Boaters in the area spend many happy hours enjoying the beautiful waters of Clinton Lake. Whether it is fishing, water skiing, sailing, or just cruising in the sun, time spent on the water can be relaxing and refreshing. Sadly, it can also quickly become tragic, as boating accidents happen far too frequently and can result in serious injuries or even death.
Boating accidents, like other vehicle wrecks, have some common causes. These include boaters operating over posted speed limits or ignoring no-wake and slow zones, hazardous driving, or operating the watercraft while distracted or under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Some boat accidents occur while watercrafts are docking or leaving the dock. Others are the result of collisions with obstructed or invisible underwater hazards. Operators who are inexperienced or unfamiliar with their boat may also be the cause of accidents on, or in, the water. Sadly, many boat related fatalities are the result of drowning as accidents or boat malfunction can lead to boaters ending up in the water.
If you or a loved one were harmed by a negligent boater, consider speaking with a Clinton boat accident lawyer. A dedicated injury attorney at our firm could explain your legal rights and help you seek fair compensation for your harm.
How Can a Clinton Boat Accident Attorney Help Me?
A Clinton attorney who has experience with boating accidents can assist you if you or someone you love has suffered injuries as the result of another’s negligence. Legal remedies exist to compensate you for the injuries you have suffered or the losses you have incurred.
Naturally, there are safety regulations that govern the operation of a boat on the water in the state of Illinois. These include operating within the speed limit and obeying all other safety regulations, ensuring everyone on board is wearing a life jacket at all times, making sure the boat is outfitted with all necessary safety equipment, and operate with lights when required.
All boaters have the responsibility to prevent accidents and are required to comply with the Boat Registration and Safety Act, which establishes traffic rules for boaters. For example, 625 Illinois Compiled Statutes 45/5-13 explains how vessels should safely cross, pass, and overtake one another. Sections 625 ILCS 45/5-1 to 5-7 & 45/5-12 prohibit certain dangerous conduct, including:
- Careless or reckless driving
- Interfering with the navigation of other vessels
- Operating in a restricted area (i.e., swimming, fishing, etc.)
- Creating a wake in a “no wake” zone
In addition, the same blood-alcohol level limits governing automobile drivers apply to boat operators. Operating a watercraft under the influence of alcohol may be illegal under 625 ILCS 45/5-16. If the operator’s blood alcohol level is 0.08 percent or more, they may be guilty of operating under the influence. The consequences of operating a boat while under the influence can be just as tragic as driving a car while intoxicated.
When the owner or operator of a boat has violated or ignored any of the established safety rules or laws for boating, this can be used as evidence in establishing responsibility in the event an accident leaves you with injuries or other losses.
If you or a family member have been injured in a boating accident, you have the right to file a personal injury claim and seek compensation for your injuries. A local lawyer could review the facts of your accident with you and determine where there may be evidence of fault.
Who Is Responsible for My Boat Accident Injuries?
The responsible party in a boating accident may be the operator of the boat, especially where there may be evidence that safety regulations were ignored. If you were injured as a passenger, you may have a claim against the driver (and their insurance), or you may have a claim against another operator, if they caused the accident. The same is true if you were struck by a boat while swimming, skiing, or on a jet-ski. If your accident was the result of a hazardous situation or poor construction or maintenance at a dock or parking lot, your claim may be against the owner or operator of the dock. A lawyer can help people injured in a boat crash in Clinton determine the correct responsible parties and identify available insurance coverage to help maximize your sources of recovery.
Speak with a Clinton Boat Accident Attorney Today
If the injuries you suffered in a boating accident are the result of the negligence of another, call our office today to speak with an experienced Clinton boat accident lawyer. The initial consultation is always free, and we do not get paid unless and until we recover compensation for you. Call us today for your free consultation.