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Boating Safety Is Top Priority on Illinois Waterways

Written by Ankin Law Office

The Chicago area was stunned last month when a young boy was struck and killed by a boat while tubing in Petite Lake. Boating and boating-related activities are a major of recreational activities for many. It is imperative that anyone driving or riding a boat, or participating in boating-related activities, take extreme caution when boating.

According to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), there were 103 boating accidents in 2011, which resulted in 71 injuries and 25 fatalities. The five most common types of boating accidents are collision with another vessel, collision with a fixed object, flooding, skier mishap, and capsizing.

One of the most important things boaters can do to prevent fatalities is to properly use personal flotation devices (PFDs) while on board. Illinois law requires that there be one PFD available for each person on a boat or watercraft, and that anyone 12 years old or younger must wear a life jacket on board any watercraft shorter than 26 feet at all times while the boat is on the water.

Boaters must be particularly vigilant about obeying boat safety rules when there is high boat traffic. Illinois law requires boaters complete boating safety education course conducted by the IDNR in order to operate a boat.

If you are in a boating accident, the first thing you should always do in the case of an accident is to file an accident report with the appropriate authorities. The Illinois Boat Registration Act of 1959 requires the operator of every vessel to file a report in writing whenever a boating accident results in loss of life, injury to a person or property damage in excess of $2000. While accidents that result in death of or serious injury to any person must be reported to the DNR by the vessel operator within 48 hours of the accident, all other reportable accidents should be reported within five days.

You should also seek medical attention, if necessary. Make sure to maintain records of all tests and treatments received in the event you wish to pursue a personal injury claim.

You should also contact an attorney, such as the Chicago boating accident attorneys at Ankin Law Offices, LLC. Boating accidents often involve special state and federal laws. If your injury is the result of a boating accident caused by another boater’s negligent conduct, including reckless or impaired operation of their vessel, you may be entitled to monetary damages.

Categories: Personal Injury