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Illinois affords many opportunities to get out on the waterways with boats and other personal watercraft. With rivers, lakes, and other large bodies of water nearby, there are plenty of options to enjoy spending a day with family and friends. However, water-related accidents occur regularly and can often cause severe injuries that require a significant amount of financial compensation. If this applies to you, it would be wise to consult with a skilled personal injury attorney.

When the careless actions of the boat operator caused the accident, they should be held responsible for the damages that follow. If you sustained injuries in a watercraft collision, contact a Cook County boat accident lawyer right away to schedule a meeting.

Common Causes of Boat Accidents

Boat accidents have a unique potential for catastrophic injuries. People might suffer from broken bones, back injuries, severe lacerations, head injuries, and more.

In most situations, with proper precautions, the boat operator could have avoided the collision altogether if they had abided by state laws and regulations. When they do not follow safety regulations, and it leads to injuries, a court could hold them responsible. Common causes of boat accidents include:

  • Speeding or reckless boat operation
  • Operating a watercraft or other vessel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Inexperienced boat operators
  • Defective equipment
  • Poor weather and boating conditions

When a person sustains severe injuries and losses through no fault of their own, they should contact a Cook County boating injury attorney to help them investigate the situation and build a solid case.

Damage Recovery After a Boating Accident

The injured party will need to establish to the court that the boat operator was liable for the accident to collect compensation for damages. Proving fault requires careful analysis and evidence review. A skilled legal professional could be of service by interviewing potential witnesses and managing the documentation to determine the at-fault party.

After a boating accident, a successful injury claim could result in compensation for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and property damages that occurred as a result of the incident. A boat accident injury lawyer in Cook County could take the lead with insurance negotiations, the legal claim, and the calculation of potential damages.

Time Limit to File a Claim After a Boating Accident

The civil court sets a time limit for a plaintiff to file a personal injury claim. As per the Illinois Compiled Statutes 735 ILCS 5/13-212, the injured party in a boat collision has two years to file their lawsuit for damages with the court. The time begins to run on the day the accident occurs.

If the plaintiff does not immediately know the extent of their injuries, the court may grant an exception under the discovery rule. Under this exception, the time will begin running on the date the plaintiff reasonably discovers their injuries. If the claimant does not file their case within the statutory guidelines, the court could dismiss the lawsuit, leaving no other options for recovery.

Schedule a Consultation With a Cook County Boat Accident Attorney

As with any accident, if a boat operator’s careless or reckless behavior caused your injuries, you have the right to collect compensation for your troubles. A seasoned legal professional could answer your questions and help you through the negotiations and civil court process. Keep in mind that there are strict court-required timelines you must abide by for this type of claim. Call a Cook County boat accident lawyer today to begin preparing your claim.