The convenience of taking a water taxi to many of Chicago’s main attractions is a fun and exciting way to enjoy the area. Taxi service runs throughout the year, but primarily during the warmer months in the Chicago River (see Chicago Water Taxi). Many individuals use a water taxi for sightseeing, or special events. Others use the service as an effective mode of transportation to commute throughout the area without the congestion of street traffic.
Potential For Water Taxi Riders to Sustain Serious Injuries On Land and on the River
Even though a Chicago water taxi offers convenience for residents and visitors, the vessels can place commuters at risk for experiencing boating accidents with severe injuries. Many water taxis in the Chicago area are not equipped with seat belts. Because of that, there is no way to stop the momentum of commuters riding inside the taxi other than windows and seats.
Often times, these accidents are caused by negligence of the water taxi operator. Simple mistakes on a water vessel increases the potential risks that often lead to injuries of the passengers. In addition, mechanical failure, equipment defects, and other scenarios can cause water taxis to crash into other vessels or the pier. While most water taxis travel less than 10 knots per hour, the impact is still severe enough to lead to extensive injuries, and often the need for hospitalization. Even injuries that are not life-threatening can cause medical problems that are long-lasting and significant. Common injuries caused by water taxi accidents include:
- Bone fractures
- Spinal cord injuries
- Brain trauma
- Loss of limbs (amputation)
- Severe burns
- Falls on docks and on the deck of boats
- Wrongful death
Establishing Liability Against The Chicago Water Taxi Operator
Many times, Illinois residents and visitors involved in boating accidents will hire a Chicago water taxi accident lawyer to help establish liability and prove damages in a court of law. This is important because water taxi accidents are unique, complicated and Illinois tort law concerning commercial boating accidents is complex and requires attorneys with experience prosecuting these cases. Our attorneys have been successful in representing clients in boating accident cases can help the victim obtain financial compensation to cover a variety of expenses that include:
- Ongoing medical bills
- Lost wages due to missed work caused by the accident
- Other financial expenses associated with the water taxi accident injuries
- Mental and emotional anguish
- Pain and suffering
In many of our Illinois boat accident lawsuits, we hire expert witnesses and investigators to determine what entities are at fault for the accident to build the foundation of the claim to support the case. There are often unique challenges in developing an effective strategy for the case to receive financial recovery. As an experienced law firm that has expertise in marine-related accidents we use proven methods for unearthing challenging and convoluted business relationships that regularly arise in litigation where there may be: an owner, licensee or operator. This is important because water taxi companies pool insurance coverage through different carriers to muddy the waters and limit their legal liability in the event of an accident.
Building a solid case typically requires preserving all available evidence, taking witness statements, photographing the vessel and scene of the accident, and gathering police reports and other essential data. Usually, investigators working for a skilled Chicago water taxi accident lawyer will make direct contact with local law enforcement and begin a parallel investigation with police handling the accident, injuries or deaths.
It is essential to hire a skilled attorney right away to compel the water taxi operator to take a breath test. The test will detect any level of alcohol or other drugs in the system. Testimony given at trial or during an out-of-court settlement hearing by expert witnesses can help establish who and what is at fault for the injuries, wrongful death and property damage caused by the water taxi accident.
Common Accident Causes Behind Commuter Boat Accidents
Water taxis used to transport products and individuals on waterways throughout the Illinois area are involved in accidents for a variety of reasons. Some of these reasons include:
- Operator error
- Alcohol and/or drug abuse
- Excessive speed
- Negligent or nonexistent vessel maintenance
- Overloading the vessel
- Defective parts
- Failing to enforce regulated safety guidelines
- Inadequate hiring practices/background checks
- Improperly trained employees, lacking knowledge on how to correctly and safely operate the vessel under all types of hazards and weather conditions
If you, or a loved one, are suffering injuries as a result of a Chicago water taxi accident, or other watercraft, it is essential to hire the skills of an experienced personal injury attorney that specializes in marine-related accidents. Call the Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC at (888) 424-5757 to schedule and no-obligation initial consultation. The attorneys can provide legal counsel on the best way to proceed with a water taxi accident claim to receive financial recompense.