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Individuals Hurt in Boat Accidents May Be Entitled to Compensation for Their Injuries

Lake County boat accident attorneysSummer weather has finally arrived in Illinois which means that many people will be enjoying the sunshine out on the water. Boat accidents are less common than car accidents, but the results are often just as disastrous. Over 600 individuals lost their lives in boating accidents in 2018, and thousands more were injured. 

There are many different reasons that a boat accident can occur, but many boat accidents resulting in death or serious injury are the result of operator negligence. If someone else’s recklessness caused a boat injury in which you or a loved one were seriously hurt, you may have a valid personal injury claim. You or your loved one could potentially be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and more.

Top Causes of Boating Accidents

Some people do not take the responsibility of operating a boat nearly as seriously as they take the responsibility of driving a car. While roads are often congested with vehicles, bicyclists, and pedestrians, lakes and other bodies of water may appear nearly empty. A boat operator may feel a false sense of confidence based on this perceived emptiness and make reckless decisions as a result. For example, people who would never think to drive under the influence of alcohol may justify operating a boat drunk. Alcohol use is the top known contributor to fatal boat accidents. Boaters may also operate the boat at excessive speeds or in an erratic manner. This combined with improper lookout and operator inattention can lead to catastrophic collisions and other boat-related injuries.

Determining the At-Fault Party in a Boating Accident

Illinois law allows an injured party to pursue compensation through a personal injury claim if he or she was hurt due to the “negligent, willful and wanton, or reckless” actions of another party. If a boat operator was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, operating the boat in a reckless manner, violated boating laws, or was otherwise acting negligently at the time of the accident, it is likely that he or she will be considered the at-fault party. 

It is also possible that the party liable for a boat accident is not an individual but instead a company. For example, if a boat accident occurred due to a defective boat part, the company that manufactured or designed the part may be considered at fault. In many boating accident cases, fault is shared by more than one party. Fortunately, Illinois law allows an injured party to bring an action for compensation even if he or she was partially at fault for his or her injuries. As long as the court finds the injured party to be less than 51 percent responsible for the injuries, he or she may still bring a personal injury claim.

Contact a Waukegan Boat Injury Lawyer

If you were hurt or you have lost a loved one in a boating accident, contact Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. to learn about your options for recovering compensation. Call us today at 847-662-3303 and schedule a free consultation with a knowledgeable Lake County boat accident attorney.

 

Sources:

https://americanboating.org/boating_fatality.asp

https://www.statista.com/statistics/240614/recreational-boating-accidents-in-the-us--number-of-deaths--injuries/

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