Boating is a common recreational pastime for many individuals in the state of Wisconsin, who have access to Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, and the Mississippi. In addition to summer holiday weekends, when scores of boats are on the water, Wisconsin residents are free to enjoy the Great Lakes on any warm, sunny day, whether they are jet skiing, tubing, water skiing, or simply cruising along on a leisurely pontoon. Nonetheless, all boat owners and their passengers must take care to avoid the hazards that are ever present on the water, particularly in high-traffic areas and during busy holiday weekends. The primary boat safety rule that everyone on a boat should observe is that everyone wears life jackets every time, no matter the circumstances.
According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), despite the safety rules that most boaters follow, there still were 108 boating accidents involving 154 vessels in the state in 2016. These accidents resulted in 74 injuries and 21 fatalities. While the number of boating accidents declined slightly from 2014 and 2015, in there were 117 and 115 accidents, respectively, the number of accidents in 2016 is still much higher than it was in 2013, when only 87 boating accidents occurred. The number of fatalities in 2016 was exactly the same as the number of fatalities in 2015. Therefore, while there has been some small improvement in the number of boating accidents occurring on Wisconsin waterways, there still is much room for improvement.
When a boating accident or any other type of serious accident occurs and causes injury to anyone, the injured individual may have a claim for damages under Wisconsin law. However, determining the cause of the accident that led to your injuries is not always as straightforward as it might seem. Since it may take some time to sort these matters out, and you only have a limited timeframe in which to a file a personal injury claim, you should take immediate action to get legal help. Don’t delay in contacting the Madison personal injury attorneys of Boller & Vaughan in order to set up your free consultation today.