Boating Accidents Attorneys in Madison, WI Working Hard to Protect Your Rights
Being on a boat can feel like a way of life. Much like driving a car to work, being on a boat with family and friends to enjoy the sunshine or get in some fishing is common in Wisconsin. Similar to driving to work, boating can also result in an accident through collision with another boat, capsizing, collision with a wave, a dock, or other obstacles in the water. It is not uncommon to find yourself in a boating accident that can result in serious injuries or even death.
We have worked with countless clients who have been involved in boating accidents. There are options available to you to protect your rights. Working with an experienced personal injury attorney gives you peace of mind in knowing you did all you could to handle an unfortunate situation. Contact our law firm today at (608) 448-6242 to discuss your specific questions and learn how we can best assist you moving forward.
Do I Need to Report a Boating Accident Formally?
Minor boating accidents can happen that don’t result in injury or significant damage to the boat itself. In these cases, it can feel unnecessary to report the incident. In most cases, it is best to report the accident rather than avoid it, regardless of the apparent damage, to cover all of your bases. Reports can be made verbally or in writing to the DNR or Law Enforcement.
Similar to car accidents, it isn’t always apparent immediately what damages have occurred both to the boat and the people on board. If problems arise in the future, by reporting the incident, you have a process in place immediately, rather than trying to backtrack and potentially incurring fines or penalties.
If anyone incurs an injury that results in more than first aid to heal, you are legally required to report it. If there is permanent damage to the boat rendering it no longer seaworthy, if the accident resulted in death or someone falling overboard, or if the damages are estimated at more than $2,000, you are legally required to report the boat accident. As discussed above, some accidents result in what appears to be minor damage, and it is later determined that significant damage was done to one or more boats involved in the accident. You could face penalties for not reporting the incident immediately. As a general rule, it is best to let the proper authorities know of any accident on the water as soon as it happens.
What are Common Causes for Boat Accidents in Madison?
Several factors can lead up to accidents on the water. Some of the most common is the operator being under the influence, not having enough experience operating the boat, not adhering to safety measures, driving recklessly, congested lakes, distracted operators, and more.
Much like operating a vehicle, the boat’s operator is responsible for following safety guidelines and avoiding accidents to the best of their ability. If there is negligence that one or more parties can prove, the injured party may be eligible for compensation.
What if I Need Compensation?
Boating accidents are a nearly everyday occurrence, and they fall under the personal injury category. If it can be proven that the other party was negligent in the accident, you may be eligible for compensation for the damages or injuries incurred.
Some of the most common damages that are covered are medical expenses for pain and suffering, property damage, and lost income.
The injured party has a right to attempt to obtain compensation for any of the medical expenses they incurred due to a boating accident. This can include the cost of emergency care, follow-up visits, physical therapy if necessary, and more. If the injured party is now unable to work at the same level they once were due to permanent disability; this can also be addressed and pursued.
Pain and suffering compensation can be pursued for mental anguish, fear, loss of enjoyment due to the accident, and more.
Property damage refers to the costs to repair the boat involved in the accident and docks or other property damaged in the accident.
Lost income can be pursued if the injured party missed out on income due to their time in the hospital post-accident, follow-up therapy appointments, or if they can no longer perform their typical duties in their line of work before the accident.
Why Do I Need an Attorney?
Boating accidents can be complex and require several aspects to prove the other party’s negligence. Recreating an accident scene on the water can be challenging, so other methods of documenting the facts must be taken. An experienced Madison boating accident attorney can work with you to conduct eyewitness accounts, gather affidavits, gather medical records and other supporting documents, and fight to protect your rights and obtain the compensation you deserve. Contact our office today at (608) 448-6242 to work with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys.