The Mississippi River, along with Lakes Superior and Michigan form some of Wisconsin’s borders. That alone would offer exceptional water recreation opportunities in Wisconsin. But there’s more. With over 15,000 lakes and 84,000 river miles, Wisconsin is a paradise for those wanting to spend time on the water. Whether it’s whitewater kayaking on the 503 miles of whitewater rivers, taking a pontoon boat out on Lake Mukwonago, trolling along on Lake Pepin, or jet skiing on Lake Monona, there is fun for everyone on Wisconsin’s waters. Accidents happen however, and that also means that there is a need for boat accident attorneys.
Wisconsin registered 624,882 vessels in 2017, up 2% from 2016. In addition, there are approximately 335,000 non-motorized boats and over 300,000 non-resident boats using Wisconsin waterways every year. With that many vessels on the water, it’s not surprising that there are accidents, sometimes fatal ones. In 2017, there were 106 boating incidents that resulted in 79 people sustaining injuries, and 25 people dying. Already in 2018 there has been a fatality in April, and another in May. Unfortunately, boat accident lawyers are needed.
Boat accidents happen whether the vessel is motorized or not. As paddle sports become more popular, there are increased numbers of incidents involving canoes, kayaks, and paddle boards. Most accidents (89%) occur on motorized boats (which includes jet skis), but those that occur with non-motorized boats have a greater likelihood of fatalities. According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the most common causes of boating incidents are, in order, operator inexperience, alcohol consumption, and operator inattention. That means that they were preventable; any resulting injury need not have happened. If you or a loved one has been injured in a boat accident, call on one of the boating accident attorneys at Clifford & Raihala.
Wisconsin has the Mandatory Boating Safety Education Law that requires anyone born on or before January 1, 1989 to successfully complete an approved boating safety course. As boating accident lawyers, we will investigate not only the causes of the incident, but the compliance with all appropriate laws and regulations. From the boating incidents in 2017, 58% of the operators report that they had not completed a boat safety course. Were the personal floatation devices (PFDs) provided? Were they readily accessible? These are important questions, particularly since 88% of those who died on Wisconsin waterways in 2017 were not wearing PFDs.
When you go out on the water in Wisconsin, you’re expecting to relax and have fun. If those expectations have gone terribly wrong, turn to Clifford & Raihala for help. A boat accident can be debilitating. It can mean lost time at work, chronic pain or injury, and even death. It may change completely your ability to go back on the water. Our boating accident attorneys will assist you by getting the compensation you deserve. Consult with our expert boat accident lawyers to find out what options are available to you. Call us for a free consultation at 608-257-7900, or call toll-free at 888-791-8422. We will do our best to make Wisconsin’s waterways welcoming once again.