How to File a Claim After a Boat Accident in Chicago

Published on: 07/18/23 — In 

If you have been in a boat accident in Chicago, file a claim as soon as possible. Document all accident information, and accident reports take pictures, and get contact and insurance info from others involved. Contact your insurance company for guidance on filing an insurance claim. Collect medical expenses bills from medical professionals and repair estimates for the boat engine from a boat business.

Submit your boat accident claim to the responsible party or their insurance company. Keep track of communication with them. Consult a personal injury attorney if necessary.

Chris Ktenas speaking with a client after their boat injury

Filing a claim after a boat accident can be complex, but following these steps will increase your chances of receiving proper compensation. 

Our Chicago boat accident lawyers are here to help! Call us today at (312) 300-2515 for a free consultation!

What Steps Should You Take After a Boat Accident?

After being involved in a boat accident in hazardous waters, it is important to take the necessary steps to ensure your safety and properly file a claim. Here are some tips for what to do after a boat accident:

  1. Take care of any boat passenger injuries first. Seek medical attention if needed, or call emergency services if necessary.
  2. Make sure you have the contact information of any witnesses, as well as the contact information of the other fishing boat operator.
  3. Take photos of the accident scene and document any damage.
  4. Contact your insurance company as soon as possible to start filing a claim.
  5. Collect all medical bills or repair estimates related to the accident and submit these with your claim paperwork.
  6. Keep track of all communication with the responsible party or insurance company.
  7. If your claim is denied, consider seeking the advice of a lawyer to help you explore legal boating accident lawsuit options.

Following these steps will help you ensure that you get the compensatory damages compensation you deserve for any losses or damages under boating laws, incurred in a boat accident.

Duty of Care in Boat Accidents

Duty of care is a legal responsibility that boat operators must fulfill to ensure the safety of passengers, crew members, and other vessels while out on the water. Boat operators are expected to act reasonably and responsibly when operating their vessels to prevent harm to others.

a boat at the shore of a lake

If an accident occurs due to a boat operator's negligence, distracted boating, or recklessness while out in bodies of water, they can be held accountable for any damages or injuries that result.

Who is Liable for a Boat Accident?

Boat owners are usually responsible for any damage or injuries caused in commercial boating accidents or recreational boating accidents involving their vessels.

Other parties might also be at fault depending on the circumstances. For example, if another boat was involved, its operator could be partially responsible. Similarly, if a faulty piece of equipment caused the accident, the manufacturer may be liable. To determine liability and take legal action, it is advisable to consult an experienced lawyer.

What is the Duty of Care in Boating?

All boat operators have a responsibility to ensure safety on board their vessels. This includes following navigation laws, practicing good seamanship, and being aware of their surroundings. Operators must prevent collisions with intoxicated persons and maintain control of their boats. Failure to do so can lead to legal consequences for any damages or injuries caused by accidents.

Reasonable Care and Negligence

After a boat accident, it is crucial to think about reasonable care. Reasonable care means acting as a reasonable person would in similar circumstances.

Negligence occurs when someone fails to exercise reasonable care and causes harm or injury to someone else. If someone is found negligent in a boat accident, they can be held responsible for any damages or injuries that occur.

The Boat Accident Lawsuit Process

A boat accident lawsuit is a legal action that follows an injury in a boating incident. It is similar, but unique, compared with other personal injury claims. These cases require specific considerations and address specific issues. Boat accident lawsuits are necessary if the responsible party is at fault or if negligence caused the incident.

Learn More: Questions to Ask an Injury Lawyer

To succeed in a claim, you must prove someone else's fault and that their negligence caused the damages or injuries. An experienced lawyer can assist you in building a strong case and obtaining rightful compensation for future expenses.

Collecting Evidence

If you are involved in a boat accident, it is crucial to thoroughly investigate the incident. This involves gathering evidence and talking to witnesses. Contact your insurance provider to start the claims process. The first step is to document the scene, taking photos and videos if possible. This will provide an accurate account of the accident and its consequences. Take detailed notes about the incident, people involved, and location.

Consulting with a knowledgeable lawyer can help you understand your legal options and decide if you should file an injury claim.

Establishing Fault

Determining liability after a boat accident is complex. Establishing fault parties is often necessary. The first step is identifying the parties involved, including boat operators, passengers, property owners, and third-party entities like dock owners.

legal books, a scale, and a gavel on a desk

The next step is investigating who caused the accident and determining if negligence was involved. This involves gathering evidence, such as witness statements and photos, and analyzing navigation laws and regulations.

Actions Available to Victims

Victims of boat accidents have the potential to pursue legal action within the statute of limitations based on the facts and circumstances of their case. If they have experienced physical harm, such as an injury or loss of life, they may have the option to seek compensation from those accountable for the accident.

Depending on the situation, victims may consider filing a lawsuit for negligence against the boat owner/operator or against the boat manufacturer if a product defect contributed to the accident.

Additionally, in cases of fatalities resulting from a boating accident, survivors may have the opportunity to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Common Types of Boat Accidents

A boat accident can take many forms. The type of vessel and the circumstances determine the specific incident. Common types of boat accidents include collisions, groundings, fires, and capsizing.

  • Collisions happen when two vessels collide, resulting in serious injury or death.
  • Groundings occur when a vessel runs aground, causing significant damage and potentially injuring passengers.
  • Fires can be caused by various issues on board and can spread quickly, causing damage and potential loss of life.
  • Capsizing is when a vessel overturned due to weather conditions, resulting in injury, death, and damage to the vessel.

The aftermath of a boat accident is often devastating, with victims facing long recovery periods, long-term care, and high medical bills.

Collisions With Other Boats or Objects

Boat accidents can cause significant damage, especially when there is a collision with other boats or objects. The severity of the collision can result in extensive damage to both vessels and personal injury to those involved.

It is crucial for those involved to promptly contact local authorities to report the accident, which includes filing a police report and obtaining witness statements.

Furthermore, exchanging contact information and insurance details with each other is important to ensure that all parties are protected in case of future legal action.

Capsizing or Sinking Accidents

Capsizing or sinking accidents are a common type of boat accident that can result in serious injury, property damage, and even death. If you have been involved in such an accident, you must consider the physical injuries sustained by you and others, as well as the damage caused. You may also be eligible for compensation for medical bills and lost wages due.

Grounding Accidents

Boat accidents called grounding accidents happen when a vessel runs aground. This is usually because the captain navigated incorrectly or didn't know their surroundings. Groundings can happen in shallow water, on rocks, sandbars, or coral reefs.

an image of a lake with common types of boat accidents layered over it

Sometimes, mechanical failure, defective products, or poor maintenance can also cause grounding accidents. If you were in a grounding accident, you might be able to file a compensation claim. Depending on how bad the accident was, you could get money for any physical injuries, property damage, or lost wages.

Personal Watercraft Accidents

Personal watercraft accidents are unfortunate and can cause serious injury or death. It is important to be aware of the risks involved. If you have been in an accident involving personal watercraft, you may need to file a compensation claim. When filing a claim, consider medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering caused by the accident.

Contact Ktenas Injury Attorneys for Help With a Boat Accident Claim!

If you have been injured in a boat accident, it is important to contact Ktenas Injury Attorneys, boat accident attorneys as soon as possible. Our experienced personal injury lawyers in Chicago can help you navigate the claims process and maximize any potential recovery. We understand that boat accidents can be traumatic, and we are here to provide the legal support you need.

Our team can assist with filing a claim for compensation from any liable parties, as well as help you seek damages for any medical bills, lost wages, or other related expenses.

Contact us today at (312) 300-2515 to learn more about your legal options.