Chicago Boat Accident Lawyer

Boating Accident Attorney

Were you or a family member or loved one injured in a boat accident?

Hire Chicago's leading boating accident lawyer and get what you are owed - with minimum stress and maximum payout. 

If you were in a boating accident or had a boating mishap on Lake Michigan, the Chicago River, or anywhere else in northern Illinois and you suffered injuries or damages of any kind (including but not limited to loss of earnings or loss of earning capacity, or emotional distress), a boat accident lawyer can help you recover the costs for current and future medical bills, disability and related needs, and other pain and suffering. 

In the case of a loss of life – a boating accident fatality – family members may be able to sue for loss of care and loss of support along with emotional distress. 

There are thousands of boats on Chicago area rivers, lakes, and waterways right now, and that number increases every day.

It only goes to follow that so does the likelihood of you or a loved one being involved in an accident with a boat if you enjoy leisure time on a boat or use the rivers for regular transit (e.g., water taxis). 

What's more, there are hundreds of boating accidents in Illinois every year, which means that you and your loved ones are at risk every time you get on board. 

Boating accidents can be especially devastating or even fatal, with risks of drowning as well as injuries from collisions or mechanical failures.

Therefore, an accident involving a boat or occurring on the water is much more likely to cause serious damage to the individuals and other vehicles involved. 

Why Do I Need a Boat Accident Lawyer? 

boating accident attorney

If you've been in a boat accident on the Chicago River or anywhere else in Illinois , then you need to consult with a boating accident lawyer to ensure that you get all the damages you are rightfully owed.

This holds true whether you were the driver, passenger, or owner of the boat or were the driver or passenger in another boat or watercraft that was struck by the boat, a swimmer near the boat, or another individual involved in the accident.

A boating accident attorney will be able to help you determine what harms were incurred and what kind of damages you are entitled to, file a lawsuit against the boat owner's insurance and any other parties involved, and work with you to get the appropriate payout or settlement that you are due. 

Dealing with the potentially complicated details of boating accidents is what boating accident lawyers specialize in; what's more, boat accident attorneys know the ins and outs of the law and how the legal system handles these cases and will assist you throughout bringing a suit against the necessary parties. 

Moreover, a personal injury attorney who has a background in maritime law and handling boat accident cases in Chicago and Illinois will help you be able to determine who to sue and what kind of damages to claim as per the city and state's particular regulations. 

In a boating accident, more than one party can be held vicariously responsible for the owner or operator's negligence, issues with the maintenance of the boat itself, or even the boat's cargo or passengers.

Boat owners and operators may carry millions in insurance and have their own adjusters - so a boating accident lawsuit or claim is not something you should try to handle on your own and expect a maximum or even somewhat ideal settlement. 

When Do I Hire a Boat Accident Attorney?

boating accident lawyers

One of the most important aspects of dealing with a boat accident is contacting and engaging the services of a knowledgeable personal injury attorney who understands the intricacies of dealing with boating accidents as soon as possible after the incident occurs. 

Enlisting the help of an attorney with boating accident expertise right away is imperative because gathering evidence and getting the correct narrative is essential to achieving the best possible results with a lawsuit.

The longer you wait the more time eyewitnesses' memories have to fade and the more time evidence becomes more complicated to find and verify. 

Where Do I Find a Boat Accident Lawsuit Firm? 

 If you think you have a case or should file a lawsuit after a boat accident - or even if you have been in an accident on the water in a Chicago area body of water such as Lake Michigan or the Chicago River and aren't sure about dealing with your insurance company and the post-accident follow-up claims - you should contact a Chicago-based lawyer with a background in boating accident cases to help you navigate the complexities of your particular situation. 

Once it is established that you have a case or legal standing to sue the party or parties involved in the incident (which makes you the plaintiff in this case), then your attorney will help you determine exactly which party or parties are the ones liable for your injuries and losses and therefore can be sued (making them the defendants). 

