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Many people boat on Lake Michigan, the Mississippi River, or in Illinois’ smaller lakes and rivers. But an enjoyable hobby can become a disaster in seconds. When you’re injured in a boating accident that someone else’s causes, talk with an attorney about pursuing compensation. Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. can guide you through the insurance claim process or litigation when it’s necessary. Our goal is to win you a fair settlement as soon as possible. To learn more, contact us through our online form or call (312) 236-2900 to schedule a free consultation with a Chicago boating accident lawyer.
Anyone born on or after January 1, 1998, can operate a powered vessel with a 10 horsepower (hp) motor or higher only if they have a Boating Safety Certificate accepted by the Department of Natural Resources. Adolescents between 12 and 18 years old can operate a motorized vessel with 10 hp or more only if they complete a boating safety course and possess a Boating Safety Certificate. Or, they must be under the direct control of a parent, guardian, or adult appointed by their parent or guardian. The adult must have a valid Boating Safety Certificate to supervise a minor operating a boat.
Children under 10 years old cannot operate a motorized vessel, including personal watercraft (PWC). Children who are 10 and 11 years old can operate a powered vessel with more than 10 hp only if they’re accompanied by a parent, guardian, or adult designated by a parent or guardian.
If you are injured in a boating accident, your lawyer will investigate who was operating the vessel, their age, and whether they had a valid Boating Safety Certificate. If we discover the operator of the boat wasn’t qualified to be in control, this is evidence of negligence. We can use this to fight for you to receive compensation.
Vessels must have an Illinois Certificate of Number, expiration decals, and a Certificate of Title to operate legally. The operator must have the Certificate of Number on board and ready for inspection if the vessel is stopped by law enforcement. There are exceptions for unpowered vessels, like canoes, and some other vessels. Registration is valid for three years and expires on September 30 at the end of the three years.
Every vessel must have at least one U.S. Coast Guard-approved wearable personal flotation device (life jacket) for each person on board. All vessels that are 16 ft or longer, except canoes and kayaks, also much have a USCG-approved throwable device.
If the vessel has an internal combustion engine, it has to have a USCG-approved fire extinguisher onboard. Also, all powerboats fueled with gas must have a USCG-approved backfire flame arrestor on each carburetor.
Vessels on Lake Michigan must have USCG-approved visual distress signals. If the vessels operate between sunset and sunrise, they must have night signals.
After a serious boating accident causes you injuries, we’ll investigate whether the vessel had all of the required safety features and equipment. A lack of safety equipment might be a sign of negligence. It also might have contributed directly to your accident and injuries.
If you were injured in a boat accident, talk with a Chicago boating accident attorney from Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. as soon as possible. We’ll thoroughly investigate the accident, including who owns and is responsible for the vessel, who was operating the vessel at the time, and what caused the accident. We’ll get to the bottom of what happened and identify who is liable for your injuries. Then, we’ll pursue compensation for your injuries through an insurance claim or lawsuit.
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We’re ready to fight for you. We’re ready to be your ally. And we’re ready to start right now. Don’t waste time, contact our law offices today.FREE CASE EVALUATION – (312) 236-2900
Serious injuries don’t happen on a 9-to-5 schedule, which is why we are always available to help if you have been hurt. Our team is available around the clock to provide the support you need.