Many people in Lafayette, Louisiana, visit the state’s many waterways for recreation along with their families and friends. A day spent on a boat is usually a pleasurable experience, but it can turn sour if the boat is involved in an accident. As is often seen, boating accidents can be a result of a lack of attention while operating the boat, inadequate training or alcohol intoxication.
If an individual is injured in a boating accident, that person may be entitled to seek compensation from the person responsible for the accident. However, before that, the victim needs to ensure that certain important information is kept handy. Most of this information is supposed to be received directly from the boat operator.
According to Louisiana laws, a boat operator is required to stop the vessel immediately after an accident. The operator’s next responsibility is to give aid to anyone who is injured, provided the operator has not suffered injuries and the efforts to help other passengers does not jeopardize the operator’s own interests or those of the boat’s crew, other passengers or the vessel itself. The next step for operators is to provide their names, addresses and the registration details of the vessels to victims injured in the boating accident and to the owners of damaged property, if any.
In case an accident involves a recreational vessel and results in injury or death, loss of property worth more than $500 or complete loss of vessel, the operator must immediately report the incident to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Law Enforcement Division, the nearest law enforcement agency or the Louisiana State Police. Additionally, the operator is required to submit a detailed report on the accident within five days to the LDWF/LED.
A copy of that report can be obtained by applying in writing to the LDWF/LED, along with the fee of $7.50. If victims want photos of the incident, they will need to pay an additional fee of $10. Once victims are able to collect this information, they may then seek legal recourse from those who are responsible for the boating accident and the resulting injuries or fatalities.
Source: Louisiana.gov, “Boating Incident Reporting,” accessed on Sept. 26, 2014