Chicago Personal Injury Attorney Benjamin Crane Weighs in On Lake Michigan Boating Safety Proposal

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Crane, a personal injury lawyer in Chicago at Coplan & Crane, discusses how potential changes to boating laws could increase safety and reduce accident risk on Lake Michigan and other waterways throughout Illinois.

Knowing what to do in the event of an emergency on a boat is critical to your safety, as well as the safety of your passengers. That’s why it’s so important for boaters to take safety training classes before operating a vessel.

Commenting on a May 20 ABC 7 news report, Chicago personal injury attorney Benjamin Crane of Coplan & Crane today said a proposal to require people to have a safety certificate to operate a boat in the state may lead to fewer injuries and fatalities on Illinois waterways.

Crane said it’s critically important for boaters to operate their vessels safely. By requiring operators to have safety certificates, boaters will be better prepared in the event of an emergency, he noted.

Crane understands that there have been a number of recent accidents on Lake Michigan, including one that claimed the life of a 26-year-old woman, according to a June 2 CBS Chicago report.

“Unfortunately, boating safety is often overlooked on Lake Michigan and other bodies of water in the Chicago area,” Crane said. “Boaters might not understand how to react to dangerous situations, because they simply lack the training. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources reported over 60 boating accidents last year, and among them, 14 deaths.”

According to the ABC 7 report, Senate Bill 3433 proposes that boaters have mandatory boating safety certification training to operate a boat on Illinois waterways. Training is now voluntary. Officials from the U.S. Coast Guard told ABC 7 that the key to preventing boating accidents rests with the boat operator, who must have the training to be able to act fast in the event of an emergency.

According to CBS Chicago, a 26-year-old woman died and two were reported missing after a boat capsized about 7 miles offshore from the 31st Street marina, sending the boat’s four passengers into the lake’s 60-degree waters.

While the accident remains under investigation, the lone survivor said the boat caught on fire before capsizing, forcing all passengers into the cold Lake Michigan waters, CBS Chicago reported. No distress signal was made by the boaters before the boat capsized, and no signal flares were reported by the U.S. Coast Guard, according to CBS Chicago.

“Knowing what to do in the event of an emergency on a boat is critical to your safety, as well as the safety of your passengers,” Crane said. “That’s why it’s so important for boaters to take safety training classes before operating a vessel. Even if this law doesn’t pass, boaters in Illinois can still take training courses. Such training can help boaters make smart decisions. If you are injured by a negligent boater, you may be entitled to compensation. We urge you to seek the advice of legal counsel.”

The ABC 7 news article cited is “Boating Safety Bill Proposed in Illinois.”

The CBS Chicago news article cited is “Search Resumes for 2 Still Missing after Boating Accident.”

About Coplan & Crane

Serving clients in Oak Park, Chicago and all of Illinois, Coplan & Crane handles a wide range of cases, including car accidents, truck accidents, bus accidents, railroad accidents, workplace injuries, dangerous products, medical malpractice, and birth injuries. The law firm has a strong track record for obtaining large verdicts and settlements, including several, high-profile, multi-million-dollar settlements and verdicts. A free consultation is available to all interested clients. The law firm works on a contingency fee basis. That means clients only pay if they win.

For more information about what to do if you or a loved one were injured by a defective product in Illinois and the legal options available to families, call (708) 358-8080 or complete the online contact form.

Coplan & Crane
1111 Westgate St
Oak Park, IL 60301
(708) 358-8080

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