If you have been involved in a boating accident, you may have sustained serious injuries. Very few boats have safety harnesses. If the boat operator collides with a solid object or makes an erratic maneuver you can be thrown from the boat. At Studinski Law, our team of Wisconsin boating accident lawyers are eager to listen to your story. Since we are committed to obtaining everything you are entitled to under the law, your case will get our full attention. Whether it involves conducting interviews or launching an investigation, we will work tirelessly to help you seek closure and recover compensation.

To find out how you can gain funds for an injury that was not your fault, call (715) 343-2850 today.

The Dangers of Boating Accidents

The United States Coast Guard claims that, in 2015, there were over 4,000 boat accidents that claimed the lives of 626 people. Thousands more sustained minor and serious injuries. Just one year later, Wisconsin experienced 108 boating accidents that led to 74 injuries and 21 fatalities. Of those who were killed in the state, 29 percent were between the ages of 20 and 29, and all were men.

Real problems can occur when injured individuals are hurtled into the water, especially when they are unconscious. According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), 81 percent of boating accident deaths in Wisconsin were caused by drowning. Part of the reason for this startling statistic could be the absence of safety measures. DNR data shows that only 19 percent of victims were using personal floatation devices (PFD). The next leading causes of death were hypothermia and trauma.

Common Causes

One of the most commonly cited causes of boating accidents is operator inexperience. In most peoples’ minds, a collision or other event is most likely to occur when a young person takes their newly acquired watercraft on its maiden voyage. While this reasoning is popular even among reputable sources, data from the DNR says otherwise. In 2016, nearly half of those who were involved in boating accidents had over 500 hours of boat operating experience. Another 24 percent had between 100 and 500 hours logged.

Operating a boat during a busy summer day is far more likely to lead to a serious accident. Between June and September, many of the popular waterways in Wisconsin, such as Plum Lake and Lake Geneva, become overcrowded and can become dangerous. If a boater becomes distracted by their passengers, they may not see another boat or personal watercraft before it is too late. Another cause for boating accidents is inclement weather. Before setting out on a watery escape from the summer heat, a boat operator may not check the weather report. Massive waves caused by strong winds are enough to capsize the average ski boat.

In the United States, over half of all boating accidents involve alcohol as a contributing factor. According to Section 346.63 of the criminal code, the blood alcohol content limit for operating any motor vehicle, including a boat, is .08 percent. Many people forget this and decide that bringing alcohol on their summer outing is a good idea. According to the National Association of Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA), many boating accidents are also caused by equipment failure. A dysfunctional steering column, burnt out navigation lights, and low oil levels can all have devastating results.

Common Injuries

Due to the nature of most boating accidents, it is possible to sustain a number of injuries. However, some are more common than others. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Traumatic Brain Injury
    Whether it is caused by colliding with a hard object or depriving your brain of oxygen while you are unconscious in the water, a brain injury can have lifelong consequences. You may start to suffer from head-splitting migraines, or you may lose function in certain cognitive areas, such as attention, memory, and reasoning.
  • Spinal Cord Injury
    Damaging your spinal cord can cause permanent or temporary paralysis. Even if the effects of the injury are not long-lasting, you may require extensive rehabilitation. You may not regain full functionality for many years.
  • Broken Bones
    Since most boats do not come equipped with restraints, being in a boating accident can expose your body to a tremendous amount of force. If you break a bone, you could be looking at a lengthy recovery process that could put you of work for some time.
  • Internal Bleeding
    This is one of the most dangerous injuries that can be sustained in a boating accident. In many cases, the victim may not notice the injury until they are in critical condition.

Obtaining Funds

If you have suffered a major injury after being involved in a boating accident, and the collision was caused by another person’s recklessness or irresponsibility, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit. This type of legal action is useful for obtaining funds for the many costs associated with your injury and recuperation. In many cases, the compensation you gain can be used to alleviate your financial burdens.

Losses that can be obtained after a boating accident are listed below:

  • Disability
  • Disfigurement
  • Emotional Distress and Mental Anguish
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Wage Loss
  • Medical Expenses
  • Loss of Earning Capacity
  • Loss of Enjoyment in Life
  • Loss of Society and Companionship

How Our Wisconsin Boating Accident Lawyers Can Help

Once you decide to seek justice for your injuries, you need the help of a legal team that will provide you with passionate, one-on-one assistance. A motor vehicle accident lawyer at Studinski Law understand that you are experiencing intense pain, and that you might be stressed about certain costs, such as medical bills. We will guide you through the legal process and treat you with the compassion you deserve.

If you are ready to purse the compensation you deserve, or if you have questions about your situation, call (715) 343-2850 now.

Jason Studinski Injury Attorney
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