Will I Face Criminal Penalties for Not Reporting a Virginia Beach Boating Accident?

Written by: Virginia Beach Injury Law

Boat owners in Norfolk and the greater Virginia Beach area take boating seriously and when the sun is out so are the tubers, boaters, jet skiers, and sailors. Because there are so many more people in the Virginia Beach area during the warm summer months due to the fun activities to do outdoors, there tend to be more car accidents, pedestrian and bicycle collisions, and boat incidents. Overall, injury accidents happen more frequently across the board in the summer months than they do during the rest of the year. 

Boating accidents in Virginia Beach happen frequently. When the owner or operator of a boat acts in a negligent way that causes an accident to happen and then someone is injured or dies because of those actions, the owner/ operator can be held accountable for paying for the damages the victim suffered. Virginia Beach Injury Law has over a decade of experience being a champion for victims of Norfolk boating accidents. As a strong advocate for victims’ rights, Ron Kramer is a Virginia Beach boat accident attorney that can help you get justice after you were harmed in a Virginia Beach boating accident.

Do You Have to Report Your Virginia Boat Accident?

Not every boating accident has to be reported. Those that are minor do not have reporting guidelines but if your crash has any of the following results then you are required to report the incident:

  • When the boat has over $2,000 worth of property damages.
  • If first aid is not enough to care for an injured person and they require professional medical treatment.
  • Anyone on the boat goes missing.
  • Anyone on the boat dies.

Catastrophic boating accidents in Virginia where any of the above results must be formally reported to the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. Failure to do so when required by law can result in a Class 4 misdemeanor charge.

It is best to immediately call the Coast Gaurd or other appropriate emergency service personnel as soon as you can after an accident on the water. If someone is severely injured then the sooner they get professional medical attention the better their chances are for recovery. When someone has gone missing, it is imperative to get a search started.

It is common for boaters to be unsure of when it is necessary to report an accident. If you were in a boating accident in Hampton Road and you don’t know what to do, it is best to report your boating accident and find out you didn’t have to versus not reporting it and learning that you were supposed to. A wreck that goes unreported could also mean criminal charges for the owner/operator. 

Speak with a Virginia Beach Boat Accident Attorney Today

Often, inexperience is what causes an operator to make mistakes and those errors are what lead to devastating boating wrecks in Virginia. But inebriation, distraction, and other reckless behaviors are also common reasons for accidents. When a negligent boater in Virginia caused your injuries and damages the Norfolk catastrophic injury attorney at Virginia Beach Injury Law can assist you with your Virginia boating accident claim. Call Virginia Beach Injury Law today to schedule your free consultation at (757) 802-4662.

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