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Boating accidents threaten Illinois residents

Safety is the number one priority. This also applies when Illinois residents are relaxing and enjoying the weather with recreational activities like boating. Boating is very popular across the state because of several waterways, such as Lake Michigan. As more and more people enjoy boating, the instances of being involved in a Chicago personal injury, due to boating accidents, also increases.

As a result, the Illinois Conservation Police are doing their best to guarantee the safety on Illinois waterways throughout the year. These efforts are part of the observance of the recent National Safety Boating Week. The authorities are guarding the state's waterways and implementing laws concerning boating safety.

The law mandates every person boarding a boat or water vessel to wear a life jacket or life vest. The same goes for people under the age of 13, while individuals of any age who are operating a watercraft or jet ski should wear a personal floatation device. Boating safety courses, information and laws regarding safe and attentive boating are also offered. The courses should be taken in order to decrease the number of boating-related accidents in Illinois.

Evidently, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources gathered data that illustrate the number of boating-related incidents. In 2012, there were 101 boating-related accidents. Of those accidents, 77 people sustained injuries and 17 incidents were fatal. In those cases, 13 of the incidents and five boating-related deaths occurred due to alcohol use. Alcohol use and inattentive and careless operation of a water craft were the primary causes of boating accidents.

Boating-related accidents, as a result of careless operation or intoxication, can be considered negligence. In such cases, the watercraft operator may be legally responsible, if the accident ends in injuries or fatalities.

A victim who has suffered an injury due to a boating accident can obtain compensation through a personal injury claim. The compensation may help with the victim's financial burden and emotional distress. If the incident results in a fatality, the victim's family may seek compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit.

Source: Journal Gazette & Times-Courier, "Conservation Police remind boaters to 'Wear It!'," May 22, 2013.

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