Injured in a Boating Accident?

On behalf of Gordon Law Offices, Ltd.   |  Apr 20, 2021   |  Personal Injury

A person involved in a boating accident caused by a boat defect or negligence can pursue compensation. Boat manufacturers, dealers, operators, and owners should exercise the utmost care to minimize the risk of an accident. If failure to do so results in someone suffering serious injuries in a boating crash, the victim can file a lawsuit.

Causes of Boating Injuries

Boating is a popular pastime in the Chicago area thanks to access to the Chicago River, Lake Michigan, and several other boating options. Unfortunately, not every boater obeys waterway safety rules, leading to boating accidents and injuries.

Most boating accidents occur because of human error, boat defects, and inadequate boat maintenance. A person could pursue compensation if one of these factors contributed to an accident that injured him or her or killed a loved one.

What to Do After Becoming Injured in a Boating Accident

When someone is injured in a boating crash, he or she should seek immediate medical attention. He or she should also collect boat registration and contact information of all the parties involved. Collecting the contact information of witnesses and taking photos, if possible, is also highly recommended.

Finally, a boating accident victim should hold the wrongdoers accountable. That may involve reporting the accident, investigating the accident, filing insurance claims, and filing lawsuits. Personal injury attorneys guide victims through the appropriate steps. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) requires anyone who has been involved in a boating accident that resulted in a personal injury, death, or property damage to report the incident within five days.

A boating accident victim may be eligible for compensation. Illinois law prohibits the reckless operation of boats and the operation of boats under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Some of the scenarios where one can seek compensation for his or her injuries are:

  • A passenger injured in a boat accident in which the operator was intoxicated or failed to follow the rules or act with reasonable care
  • A person injured in a crash caused by another boat or jet ski
  • A defect in the build or design of a boat causing an accident
  • A professional failing to identify damaged parts or properly maintain a boat, which goes on to be involved in a crash

Different parties can be held responsible for boating accidents and injuries. A personal injury attorney helps establish the best legal theory for making a claim after sustaining a boating injury. A victim will then be able to pursue compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, emotional distress, and other damages. If a boating accident results in death, the victim’s family can bring a wrongful death claim.