Your Boat Capsizes But Remains Afloat, What Should You Do?

boat accident

Boating is a favorite pastime for many in the Chicago area, including on scenic Lake Michigan, Flatfoot Lake, Maple Lake, and others. However, there are many boating accidents in the state, including 21 boaters who died in boating accidents in 2020.

A common problem in boating injuries and deaths is the boat capsizing in bad weather or other reasons. This is a severe emergency. But if you keep your head and follow the advice below, the situation can be resolved safely. If you were injured in a recent boating accident, our Lake County personal injury lawyer at The Law Office of Robert T Edens can help today.

Why Do Boats Capsize?

Most capsizing cases involve small boats, about 10% being eight-foot crafts. Other standard capsized boats are 15 to 19 feet long, representing 40% of all cases. Many of these boats are for fishing and the cockpits are hard to drain, frequently on the water in bad weather, and carry too much gear.

Also, many boats capsize because of improper weight distribution. Boats in the 15 to 19-foot range are often the most susceptible to capsizing because of poor weight distribution. All it can take is one person too many on the boat to cause the boat to flip in rough water. Other common causes of capsizing boats are leaks and piloting the boat at an unsafe speed during turns.

How To Handle Your Boat Capsizing

The first step to dealing with your boat capsizing is to account for everyone on the vessel. If anyone is missing, they could be under the boat. If it is possible to get the boat upright again, but if it is impossible, get onto the hull and wait for help. Fortunately, most capsized boats do not sink, so staying out of the water can help you avoid cold water temperatures and the risk of drowning. Ensuring everyone in the boat has on their life jacket also reduces the risk of injury or loss of life.

Stay With Your Boat

Next, staying with your capsized boat and waiting for someone to help you is vital. Remember that seeing a capsized boat is much easier for others than a few people in the water. If the boat drifts away or goes under, try to find something to keep you afloat and visible while waiting for help.

Keep your head as far out of the water if you have nothing to hold onto. Put your arms across your chest and pull in your knees to save energy and reduce heat loss. You should not attempt to swim to shore or tread water; both actions use energy quickly and can lower your body temperature.

Contact Our Lake County Personal Injury Lawyer

If you were in a boat accident because of someone’s negligence, you have legal options and could be eligible for compensation in a claim or lawsuit. Contact our Lake County personal injury lawyer at The Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C. for assistance with your boat accident case at (847) 395-2200.

How Severe Must Back Injuries Be For Personal Injury Compensation?

Back InjuriesIrrespective of their severity, back injuries can be quite painful and can last for months, if not years. These can occur in almost any work environment. The symptoms can range from mild to chronic pain that can make your job extremely difficult, if not impossible. This includes negligent parties who were at fault for your injury. So your back injury doesn’t have to be serious to be eligible for a personal injury claim.

If you are denied compensation from your employer, an Antioch spinal cord lawyer can ensure you can recover damages.

Types of Back Injuries You Can Claim As Personal Injuries

Some of the common types of back injuries that you can file a claim for include the following:

Back Injuries Resulting From Twisting, Lowering, and Lifting

Lifting and lowering heavy objects can strain your back. With time, the sprain can turn into a serious injury. If you do this regularly and feel a sharp pain in your back every time you twist, you should get yourself checked out.

Back Injuries from Prolonged Standing or Sitting

If you type for hours every day or have a job where you stand for the whole day, your back is suffering. If you wear a heavy tool belt all day, you can injure your back seriously unless your employer is proactive enough to prevent it. Since your work can result in injuries, your boss is responsible for your safety.

Spinal Fractures from Falls or Accidents

Spinal fractures and injuries are common on construction sites that do not take safety seriously. These injuries can prove life-threatening or can lead to permanent paralysis.

Herniated disc

The jelly-like fluid between the discs of our spinal cord prevents them from rubbing against one another. With time and repetitive work (such as typing for hours), the fluid can escape its confines because of a rupture. The result is severe back pain which can prevent you from working and maintaining the quality of life you are used to.

Anterior Cord Syndrome

ACS is a serious spinal cord injury that can lead to temporary or permanent paralysis. The condition compromises the sensory pathways that connect the spinal cord to your body. Besides mobility loss, you can also experience other complicated symptoms.

A Chicago spinal cord lawyer will tell you that you need to prove that your back injury is work-related to be eligible for compensation. If it occurred because of something you were doing for your employer, you should not pay out of pocket for your medical bills. Whether the injury occurred on the worksite or off, you are eligible if it occurred because of work.

Contact Our Personal Injury Attorneys for a Legal Consultation

If you or someone you know got injured on the job and are suffering and paying their medical bills because their employer refused to, contact our Antioch personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens today. We understand how debilitating these injuries can be and help you get the compensation you deserve. Don’t suffer just because your claim was denied. Take action now and get in touch with us for a free consultation on legal options.

What Types Of Boats Are Most Susceptible To Capsizing?

capsizing boatsWhen you are out to sea, and your boat capsizes, there is nothing you can do but wait to be rescued. Capsizing boats are quite common, but you can prevent a deadly mistake if you know which type is likely to sink.

Types of Boats That Are Likely To Capsize

Small boats such as canoes, kayaks, and sailboats are more likely to capsize than heavy-bottomed boats. This is because the latter becomes unstable easily on the water since they have a weight limit. That doesn’t mean larger boats cannot capsize at all. To know that any boat can go under, you only have to see how the HMHS Britannic sank.

However, unlike a large boat that sinks quickly, a smaller capsizing boat usually remains afloat, so it provides survivors with a makeshift raft as they wait to be rescued. Kayaks and canoes can also be flipped right side up by a single person, and even a sailboat can be righted with several people.

In other words, while small boats are more likely to sink than larger ones, you have higher chances of surviving the former than the latter.

Why Weight Matters

Weight distribution and amount are responsible for capsizing boats more than anything else. Here are some ways how:

  • Older boats gain weight over the years as they store more gear or as the hull absorbs water.
  • Small boats can capsize easily even if you bring an extra person or a loaded cooler on board.
  • Cockpit drains can flood if the boat is overloaded, which in turn can make it capsize.

Most 20-feet boats need floatation and a capacity plate that shows the amount of weight they can carry without submerging. The boat will capsize even in calm waters if you exceed those limits. Operators will also ticket you for exceeding weight limits.

‘Underway seating positions’ determine safe passenger loads on small boats. For example, two slim adults who want to take five children on a boat designed to accommodate four people are playing with lives. Even if the total weight is lower than the boat’s capacity, anything can happen to tip the scales.

Weight distribution is also as important as the number of people on board. If several people rush to one side of the boat to see dolphins, for example, the boat will tip to that side and take on water. Capsizing will be imminent.

Contact Robert Edens for a Boating Accident Case

If you have been in a boating accident and suffered damages, you deserve compensation either from the at-fault party or the insurance company. Get in touch with boating accident watercraft lawyers at the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens for a consultation regarding your legal options today.

We have been representing boating accident victims such as you for the past 20 years and are proficient in personal injury cases. The other party and their insurance company are working to deny your claim as we speak. Don’t wait. Contact our team of professionals to protect your rights. We will ensure you get the money you deserve so you don’t have to pay for damages out of pocket.