Individuals on water skis and jet skis are significantly more vulnerable to experiencing an injury or accident than other water activities including boating. Water skiers are often injured from the ski equipment, boat hardware, obstacles, or colliding with other vessels or objects. Crashes often produce significant life-threatening problems to the victim that include:
- Head injury
- Nerve damage
- Fractured bones
- Facial lacerations
Water-Activity Accidents Occurring on Illinois Boats and Rivers
The state of Illinois, and specifically the Chicago area, is an ideal place to participate in recreational activities. The national and state parks, Lake Michigan, inland lakes, beaches, rivers and islands in and around the state make the area the perfect location for outdoor fun.
Most individuals that enjoy waterskiing, tubing, wake boarding, swimming and other outdoor water activities seldom have the expectation of experiencing an accident. However, when accidents do occur, it often brings with it life-threatening injuries and sometimes death.
Accidents Caused by the Negligence of Boat Operators & Other Vessels on the Water
In many incidences, boat operators through their negligence create the potential of an accident involving a water skier. In fact, by Illinois state law, the boat operator is legally bound to provide reasonable care to the water skier, swimmer and passengers along with other boats out on the water. When failing to follow standardized boat safety rules, anyone in or around the boat has an increased potential of experiencing injury or a fatality. In some incidences, the boat operator can be held criminally and civilly responsible.
In fact, the boat operator can be reckless when piloting the watercraft while pulling a water skier by speeding, weaving, “buzzing” or ignoring a “no wake” zone. In addition, boat operators can be legally responsible for the accident when breaking BUI (boating under the influence) laws of operating the vehicle with a blood-alcohol content (BAC) level of 0.08 percent or higher.
In addition to reckless behavior or a BUI, boat operators can also be held legally responsible when piloting the vessel while distracted. Often times, they travel too close to other swimmers or watercraft or steer the motorboat over other skiers or cross-wakes, which can cause significant injuries to the skier. Boat operators can also steer the vessel were obstacles become placed between the boat and the skier. It is crucial that a boat passenger serve as an observer and watch the skier every moment he or she is in the water.
Not shutting off the boat prop completely and allowing the skier to approach the vessel can cause significant injuries and/or death. Additionally, faulty equipment including missing lifejackets, broken towlines and malfunctioning sporting equipment can cause significant injuries and/or death.
Manufacturing Defects Resulting In Injuries & Fatalities To Waterskiers
Many cases handled by a waterskiing accident attorney involve negligence of the manufacturer or marketer of waterskiing equipment. Many times, there is a design defect or improper process when manufacturing waterskiing equipment. Other times, the equipment is marketed improperly, or without proper instructions for use. Skilled attorneys have been able to prove that third-party manufacturers and retailers were negligent in designing, manufacturing and selling the waterskiing equipment, which caused catastrophic and serious injury.
Danger on the Water: Common Injuries Skiers & Tubers
Water skiers that are injured in a boating accident experience common severe injuries. Many of these injuries include:
- Brain and head injury
- Broken bones
- Severed extremities by the boat propeller
- Concussions and contusions
- Facial disfigurement
Whenever a water-related recreational activity leads to a serious accident causing injuries or fatalities, lawyers can file a personal injury claim or wrongful death action on behalf of the client. Skilled lawyers can obtain financial compensation required to rebuild lives, payoff medical expenses, recoup lost wages, and cover pain, suffering, emotional distress and other challenges that are a direct result of the accident.
If you, or a loved one, have suffered serious injuries as a result of a waterskiing, tubing or wake boarding accident, or a loved one is the victim of a wrongful water-related death, it is crucial to hire the skills of an experienced waterskiing accident attorney. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC specialize in boating and water accidents involving injury. Call (888) 424-5757 to schedule your no obligation, free confidential meeting with an experienced lawyer. Our attorney can provide legal counsel on how to best proceed with the Illinois waterski case through a lawsuit in court, or making a claim to obtain an out-of-court settlement.