Statistics provided by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources have demonstrated that there were 103 United States Coast Guard rescues reported throughout Illinois in 2011, with these accidents resulting in 70 injuries and 16 fatalities.
Throughout the state of Illinois, there are several lakes and rivers of which boaters like to enjoy, not to mention the expansive and often treacherous Lake Michigan. Unfortunately, boating adventures can often quickly turn into life-changing accidents if boat operators are unaware of their capabilities and have not planned accordingly prior to entering the water.
If you or a family member has been injured or killed due to the negligent actions of another individual when on the water, the victim may be entitled to compensation for their losses and damages.
At the law offices of Tapella & Eberspacher, our boating accident attorneys are prepared to fight for your justice in the court of law and will work relentlessly to obtain the maximum compensation benefits available for your injuries, losses, and damages.
Types of Vessels
Here in Illinois, there are several rivers, lakes, and streams where many different types of vessels may be spotted. These boats may come in many different shapes and sizes and are intended to perform many different tasks. As with any other vehicle, there are boats intended for recreational use and merchant or commercial use.
Some common types of vessels seen in Illinois include:
- Bow rider
- Fishing boat
- Great Lakes freighter
- Jet boat
- Jet ski
- Mackinaw boat
- Wakeboard boat
As there are several different types of boats, there are typically different guidelines and rules that individuals may be required to follow. In the state of Illinois, there are several locations where individuals can find boater education courses and certifications to increase knowledge and safety before operating these watercrafts.
Causes of Boating Accidents
Boating accidents may be caused as a result of a number of different circumstances. In many instances, these accidents are a result of a negligent action performed by the driver; however, there are dozens of known causes of these types of accidents.
Some common causes of boating accidents include:
- Adverse weather conditions
- Congested waters
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Equipment failure
- Exceeding vessel weight capacity
- Failure to yield
- Inexperienced operators
- Reckless driving
- Water hazards
Recently, there have been studies conducted demonstrating that carbon monoxide is the cause of many boating accidents. When a driver or passenger loses consciousness as a result of carbon monoxide exposure, this can create an extremely dangerous situation for everyone.
Boating Accident Injuries
Most boats do not have the amount of safety features found in automobiles, such as seatbelts, airbags, or brakes. Thus, when boats are involved in accidents, they are typically more severe and usually result in injuries.
Statistics from the United States Coast Guard indicate that the most common form of boating injury throughout the United States in 2011 was lacerations mostly to the head, followed by the trunk, legs, and then other areas of the body.
Some other common boating accident injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Loss of limb
- Muscle strains and sprains
- Puncture wounds
- Spinal cord injury
- Traumatic brain injuries
Many injuries can be avoided by safely operating these vessels, abiding by all boating laws, and taking a boating safety class. It has been proven that nine out of ten drowning deaths can be avoided by wearing a life jacket.
If you have been injured in a boating accident, it is highly recommended to seek immediate medical attention to ensure a healthy recovery and avoid further injuries. Additionally, these medical documents can be used by our lawyers to develop a stronger case for you in the court of law.
Contact Our Experienced Boating Accident Lawyers Today
At The Tapella & Eberspacher Law Firm, our attorneys proudly serve individuals whom have been injured in boating accidents caused by the negligent actions of another individual or entity. Our attorneys have won millions in verdicts and settlements for our clients and will work tirelessly to recover the maximum compensation benefits available.
At our law firm, all of our attorneys operate on a contingency fee basis, which means we will not charge you for any of our services unless we achieve a winning verdict or settlement and you recover.
With offices located in Charleston and O’Fallon, we are licensed to serve clients throughout the entire state of Illinois.
A few local areas we serve include:
- Carlyle Reservoir
- Crab Orchard Lake
- Lake Michigan
- Mississippi River
- Rend Lake
If you are interested in learning more about our law firm, or to schedule a free case evaluation, we encourage you to call us today at 855-522-5291. A member of staff will collect crucial information regarding your accident, then quickly connect you with one of our caring attorneys ready to take your specific case.