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.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, most vehicles depreciate twenty-percent within the first year. If your vehicle is totaled in an accident, auto insurance will likely cover the value of the vehicle at the time of the accident. But, what if the value is less than what you still owe on your auto loan?

Gap insurance covers what your standard auto policy does not. Rather than being left to make loan payments on a vehicle you cannot drive, gap insurance makes sure your auto loan is paid off.

So, what exactly is gap insurance, and do you need it?  Here we explain how standard insurance policies handle totaled vehicles and how gap insurance works.

Will insurance cover my totaled car if I still owe money on it?

Yes, auto insurance will cover your totaled car, but coverage is based on the current value of the vehicle, not the remaining balance on your auto loan which includes interest. Generally, auto insurance providers total a vehicle if the cost of repairs exceeds the actual cash value of the vehicle. If you have an outstanding auto loan on the vehicle, the insurance reimbursement will go directly to your loan provider who is the lienholder of the vehicle.

What happens if my car is totaled and I owe more than it is worth?

Because cars depreciate over time, it is not uncommon for this to happen. Auto insurance will make a payment to the lender for the depreciated value of the vehicle. If this is less than the outstanding balance on the loan, you will be responsible for continuing payments out-of-pocket until the loan has been paid in full, unless you have gap insurance.

What is gap insurance?

If your car is stolen or totaled in an accident and you owe more than the car’s value at the time of the loss, gap insurance covers the difference between the value of the car and the remaining balance on the auto loan. Gap insurance is intended to protect you from having to make payments on a car you can no longer use. Many dealerships offer gap insurance, but it is also available as an add-on through many insurance providers.

For example, gap insurance from Toyota Financial Services (TFS) will either waive or pay the deficiency balance, or the difference between what is owed on the vehicle and what the insurance company will pay if the vehicle is declared a total loss. So, if you owe $23,000 on your vehicle and receive $20,000 from the auto insurance company, you would be responsible for $3,000 out-of-pocket. However, gap coverage from TFS would cover this $3,000 balance.

Can an attorney help me with gap insurance?

Yes, a car accident attorney will make sure your gap insurance is appropriately applied to resolve any remaining balance on your auto loan. Save yourself the headache of the back-and-forth with your loan provider and insurance company and contact Milwaukee personal injury attorney Natasha Misra Law today.

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.