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Recreational boating is a favorite activity for many, especially those who live close to waterways. Every year, avid boaters await the change in weather so they can get back out on the water and enjoy a fun day in the sun. While a boat can bring countless hours of pleasure and wonderful memories, things can quickly turn tragic if the boat operator or those around them are careless. If this sounds like a familiar scenario, you might want to consider enlisting the help of a dedicated personal injury attorney.

If a negligent boater caused your injuries, you could be eligible to recover compensation for damages. Call a Dolton boat accident lawyer to schedule a meeting to learn more about your options.

Boating Accident Causes

There are many actions that the state considers negligent watercraft operations. However, some hazardous behaviors and acts lead to more accidents and civil lawsuits than others. A Dolton boat crash attorney could answer questions on state boating laws and responsibilities. Two of the most common unlawful actions and causes for boating accidents include:

Operator Inattention or Inexperience

All boaters on the waterways share equal responsibility for avoiding collisions. The operator must follow boating safety rules and regulations, including remaining alert to their surroundings. This means avoiding distractions such as cellphones, eating, et cetera.

Additionally, state officials strongly suggest everyone take the boating safety course. Those who are under 18 are prohibited from operating a vessel with over ten horsepower until they pass the course.

Operator Under the Influence

The state also strictly prohibits anyone from operating a watercraft under the influence of mind-altering substances. As soon as they enter the waterway, an individual gives implied consent to drug and alcohol testing if an officer suspects that they are boating while intoxicated.

Unlawful and Reckless Boat Operation

Under Illinois Compiled Statutes 625 ILCS § 45/5-2, any boater who operates the watercraft in a hazardous way to another person or any property is guilty of reckless boat operation. Examples of unlawful boating in this state include:

  • Taking unnecessary risks while in control of water skis or other similar devices that they pull behind the vessel
  • Weaving the boat through busy waterway congestion
  • Jumping wakes while close to other vessels
  • “Playing Chicken” which involves waiting until the last moment to maneuver away from a head-on collision with another vessel
  • Purposely creating large wakes that could be dangerous for other boats or watercrafts around them
  • Excessive speeding or failing to yield while passing emergency vessels with flashing lights

When an operator unlawfully navigates the waters and causes injuries or property damages, they could face criminal charges. Additionally, the court could make them financially responsible for all resulting medical bills, repairs, and more. A seasoned boat crash lawyer in Dolton could investigate the cause of the accident and help build a strong claim for damage recovery.

Schedule a Meeting with a Dolton Boat Accident Attorney

While recreational boating can bring years of joy to friends and family, it can also be dangerous when an operator is careless. A boat accident could leave you with catastrophic injuries that have the potential to change the course of your entire life.

Call our office today to schedule a consultation if you experienced harm because of a negligent boater. A skilled Dolton boat accident lawyer could answer your questions and help guide you through the process of recovering compensation.