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Boat Accidents: How to Handle Them and How to Avoid Them

Heading out for a day on the boat is something many Illinois residents look forward to once the weather turns warmer. Unfortunately, these outings often result in accidents that cause catastrophic injuries and even death. If you are a boating enthusiast, it is critical to know how to avoid these accidents to protect your future. If you are still involved in a crash due to the negligence of another person, it is important to speak to an Illinois boat accident lawyer who can help you recover the damages you deserve.

Causes of Boat Accidents

Even seemingly mundane activities can result in a serious boat accident. The most common causes of boat accidents are as follows:

  • Running out of gas
  • Running aground
  • Falling overboard
  • Sinking
  • Fires
  • Mechanical failure
  • Speeding
  • Lack of safety gear
  • Poor weather conditions
  • Failure to maintain a look-out
  • Boating under the influence

In many of the above situations, negligence is the contributing factor. Even when there are poor weather conditions, boat operators are expected to check the weather conditions before they head out, and make their way back to land if conditions become worse.

Avoiding Boat Accidents

Many boat accidents are caused by the negligent actions of another person. Boat operators are often inexperienced and lack the basic knowledge to operate a boat safely. Other times, a boat operator may be fully aware of the regulations and requirements, but simply ignore them. To combat this, the best ways to avoid a boat accident are as follows:

  • Always calculate the amount of gas you need, and ensure you have more than that amount.
  • Check for cracked hulls before steering the boat off rocks or land.
  • Wear emergency cut-off switch lanyards or electronic equipment that will stop the motor if you are thrown overboard.
  • Check for fuel spills and leaks regularly.
  • Carry a safety kit on board that includes a flashlight and distilled water that can help kickstart a flooded-cell battery.
  • Always operate a boat according to the posted speed limits, particularly in no-wake zones.
  • Always use safety gear, including life jackets.
  • Check the weather any time you are about to head out on the water.
  • Maintain a look-out at all times.
  • Never operate a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

While you may take the necessary steps to avoid a boat accident, other operators may not. When that is the case, it is also important to know the steps to take.

Steps to Take After a Boat Accident

The steps you take after a boat accident are critically important to your claim. It is important to seek medical attention so the insurer does not try and dispute your claim. You must also report the boat accident if the crash caused injury to another person that required more than first aid, or the property damages were greater than $2,000. Lastly, you should also contact an Illinois boat accident lawyer who can help you hold the liable party accountable and claim the damages you need for your recovery.

Our Boat Accident Lawyers in Illinois Can Help with Your Claim

If you have been injured in a crash, our boat accident lawyers in Rockford at Brassfield & Krueger, Ltd. can help. Call us today or contact us online to schedule a free consultation so we can get started on your case.

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