With sunny and warm summers and such a close proximity to Lake Michigan, it’s no wonder that many people in Chicago enjoy going boating. While people take advantage of the opportunity to go tubing, water skiing, or hang out on the boat in the nice weather, there’s also a risk that they could get hurt from negligent boat operators or poor manufacturing. If this happens, you need a dependable Chicago boating accident lawyer to help you with your claim.
The lawyers at Krzak Rundio Law Group are skilled and compassionate people who will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. We understand how difficult it can be to recover physically and financially from a severe injury. With our help, you could potentially recover damages for pain and suffering, lost wages, and payment for your medical expenses.
Boating Accident Statistics
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources released a Boating Report for the federal fiscal year of 2016. They keep track of statistics that includes boating accidents, injuries, fatalities, and number of vessels involved in accidents. Most of the accidents happened during the main boating season weekends in June, July, and August between 12 p.m. and 6 p.m.
- 73 boating accidents occurred in 2016.
- The accidents caused 36 injuries.
- There were 11 fatalities. 9 of those deaths were caused by drowning and 2 were from trauma. 8 of those people may have survived if they had been wearing personal floatation devices (PFD).
- 103 vessels were involved in accidents.
- The Conservation Police issued 147 operating under the influence (OUI) arrests.
With a combined increase in citation and written warnings and a year where the accidents were below the 5 year average, the trends show that boating accidents are decreasing. But there are still instances where people lose their lives or are seriously injured due to the negligence of others.
What Causes Boating Accidents?
Many of the accidents are caused by an impact with the boat, or being struck by the boat or the propeller. More of the accidents occurred in calm water on days with clear weather, where it’s more likely to encounter other people on the water.
The person navigating the boat is responsible for following boating safety laws. Unfortunately, they can make negligent decisions that endanger the people in the boat and other boats on the water.
- Speeding. Going too fast will shorten your reaction time in case you need to avoid someone, another boat, or an object in the water. You’ll also have less control.
- Reckless Navigation. Ignoring no wake zones or taking turns too sharply could make you lose control of the boat.
- Operating Under the Influence. Just like cars, you cannot operate a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Disregarding Weather Conditions. Choppy waters or storms are dangerous to go out in. Make sure to check the weather and avoid the water if it’s supposed to storm later.
- Disregarding Boat Maintenance. Without regular check-ups, your boat could have a mechanical failure that leaves you out of control of the boat.
If you were a passenger on the boat with a negligent operator, were hit by another vessel, or a defect or system failure on the boat caused an accident, you may be able to get compensation. It’s also important to know that crashes aren’t always the operator’s fault.
For instance, there can be an issue with the build or design of the boat. In this case, the boat’s manufacturer could be responsible for the accident. Your boating accident lawyer will determine fault for the accident and help you with how to proceed.
What Are the Primary Boating Accident Injuries?
High speed boating accidents can be devastating. You can get thrown from the boat hit a vessel or piece of equipment. You can also sustain injuries by hitting the water or objects in the water. These injuries may require visits to the hospital, medication, and take months to make a full recovery. Some injuries could keep you from working or hinder your ability to do your everyday tasks. Common boating accident injuries include:
- Broken Bones
- Back Injuries and Internal Injuries
When on a boat, you should always wear a floatation device like a life jacket. Without a floatation device, it can be difficult to stay above water with an injury. While boating accidents might cause initial injuries, those injuries can prove fatal because it affects a person’s ability to swim to safety.
When boating accidents cause the loss of a loved one, you can still get justice for them. Your lawyer can help you file a wrongful death claim. You may be able to get compensation for pain and suffering and loss of income if you depended on that person financially.
Get Help from a Chicago Boating Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a boating accident that wasn’t your fault in Illinois, the Krzak Rundio Law Group will work tirelessly on your behalf. A reliable lawyer could be the difference between a favorable and unfavorable settlement. Call us today at (312)736-1111 for a free consultation. You’ll speak with one of our Chicago boating accident lawyers about the merits of your case and determine your best course of action.