 or more

Must There Be Property Damage to Report a Boating Accident Under Florida Law?

Under Florida law, it is required that the operator of the boat must make the report any time there is property damage totaling $2,000 or more. This minimum includes damage to the boats themselves, any structures damaged, and personal property in or on the boat itself. Along with incidents of property damage, Florida law also requires boating accident reports to be filed if any physical injury occurs. 

Contact Us Today!

If you or somebody close to you was involved in a boating accident, you need an experienced boating accident attorney on your side. Call Terry M. Rosenblum & Associates in Hollywood, FL to schedule a consultation today!