In many ways, collisions between boats out on the water can be even more dangerous than automobile accidents on land, thanks to the relative lack of safety features like airbags as well as the risk of drowning. Fortunately, just like you could after a car wreck caused by another person’s irresponsible driving, you can file suit against any boater—or any third party—whose negligence directly contributes to you suffering an avoidable injury.
However, civil cases like this are far from simple. Assistance from a Carpentersville boat accident lawyer could make a significant difference in the outcome of your claim. Reach out to our team today to speak with a trusted personal injury attorney to learn more about how we can help.
Just like motor vehicle drivers, boat operators traveling through navigable waterways in and immediately around Illinois have a “duty of care” to those around them. This obligation requires them to adhere to all applicable boating laws, pay attention to their surroundings, and generally act responsibly while controlling their vessels. Any boater who “breaches” this duty and directly causes injury to another person through their misconduct may hold civil liability for any damages stemming directly from that incident.
While individual boat operators are most often to blame for accidents of this nature, they are not the only ones who could potentially hold liability for a boat accident. For instance, if a boat accident occurs primarily due to a malfunction in one of the watercraft involved, the primary fault for ensuing injuries might lie with a manufacturer that provided faulty components or a mechanic who failed to service the vessel(s) in question properly.
Generally, boat rental companies are not civilly liable for harm that renters cause by irresponsibly operating their vessels. However, as a Carpentersville boat accident attorney could explain, rental companies may be liable if their own negligence contributed to causing an accident. For example, if they knowingly rented a vessel to someone who was visibly intoxicated at the time.
Another aspect of boat accident liability worth discussing is the role “contributory negligence” can play in a boat injury lawsuit. People who suffer personal injuries are not exempt from being found partially liable for their own ensuing losses if they were negligent in some way that contributed to causing those losses. An example of this would be if someone struck by a drunk boater were traveling too fast for the conditions at the time of the incident.
Under 735 Illinois Compiled Statutes § 5/2-1116, civil courts can reduce the total compensation made available to an injured person in proportion to their assigned percentage of “comparative fault.” Anyone given more than 50 percent of the total blame for their accident is prohibited from recovering any compensation at all. Guidance from a qualified boat accident attorney in Carpentersville is key to contesting allegations around these lines and maximizing settlement amounts.
Accidents on the water can be exceptionally dangerous and all too often deadly. Anyone who causes this kind of incident through their own reckless or careless conduct should be held financially accountable for the damages. Support from experienced legal counsel is crucial to making sure that happens.
A Carpentersville boat accident lawyer could help you understand your legal options, protect your rights, and pursue what you need to set things right. Call our firm today to speak with a trusted member of our team to get started.