Your boat accident lawyer will also determine the jurisdiction and the venue in which your complaint or lawsuit should be filed, along with actually filing the suit with the appropriate court and subsequently arguing your case and dealing with the defendants on your behalf. 

For example, in a boat accident that occurred in Chicago waters (such as Lake Michigan or the Chicago River), the venue would be a court located in Chicago since that is the place where the accident occurred or the dispute arose and the courts in Chicago have the ability to exercise authority over companies and individuals that reside in Illinois. 

How Do I File a Lawsuit for A Boat or Watercraft Accident? 

The operation of both commercial and recreational boats is heavily regulated by both state and federal laws and regulations.

If one or more of these laws is violated during the course of an accident, the chances of a lawsuit recovering significant damages are high, especially if you work with a lawyer who understands the complexities of boating or maritime law and the consequences for different types of violations. 

Filing a lawsuit for a boat accident is a complicated process best handled by a personal injury attorney or law firm that has experience bringing lawsuits for boating accidents that happened in your state or city.

Moreover, if you or a family member were the injured parties in a boat accident, you should focus on your health and recovery and let an experienced attorney handle the work and stress during the aftermath of an accident and subsequent lawsuit. 

Who Is Liable in A Boating Accident? 

who is liable in a boating accident

Owning and operating a boat means the operator holds certain responsibilities to their passengers as well other boat operators or watercraft operators.

There are several factors that can cause a boat accident, including but not limited to:

  • Machinery failure
  • Manufacturing defects
  • Improper maintenance
  • Inattentive driving, operating, or sailing
  • Reckless driving or operating, or other reckless behavior
  • Inexperienced or unlicensed boat operators
  • Excessive speed
  • Alcohol use, drug use, or other driver impairment

Performing any of the above actions or similar actions may put the boat operator (along with the owner of the boat in some cases) at fault for negligence and the associated accidents that may occur. 

Certain standards and protocols apply to boat operators in the same way that the “rules of the road” apply to motor vehicle operators. 

Furthermore, after a boating accident, reports must be filed and if injuries or even deaths occur, then certain actions may result in civil and criminal liability.

These actions include but are not limited to failure to remain on the scene, failure to provide aid, and failure to report the accident in a timely manner.

Damage to another boat or vessel must be reported and if someone on board disappears while on the water a report must be filed indicating a possible injury or death.

Therefore, if you or a loved one were involved and injured in a boat accident involving any of the above factors, you should contact a boat accident attorney at Zayed Law Offices right away to determine the appropriate next steps in your boating accident lawsuit. 

Types of Boat Accidents

While any kind of accident can be devastating and complicated, a boat accident can be particularly challenging since there may be specific laws and regulations involved in suing the owner or operator (or both) of boats, watercraft, or other maritime vehicles.

Various types of boat accidents commonly in the Chicago area, including but not limited to:

  • Speedboat accidents
  • Motorboat accidents
  • Cabin cruiser accidents
  • Yacht accidents
  • Ferry accidents
  • Water taxi accidents
  • Personal watercraft accidents
  • Jet Ski accidents
  • Sailboat accidents
  • Tour boat accidents
  • Falls overboard from any type of boat or watercraft  

If you have been injured in an accident involving any of the aforementioned types of boats, contact the boat accident lawyers at Zayed Law Offices as soon as possible to assess your claim and determine the next steps. 

Types of Injuries Resulting from Boat Accidents

watercraft accident attorney

Injuries suffered by boat accident victims include but are not limited to:

If you or a loved one were in a boating accident and experienced any sort of injury, you may have a case for a lawsuit and should contact the boat accident personal injury attorneys at Zayed Law Offices as soon as possible. 

Statute of Limitations on Boat Accidents

Accidents involving boats have a statute of limitations of two years from the date of the accident.

Therefore, if you have been injured or had a family member injured or even killed in a boating accident, it is essential that you contact a boat accident attorney as soon as possible in order to assert your rights to damages and compensation.

What Should I Do If I Was in A Boat Accident?

chicago boat accident

If you were involved in a boating accident of any kind, you should contact boat lawyers who has expertise in dealing with these types of issues (after ensuring that you and anyone else involved is medically safe and sound, of course).

