Boating Accidents

As the weather gets warmer and the days grow longer, Chicago residents often take to Lake Michigan and other regional lakes and ponds on boats, jet skis, and other personal watercrafts. While water activities certainly come with their fair share of joy, they also pose risk of accidents and injuries. Negligent boating operators, poor manufacturing, and even innocent distractions create dangers that have the potential to result in property damage, personal injury, or even death. At Coogan Gallagher, our Chicago boating accident attorneys advocate on behalf of injured parties.

There are special legal rules that apply to boating and the operation of watercraft. Maritime laws are unique and can create issues that will require the consultation with an attorney that understands how to analyze the facts and apply the correct law to your case. You should not hesitate to speak with an attorney in order to understand your rights.

Boating Accident Attorney Chicago, IL

Common Causes of Boating Accidents

Data gathered by the U.S. Coast Guard shows a clear link between lack of boating safety knowledge and boating injuries and deaths. However, outside of misinformation or lack of understanding, there are many different causes of boat accidents. Some less common causes include inclement weather, restricted vision, machinery failure, overly congested waterways, poor water conditions, and insufficient navigation aids. Some of the more common causes are as follows:

  • Drug and alcohol use
  • Speeding
  • Failure to properly observe other boats
  • Operator inattention
  • Inexperienced operators

In some cases, multiple factors may be at play. For instance, it is not uncommon for drug or alcohol use and inattention to lead to a boating accident.

Compensation For Damages Sustained

Boat accidents, regardless of the cause, can be devastating. This is especially true if a collision occurs at high speeds. High speed collisions may cause passengers to be thrown from the vessels and to hit the water with excessive force, or to be hit with objects at extreme speeds. Resulting injuries may necessitate the need for hospital visits, ongoing medical attention, rehabilitative therapy, and mental health counseling. Some injuries may take months to heal while others may never heal. Many injured parties are never be able to work again.

To help injured parties financially, Illinois law gives injured parties the opportunity to recover compensation for the following damages:

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Past and future lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Rehabilitative services
  • Emotional duress
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium
  • And other damages

Note that compensation for these damages is not guaranteed. If you hope to recover compensation to make up for the totality of your losses, your best bet is to work with an experienced boat accident attorney.

Get Legal Help Today

If you or a loved one was injured in a boat accident in Chicago or the surrounding area, our experienced personal injury attorneys at Coogan Gallagher will work tirelessly on your behalf to ensure the negligent party is held financially accountable. Working with a qualified team of legal professionals can mean the difference between a favorable outcome to your claim and an unfavorable settlement.

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