How to Report a Boating Accident in Nevada

Madeleine Jones
August 14, 2019

Boating on Nevada’s beautiful lakes is a popular pastime in our state. Just like operating a car, however, operating a boat carries a risk of an accident. Nevada state law requires you to report any boating accidents to the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW). When you report a boating accident to NDOW, you can strengthen your case in a future insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit with the help of a Las Vegas boating accident lawyer.

What to Do After a Boat Accident in Nevada

The moments after a boating accident can be disorienting and scary, but you will need to follow a set of procedures to keep you and your family safe. As soon as the accident occurs, you must stop your boat immediately and check to see if anyone is suffering from any injuries or is in any danger. However, you should remain on your boat and contact the authorities if checking or assisting any injured person would put you or your passengers in danger.

Similar to a car accident, you will need to exchange information with the owner or operator of the other boat involved in the collision, regardless of who was at fault. You will need to provide the following pieces of information in writing to the other owners and any injured persons.

  • Your name
  • Your address
  • Identifying information for your vessel

In addition, you will need to report your accident to the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW). The requirements for reporting to NDOW will vary based on the circumstances of your accident.

Reporting a Boating Accident to NDOW

To report an accident to NDOW, you will need to submit a written report by mail to the NDOW headquarters in Reno. You can find these accident report forms online on the NDOW website or by calling (775) 688-1500.

Different types of accidents have different deadlines for NDOW reports.

  • If you suffered damage to your boat or other pieces of property in excess of $2,000 or if the accident damages your boat beyond repair, you will need to file a report within 10 days.
  • If someone dies or disappears as a result of the accident, you will need to call NDOW immediately and report the incident. In addition, you will need to file a written report within 48 hours.
  • If someone suffers a disabling injury for more than 24 hours, needs to seek medical attention, or loses consciousness as a result of the accident, you will need to call NDOW immediately to make a report. You will have 48 hours to file your written report.

Safety Tips for Boating in Nevada

Boating accidents can occur at any time when you are out on the water – according to the United States Coast Guard, over 1,000 collisions between recreational boats occurred in 2018 across the country, resulting in 40 deaths and 661 injuries. However, there are a few key safety tips you can employ to keep you and your family safe on the water.

  • Supply your boat with essential safety equipment – specifically life jackets. Make sure all passengers on your boat have a life jacket that is the right size and fastens safely.
  • Make sure that you bring along a tool kit, a first-aid kit, and an extra set of clothes when you are out on the water.
  • Avoid driving a boat under the influence of drugs and alcohol – these substances can increase your risk of an accident significantly.
  • Before you go out on the water, file a float plan and send it to a trusted person. In case you do not check-in or return on time, he or she can send help to you.

If you are in a boating accident in Nevada, follow these steps to report it. Make sure to receive medical attention for any injuries you may have and document the scene. Before you speak to an insurance adjuster, make sure to contact a boating accident lawyer as soon as possible. Your Las Vegas accident attorney can examine the facts of your case and guide you through the insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit filing process.