Minnesota Boat Accident Lawyer & Attorney
As the “land of 10,000 lakes,” Minnesota is well-known for its fishing and water sports. Many Minnesotans have cabins on a lake or visit a lake at some point each year. Not surprising then, the DNR reports that Minnesota has the most boats per capita in the nation.
BOATING ACCIDENTS OCCUR IN MINNESOTA EVERY YEAR
While fishing and boating is a favorite activity for many Minnesotans, sometimes the unthinkable occurs. In 2010, the U.S. Coast Guard counted 4,604 boating accidents that involved 672 deaths, 3,153 injuries and approximately $35.5 million dollars of damage to property. Perhaps the most frightening statistic is that almost ¾ of all fatal boating accident victims drowned, and of those, 88 percent were not wearing a life jacket. Our boat accident lawyers have represented people injured in boat accidents in MN for the last 25 years.
COMMON REASONS PEOPLE ARE INJURED IN BOAT ACCIDENTS
The number one cause of a boat accident is driver inattention, and the number one cause of death in a boating accident is alcohol use. Statistics show that an intoxicated boater is ten times more susceptible to being hurt or killed in a boating accident than sober boat drivers. Passengers in a boat are obviously more at risk if the driver is intoxicated, and are also more likely to be killed or injured if they themselves are intoxicated. You should never drive a boat if you have been drinking. And if the driver of the boat you are in is drunk, get back to shore!
Just as there are safety rules for driving on our MN roadways, there are safety rules for boating, such as speed limits, direction of boating traffic and right-of-way. Unlike Minnesota motor vehicle laws, however, Minnesota boating laws do not require a driver to pass a test in order to operate watercraft. In 2010, the U.S. Coast Guard reported that 94 percent of the watercraft operators involved in boating-related deaths did NOT have boating instruction. Our MN boat accident lawyers strongly urge people to get boating instruction and practice with an experienced operator before taking a boat out on their own.
Unfortunately, one risk you cannot control is being on the water when another boat operator is driving their boat while drunk or driving their boat with too little instruction or experience. A boat accident attorney in our office was involved in a case where a boat ran into a water skier, and there was simply nothing the water skier or the driver pulling him could have done differently. Our lawyers also handled a case where our client was fishing with his boat anchored when another boat just smashed right into him, destroying our client’s boat and injuring our client.
LAWYER FOR BOAT ACCIDENT INJURY
If you are injured in a boating accident in Minnesota, please call us as soon as possible and speak with a lawyer for a free consultation. Many times conducting an early investigation and getting witness statements can be crucial to your case. Hopefully the DNR will do a proper investigation and at least get the names of witnesses, but you can never be sure. If possible, you should take many photographs and get the names and contact information for all witnesses.
The Rochlin Law Firm, Ltd. has successfully represented people injured in boat crashes and other watercraft related cases for more than 25 years. Pam Rochlin and David Rochlin are personal injury attorneys with more than 25 years’ experience, handling hundreds of accident cases. Pam is a former partner at Meshbesher & Spence, and provides small firm attention to her clients. Our lawyers can meet you to discuss your boat accident at our offices in Edina, Woodbury and Minneapolis. A boat accident lawyer will also meet people at their homes to discuss injury cases in St. Paul, Rogers, Elk River, Maple Grove, Brainerd, Rogers, St. Cloud, Chanhassen, Chaska, and other cities throughout Minnesota.
Please call us for a free consultation if you would like to discuss the specific facts of your case. Our lawyers are very willing to answer your MN boat accident questions, and we never charge anything unless you receive compensation for your injuries. We also represent people injured in snowmobile accidents, ATV accidents, tubing accidents, etc.