Summertime in Wisconsin is perfect for enjoying time on the water. Whether you are setting sail on a family-friendly pontoon, fishing boat, or old canoe, a day on the lake just can’t be beaten.

However, there are safety risks involved with boating. Speeding, negligence, drinking, and inexperience are all common causes of boating accidents in Wisconsin. In this post, we want to share a few tips to help you stay safe on the water this summer.

How to Stay Safe While Boating in Wisconsin

  • Wearing a life jacket - According to the U.S. Coast Guard, 80% of boating accident deaths could be avoided by wearing life jackets. When a boating accident occurs, you have limited time to stretch and get your stowed life jackets. Therefore, it is advisable to ensure that you and everyone on board has a life jacket while boating.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol - Alcohol consumption while boating is illegal and endangers the lives of everyone on board. Remember that intoxicated swimmers and passengers are also more likely to drown.
  • Be weather-wise - Whether you are operating a boat during the summer, spring or fall season, always consider carrying a radio and watching out for the weather. Sometimes, wind shifts and choppy water can be telltale signs of a brewing storm. Get to shore as soon as you realize the weather is about to change.
  • Don’t overload the boat - It’s essential to follow your boat’s load limit restrictions. Overloading your boat can make it unstable and surge the risk of swamping or capsizing.
  • Ensure all operators are trained - Human error is a leading cause of boating accidents. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that all operators can effectively navigate and operate the boat. You can do this by ensuring boating operators take a boating safety course that includes reading the weather, boat handling, and navigation.
  • Maintain a safe speed - Like on the road, you can face penalties or fines for overspeeding on the water. Since there are no lanes on water and different water vessels zig-zag everywhere, it can be challenging for speeding boats to avoid collisions. Therefore, it is essential to ensure you excess caution and obey the speed limits.

What Should You Do After a Boating Accident?

After a boating accident, you should ensure that everyone on board is safe. If there are injuries, loss of life, property damage in excess of $2,000 or the total loss of a boat, you are required to report the incident to law enforcement without delay.  

As with other accidents, it is essential to gather evidence immediately. You need to collect police reports, witness testimonies, videos, and photos of the scene. A Milwaukee boating accident attorney will help you gather the evidence you need to establish a strong case against the party at fault.

Contact a Milwaukee Boating Accident Attorney

At Natasha Misra Law, we are ready to help you get the compensation you need to move forward after a boat accident. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can assist in strengthening your case.

Seat belts are designed to keep us safe, but what happens if an accident leads to injuries caused by the very restraint that was supposed to protect us? If you were injured by your seat belt in an accident, you may have a claim. Here is a quick overview of what to expect if you have seat belt injuries following a car accident.

Can you be injured by a seat belt in a car accident?

Seat belts are intended to keep you safe in the event of an accident. By restraining you securely in your seat, seat belts can prevent ejection and fatality. However, although proper seat belt use may save your life, it can also lead to serious bodily harm. To do its job, the seat belt must be tight and, in an accident, the force of the seat belt can result in injuries ranging from mild bruising to a severe and potentially life-threatening aortic injury.

What types of injuries do seat belts cause?

Seat belts are designed to lock upon impact. Unlike when you are bending down to retrieve something under your seat or to toss something into the back, the seat belt will not move with you in an accident. Upon impact, this force can cause significant bruising, broken bones, abdominal contusions, shoulder injuries, soft tissue injuries, and even open wounds.

Bruised or fractured ribs are common seat belt injuries, but high impact accidents can also result in dislocated bones. These injuries and other chest or sternum bruising can make it difficult to breathe and may even affect your heart and other internal organs.

Additionally, the impact of the seat belt at the shoulder and abdomen can cause soft tissue injuries which may not be immediately apparent. Torn muscle fibers or tendons in the shoulder typically cause pain, discomfort, swelling, and bruising soon after the impact; however, injuries to the abdomen may not cause pain right away. Because soft tissue injuries like herniated or bulging discs can result in chronic pain and discomfort requiring long-term medical treatment and therapy, it is imperative to seek a medical evaluation after an accident even if you are not experiencing immediate pain or an obvious injury.

If you experienced bruising, contusions, or other injuries in an accident, you should take photos of your injuries. Photographs of bruising, for example, are important documentation when seeking compensation after an accident.

How are seat belt injuries treated?

Less severe injuries like bruising and soreness can be treated with rest, ice compression, and OTC pain medicine. However, more severe injuries such as soft tissue or skeletal issues often require medical intervention which may include casting, splints, or other corrective measures. Physical therapy or chiropractic care may be adequate, long-term treatment options for soft tissue injuries, but it is not uncommon for surgical intervention to be required for more serious injuries.

Can you recover compensation for seat belt injuries?

Generally speaking, yes. You may be entitled to recover damages for your pain, suffering, and to reimburse you for associated medical expenses. A court will consider the severity of your injuries, impact on your life, and associated medical expenses in determining your damages award. An experienced car accident attorney can help you understand the value of your case.

Natasha Misra

My law practice is dedicated to helping people who have suffered injuries in accidents which were not their fault. Born and raised in Milwaukee, I come from a family of medical professionals. My background and experience help me understand and represent individuals injured in accidents.