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Hurt in a Private or Commercial Boating Accident?

Lake County Boating Accident Attorney

Thanks to their proximity to Lake Michigan and the Chain O’Lakes, Lake County residents have many opportunities to get out on the water and enjoy activities such as waterskiing, jet skiing, fishing, and just floating leisurely, Unfortunately, the more crowded a lake becomes, the higher the chance of a collision and injuries. If you are injured in a boat accident, the first thing you need to determine is whether the boat operator acted negligently or carelessly. If so, you can file a claim for compensation for your injuries, known as a personal injury lawsuit

Negligence in Private Boat Accidents

Some ways a private boat operator might be deemed negligent for an accident on the water include:

Negligence in Tourist Boat Accidents

Commercial boat operators are held to a higher standard of care. Many people will remember the 2018 sinking of an amphibious duck boat on Table Rock Lake near Branson, Missouri. 17 of the 31 people on the boat died that night. The boat captain was subsequently charged with 17 counts of negligence to duty by a ship’s officer under federal statutes. The captain’s specific areas of negligence included failing to properly assess the weather before and after the boat entered the lake, failing to immediately drive to the nearest shore when the storm hit, and failing to tell passengers to put on life jackets. The company’s general manager and operations manager were also indicted on related charges.

The families of the deceased filed wrongful death claims against the tour boat operator. The company’s acts of negligence included:

  • Ignoring storm warnings that had been issued before the duck boat entered the water.

  • Failing to keep in touch with the boat’s captain to alert him of updated storm warnings.

  • Continuing to use the boats after being made aware of design flaws that included a risk of engine and bilge pump failure in rough weather conditions. The boat also had a canopy over the passenger cabin with plastic side curtains, which made passenger escape very difficult when the boat sank.

Call an Aggressive Lake County Boat Accident Lawyer 

Illinois does not require private boat owners to carry liability insurance the way car owners must. This can make it more difficult to collect damages for injuries caused by a negligent private boat operator. Commercial boat operators, however, should have liability insurance to compensate customers injured due to operator negligence. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a boating accident, consult with an experienced Waukegan pedestrian accident attorney. Call the Waukegan office of Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. at 847-662-3303.

Sources:

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/b/boat-owners-insurance.asp

https://www.nwitimes.com/news/national/missouri-tour-boat-captain-indicted-after-sinking-kills/article_9c77c540-514c-5204-a476-989c604697e9.html

https://www.news-leader.com/story/news/crime/2019/06/20/two-more-ripley-employees-indicted-after-duck-boat-tragedy/1515985001/

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