Boating is a very popular sport even here in the Midwest. Whether on Lake Michigan or out on one of the coasts on vacation, the waterways are popular recreational opportunities during the summer months. The problem is boating is rife with opportunity for injury or worse. From sailboats to jet skis to kayaks and canoes any variation of watercraft can bring the opportunity for personal injury. Add to that the consumption of alcohol and the potential for catastrophic harm skyrockets.
Boating accidents can result from excessive speeds, experienced operators, inattention, or impaired boating.
The fact is boating accident cases can be extremely complex, and a personal injury claim emanating from a boating accident will most certainly benefit from the counsel of an experienced personal injury lawyer familiar with such claims.
Personal Injury Liability in Boating Accidents Really Depends on a Variety of Factors
Of course, every circumstance is different. Boating injuries can result from a myriad of situations on the waterways. However, many times when boating accidents occur, the responsibility is placed on the boat operator. When that occurs it can stem from the operator’s negligent operation of the watercraft or their failure to take reasonable safety measures (like not providing life jackets, for instance). They may perhaps be operating the boat recklessly or perhaps they simply did not take reasonable care of the boat.
In some instances, passengers may be at fault when accidents occur. Reckless behavior while moving around on the boat can often result in injury. Likewise, horseplay between passengers while the vessel is moving at high speeds can also result in injury. Throwing someone in the water without a life jacket while the boat is moving, particularly when they cannot swim, is also rife with risk when boating and these individuals can be held responsible for personal injury when it occurs.
In some cases, there are still other reasons boating accidents happen. If the vessel is rented, there may be liability on the part of the rental company that is responsible for the watercraft. There may be some neglect in the vessel’s upkeep or in not warning the renter/operator adequately about the vessel’s operation and the risks involved. Finally, malfunctions may occur in the vehicle’s operation. If that is the case, the boat manufacturer may in fact be responsible should that stem from a defective part or lack of warning provided.
Boating accident claims are not always clear cut as they take place on the waterways. Personal injury is governed by state tort laws. And if the accident occurred out at sea, federal admiralty or maritime law comes into play.
Again, any boating accident personal injury claim can benefit from the counsel of an experienced personal injury lawyer familiar with these kinds of cases. If you have questions about these kinds of claims, call Bizzieri Law Offices of Chicago at 773.881.9000. We have the experience it takes and familiarity with applicable laws to navigate a personal injury claim resulting from boating accidents and will fight hard to recover damages for you.