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Who Is Responsible for Injuries in a Wisconsin Boating Accident?

Posted on in Personal Injury

Milwaukee, WI boating injury lawyer

By Attorney Chris Strohbehn

Spending time on the water is a common pastime in Wisconsin because of the many bodies of water throughout our state. The most common way to do this is on jet skis and other types of motorboats. Since summer is such a popular time for visitors and owners of vacation homes to visit Wisconsin, the state’s waterways become much busier and more crowded than usual. Due to this influx of people and their boats, boating accident injuries become more likely to occur.

Common Boating Accidents and Solutions

Capsizing and swamping are two of the most common types of boating accidents that can harm those in a boat and others nearby. Capsizing occurs when a boat gets turned on its side or flips upside down. This can occur if weight is unevenly distributed throughout the boat or if reckless driving is involved. Hitting large waves can also cause a boat to flip. If a boat stays upright and fills with water, this is known as swamping. 

Wearing life jackets is the first safety step that everyone should follow. Overloading of boats is one of the most common causes of these types of accidents. While it may seem more fun to have as many people as possible on board a boat, this can lead to dangerous situations. Keeping a boat’s center of gravity low is another good tactic to practice. Allowing people to stand up or walk around while the boat is moving can make the boat unsteady. All of these accidents can lead to individuals drowning, getting hit by another boat, or sustaining an injury while falling off the boat. 

Who Is at Fault in a Boating Accident?

Responsibility for boating accidents can shift depending on the type of accident and who was involved. Typically, the person operating the boat would be at fault for any injuries sustained while the boat is in motion. If an accident occurs in which a minor was operating a boat, the owner of the boat will most likely be at fault for the injuries. Driving a boat has different regulations than driving a car, and it is important to note these for physical and legal protection. Those under the age of 10 are not allowed to drive a boat in any circumstance. Those between the ages of 10 and 12 can operate a boat with a guardian on board, and those over the age of 12 can operate a boat if they have obtained a boating safety certificate and are accompanied by a guardian.

Driving boats while after consuming alcohol is extremely common and dangerous. Even one drink while boating on vacation can lead to dangerous accidents and serious injuries. If alcohol or other controlled substances are involved in an accident, the person who consumed the substance(s) will typically be at fault. This is similar to driving while under the influence. Not only do these individuals put their own lives at risk, but they can also inflict serious injuries on people in their boat or others on the water.

Contact a Milwaukee, WI Boat Accident Attorney for Help

Boating is a great way to enjoy the outdoors, but when accidents occur, they can have life-long consequences. Many of these accidents are a result of another person’s negligence. If you have been injured because of someone else’s negligence, you deserve to be compensated for damages you have suffered. At Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP, our attorneys are dedicated to obtaining fair compensation for accident victims to make up for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and all other costs. If you have been injured in a boating accident, contact our Milwaukee personal injury lawyers at 414-271-1440 for assistance.

Sources: 

https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/statutes/30/V/681

https://www.boat-ed.com/wisconsin/studyGuide/Typical-Boating-Fatalities/10105102_700145200/

 

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