Earlier this week, a Chicago boating accident lawyer at our firm read a report detailing a deadly high-speed boating accident in Rend Lake, located in Benton, Illinois near Franklin County. Wpsdlocal6.com stated that last week, five men and women associated with BRP, a boat manufacture with facilities in the area, were driving two different boats on the lake to conduct a demo run for the company. Preliminary investigations show that both boats were traveling at full speed to test the boats, as no speed limit currently exists on the lake. Two people riding on one of the boats pulled out in front of the second boat holding the three remaining individuals, causing both boats to collide.
The report states that a 41-year-old woman on the first boat sustained severe injuries and died at a local hospital. The other person on the boat, a 38 year-old-man, was thrown into the water and was missing until the day after the accident, when divers pulled his body from the lake. The second boat hit land after the collision and all three individuals on it sustained non life-threatening injuries. They are currently in stable condition.
Our Illinois boating accident attorneys are aware of the number of boating accidents that occur during the summertime and want to urge the public to be more cautious while either driving a boat or simply enjoying the water nearby. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources released a boating accident report from 2011 detailing the most common conditions in which boating accidents occur. In Illinois, most accidents occurred in either Lake Michigan or Illinois River during the summer and on Saturdays and Sundays. The people involved in the accidents were most commonly between the ages of 30 and 40 and were riding on open motorboats or personal watercrafts. Personal injury in the accidents resulted from careless/reckless operation of the boat, operator inattention, lack of operator experience, and when the driver was not wearing a personal flotation device.
After reading both of the above reports, our Illinois boating accident lawyers thought it would be helpful to remind our readers of the steps they can take to avoid serious injury when boating or sharing the waters with boats this summer. Always wear a personal flotation device or life jacket, as many victims that sustain injuries in boating accidents were not wearing a life jacket. Be sure to operate at a safe speed and be especially careful on personal watercrafts. Never overload your boat and avoid low water areas or submerged objects. Also, avoid drinking alcohol while driving; this is just as dangerous as driving a car after drinking, and the probability of being killed in a boating accident doubles when alcohol is involved.
Those involved in boating accidents caused by another boat driver’s reckless or negligent behavior may have legal recourse available to them. If you or someone you know has suffered serious injuries, medical expenses, or property damages as a result of a boating accident, contact our Chicago personal injury attorneys at Levin & Perconti. We are prepared to offer you the resources you need to seek legal action and determine what rights may be available to you.