They can help you navigate the ensuing insurance claims and bring a potential lawsuit against the party or parties at fault and ensure that you get everything you are owed. 

Immediately after being in an accident involving a boat or watercraft, the first steps are to take care of your health by seeking medical attention and contacting the police or coast guard.

Once things are stable and you've seen a doctor and the police (and filed a report), then it is time to contact your insurance company to report the accident and then a personal injury attorney to help you navigate the days ahead. 

Keep in mind that you should never speak with the boat owner or operator's insurance company or their insurance claims adjuster, their boat manufacturer's insurance company or claims adjusters, or anyone related to other parties involved in the incident.

Do not sign anything before contacting a personal injury attorney who can help you review any and all documents regarding the boat accident and file any and all lawsuits and insurance claims. 

Take clear pictures of your injuries, even if you don't feel significant pain at first.

Get all medical records from any hospital or doctor visits related to the boat accident as well.

Keep all of this information in a safe place and make multiple copies, including digital copies stored on different hard drives or in the cloud if possible. 

Getting pictures or video of the accident scene or area is also useful if you or another party or bystander are able to take photos or video shortly after the incident. 

Here's a list of the steps you should take after being involved in a boat accident:

  1. Call 911 and seek any necessary medical attention, and call the coast guard or police to get an accident report started.
  2. Take pictures of the accident scene, if you are able to at the time of the incident, along with any injuries and damage to the boats or watercraft.
  3. Exchange contact information with other parties and any passengers or bystanders who could potentially be witnesses if applicable and you are able to at the time. 
  4. Document any doctor's reports or any other medical attention that you receive, including bills and other costs.
  5. Call your insurance company.
  6. Call a personal injury attorney who has experience dealing with boat accidents in your state or the state where the accident occurred. They can help you handle the claim and potential lawsuits from this point on.
  7. Do not speak to any other party's insurance company, their claims adjusters, lawyers, or anyone else associated with the case without your lawyer's involvement. 

Taking all of these steps in the proper order will likely make filing your lawsuit and insurance claims go more smoothly and make the process of working with a personal injury lawyer go that much more smoothly.

That said, your safety is always paramount so if you are unable to take pictures or videos immediately after the accident, there are other methods of establishing fault and determining a settlement. 

Boating Accident Investigations

boat accident chicago river

Typically, once a boat accident of any kind occurs, there will be an investigation by the insurance providers responsible for the parties involved.

Potentially, law enforcement such as the coast guard will also bring in their own teams to investigate what happened and who is at fault as well, particularly if any laws were clearly broken or there are allegations or evidence of a driver or operator being drunk or under the influence of drugs or controlled substances.

It is essential to understand that you should never speak to any other party's insurance representatives or claims adjusters, or any lawyers other than the boat accident lawyer that you have secured to represent your interests.

And definitely never sign anything without your lawyer present and with their permission or approval! 

That's why one of the first things that you should do after you've been involved in a boating accident is to reach out to an attorney who has experience representing clients in boat accident lawsuit cases. 

How Much Is a Boating Accident Case Worth?

chicago river boat accident

The value of a boat accident case depends on the damages caused and the extent of harm incurred by the victim or victims.

Damages can be recovered or settlements made for a number of reasons, including but not limited to:

  • Disability
  • Current or immediate medical bills
  • Future medical bills
  • Loss of earnings or wages (in the present) 
  • Loss of earning capacity in the future (in the event of a disability or catastrophic injury) 
  • Emotional distress
  • Pain and suffering

After being involved in a boat accident, you may have experienced significant discomfort, pain, injury, inconvenience, or worse.

You may have missed and may continue to miss significant amounts of work or may even no longer be able to work in your previous capacity.

Boat accidents may even involve drowning, catastrophic injury or the loss of life which could lead to a wrongful death lawsuit. 

