Boating can be great fun, but sometimes accidents can occur. Your legal rights in this type of accident can be complicated. If you are involved in an accident on a sailboat or motorboat, in order to claim compensation for your injury, you must be able to prove that your injury was a result of another person’s negligence. This is defined as failure to act with reasonable care towards others. Just because you were hurt does not necessarily mean someone else was at fault. To win a liability case and claim compensation, your lawyer must be able to prove that a third party acted without reasonable care, and you were injured as a result of that negligence.
What Causes Boating Accidents?
According to the National Association of Rescue Divers, most boating accidents take place in the evening when changes in the environment and excessive alcohol consumption can cause poor judgment. Here’s an overview of common causes of boating accidents:
- Capsizing: This is the most common cause of boating accidents. This often happens when the boat is not loaded properly or it is overloaded. It may also be caused by inclement weather or if the boat is anchored at the stern. Your boat may also capsize it you are hit by another boat or caught in the wake of another boat.
- Person overboard: This type of accident commonly happens when the boat is moored or at anchor. It can occur when passengers sit on the sideboards, move around without holding on to something or act unsafely. Falling out during a turning maneuver is also common. This can happen if the captain of a speedboat makes a tight turn without warning, or if the skipper of a sailboat is inexperienced and does not inform the passengers that the boom is about to swing.
- Insufficient safety equipment: It is the responsibility of the boat owner to ensure that there is always sufficient safety equipment onboard. This is a federal and state safety law requirement. There must be a life jacket for each passenger, life preserver rings, flares, loud whistles, navigational lights, and fire extinguishers.
Do you need legal advice about liability after a boating accident? If you or a loved one has been injured while boating, and you believe that your injuries are the result of someone’s negligence, contact our legal team at Mitchell S. Sexner & Associates LLC at (312) 644-0444. Our Chicago boating accident lawyers can help you get results quickly and efficiently.