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When Is a Boating Accident Report Required?

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Boating accidents can be especially dangerous because they’re not on solid ground—because they’re on water, a mistake can be particularly costly and even deadly. Unfortunately, many people suffer from serious injuries or even die because of serious boating accidents.

But your boating accident may not seem so severe. Are you still required to file a report? Your injury lawyer can help you determine whether you’re required to report your accident, as well as your next steps in getting the compensation you’re due after a boating accident you didn’t cause.

Wisconsin Boating Accident Requirements

When you’re involved in a boating accident, you’ll first need to know what laws may impact your claim. If you fail to report because you didn’t know you were required to do so, you can still face harsh penalties for failure to report.

For Milwaukee boaters, you’ll need to file a report in the following cases:

  • Someone is injured beyond what first aid can repair.
  • Someone is missing and possibly injured or dead.
  • Someone is dead.
  • Property damage is more than $2,000.
  • A vessel has been completely lost.

What Happens if I Don’t Report a Boating Accident?

When a boating accident happens, it can become a hectic, difficult situation fast. But reporting your boating accident is vital, especially if someone is missing. If you’re the operator of the vessel that crashed, you’re obligated to file a report. If the operator isn’t available to file, the boat owner is expected to file the report.

If you fail to report the boating accident, you may face a hefty fine and misdemeanor charges, even if the damage was only to your boat. If you fail to report a missing person after the boating accident, you may face bigger penalties. 


Finally, by failing to file an accident report now, you are hurting yourself down the line, when you’ll need to get a copy of the accident report to support your injury claim.

For these reasons, it’s important to speak with your boating accident lawyer as soon as possible after your Milwaukee accident.

How to Report Your Boating Accident

But where do you turn when you’re hurt and seeking compensation after a boating accident? You don’t have much time to report, so you’ll need to move fast. If you only suffered property damage, you have ten days to file. If someone was injured or killed, you must file within 48 hours of the accident.

To report your boating accident, you’ll need to fill out an online report and submit it to the law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction over your accident. If you’re not sure who that is, your lawyer can help you pinpoint the agency and make the next move on your claim.

Talk to a Lawyer About Your Boating Crash

When someone is hurt on the water, a relaxing day on the waves turns into a nightmare situation. But here’s the good news—you don’t have to report your boating accident and deal with the aftermath on your own.

Your lawyer at the Law Offices of Gary S. Greenberg is here to help when you’re hurt in a boating accident. We offer free consultations so you know what to expect before you file your claim. Reach out by calling 414-271-7007 or by completing the online contact form below.