Filing a lawsuit against the negligent parties in a boat accident is a way of recovering or recouping the loss or damages for the accident and ensuring that medical bills, loss of income, and other pain and suffering that occurred as a result of the accident are taken care of as best allowed by the U.S. legal system.

Boat Accidents and Wrongful Death Lawsuits

In the case of wrongful or accidental death due to the negligent conduct of another party or parties, their heirs have the right to file an accidental death or wrongful death lawsuit under Illinois law, which allows for a cause of action to be brought on behalf of family members or heirs of the deceased. 

Accidental death lawsuits can cover medical bills and related expenses, pain and suffering, loss of earnings, and emotional distress for the family of the deceased.

These losses are compensable in the state of Illinois under the Illinois Survival Act.

A Chicago wrongful death attorney experienced in handling these types of suits will be able to assist your family during this difficult time of unimaginable loss and handle the associated lawsuits and insurance claims so your family doesn't have to and can focus on the grieving process and recovery. 

Boating Accident Settlements and Damages

boating accident attorneys

The types of damages that one can claim in the event of a boat accident under the Illinois legal system include but are not limited to:

  • Current medical expenses
  • Future medical expenses
  • Immediate wage loss or loss of earnings
  • Future impairment of earning capacity 
  • Current pain and suffering
  • Future pain and suffering and reduced quality of life

Being involved in a boating or watercraft accident may result in significant discomfort, pain, injury, inconvenience, or catastrophic damage to your person such as the loss of a limb(s) or paralysis.

What's more, you may have missed and may continue to miss significant amounts of work or may even no longer be able to work in your previous capacity.

Boat accidents may even involve catastrophic injury or fatalities for the operator or their passengers, which could lead to a wrongful death lawsuit. 

Accordingly, bringing a lawsuit against the negligent parties in a boat accident is a way of recovering or recouping the loss or damages for the accident and ensuring that medical bills, loss of income, and other pain and suffering that occurred as a result of the accident are taken care of as best allowed by the Illinois and United States legal system. 

Boating Accident Trials 

boating accident

While a boat accident lawsuit case may be settled out of court for a monetary amount agreed upon by both the defendant and plaintiff and their lawyers, the case may go to trial if a satisfactory settlement cannot be reached. 

Boat accident lawsuits go to trial due to a number of reasons.

For instance, if the boat owner, operator, or negligent party or parties are solely at fault but their insurance won't acknowledge the fault of the policyholder, the case may be taken to trial to enable a judge and jury to decide if damages should be awarded and in what amounts. 

Our Boat Accident Attorneys Are Here to Help... 

A watercraft or boating accident or drowning can be a catastrophic and traumatic event that affects you, your family, and your career in many complicated and devastating ways. 

Furthermore, the effects of being involved in a boat accident can last for many years into the future, affecting your health, medical costs, current and future income, and even your family's future if you lose earning capacity or the ability to care for yourself.

And if you've lost a loved to any type of boating fatality, you deserve a settlement and to deal with the grieving process as best you can without the extra stress of dealing with insurance companies and other third parties.

All of the above reasons are why you should work with a personal injury attorney who has experience dealing with the complexities of boating accidents and associated injuries who can help you recover costs for pain and suffering, loss of earnings, loss of earning capacity, medical bills, disability, and emotional distress. 

Have you been in an accident of any kind involving a boat and need a boating accident lawyer to help you sue for damages? 

We welcome the opportunity to speak with you about your legal situation and help you determine the next steps.

Please contact Zayed Law Offices in Chicago, and schedule a free case review and confidential initial consultation by completing our short contact form.

We'll schedule a time that is convenient for you and please note that you will not pay lawyer's fees unless we recover compensation for you.

Adam J Zayed, Founder & Trial Attorney
Adam Zayed, Boating Accident Attorney

Professional Boating Accident Attorneys

The Zayed Law Offices team is here to assist you in your boating accident claims and get you the results you deserve.

Contact a personal injury lawyer to begin your consultation. 

Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer

Address: 161 N Clark Street Suite 1600,
Chicago, IL 60601

Phone: 312.726.1616