As Spring rolls into Summer, weather heats up and many of us enjoy the breeze and spray from boating on lakes, harbors, and rivers throughout Chicagoland. Time on the water can be great family fun – but accidents can happen. Sadly, boating accidents are not uncommon and can result in severe injuries. A wave can jolt a passenger out of their seat. Striking an underwater rock, debris, or dock can throw a passenger into the water. And, crashing with another boat can be deadly from the collision, fire, and drowning.
As an attorney, every day I am personally involved in fighting for those who are injured as a result of the recklessness and negligence of others. Injuries sustained in boating accidents can be severe and life-changing.
Some of the main causes of boating and watercraft accidents include operator inattention, excessive speed, operator inexperience, and boating under-the-influence of alcohol or illegal substances.
Accidents can range from collisions with other vessels, flooding/swamping, collision with fixed objects, passengers falling overboard, and skier mishaps. Of these, colliding with another boat is the leading cause of accidents – and cause of deaths.
Among the most common boating injuries are:
• Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
• Contact with a spinning propeller
• Cardiac Arrest
As you enjoy a day on the water, you can be proactive in establishing some ‘rules’ for safe boating.
Be Prepared. Stay Alert.
There are also a few ‘common sense’ safety steps:
• Before boating, know the local weather conditions and forecast. Do not go out when there are strong winds or thunderstorms.
• Always wear flotation safety devises. Regardless of the distance from shore or your experience as a swimmer, Coast Guard approved life jackets do just that – Save Lives.
• Be sure that the boat operator has proper training and experience with the specific watercraft in use.
• Be mindful of your surroundings. The waterway may appear huge and wide compared to roads, but there may be swimmers, rocks, or debris that can create a dangerous situation.
Avoid distractions. The operator of the watercraft should not drink alcoholic beverages, partake in illegal substances, text, or engage in disturbing chatter with passengers or companions.
• Never leave a small child unattended while on the boat.
• Know how to perform CPR on children and adults.
• Have a cellphone available for a 9-1-1 call.
These simple safety steps reduce the likelihood that a great day turns into a tragic one. Yes, these simple steps can save a life.
Chicago Boat Accident Attorneys. We Help Victims.
The Attorneys at Friend, Levinson & Turner Law are knowledgeable and expert in representing those who are victims of the negligence or carelessness of others. People use boats both for pleasure and work. Those who boat for pleasure and are injured may be covered by different liability rules than those who are hurt while on boats for work. Both federal and state laws may apply. Claims for victims of boating accidents are complex and frequently multi-dimensional. Insurance companies rely on professional adjusters to negotiate and fight accident claims. In order to deal with these professionals, you need a skilled attorney to protect your rights. We know your rights and the applicable laws. We are your advocates. We are experts at negotiating with powerful insurance companies. Fifty years of experience counts.