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Wisconsin Boating Accidents

Wisconsin's thousands of welcoming lakes and rivers offer plenty of opportunity for water fun. Unfortunately, they also offer plenty of chances for serious and even fatal accidents. In 2011, 22 people died in boating accidents in in the state, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. If you have been in an accident, it is important to find qualified legal advice.

Wisconsin Boating Safety Rules

The state has many rules and regulations to keep boaters safe. If you do not follow them, you can face criminal charges. If you also cause an accident, victims can sue you for their injuries or damaged property.

Some of these rules include:

  • Never allow anyone under age 10 to drive a motorboat.
  • Never allow anyone under age 12 to drive a personal watercraft.
  • Always have enough life jackets for all passengers.
  • Stay out of prohibited areas.
  • Obey no-wake zones.
  • Do not allow passengers to ride the bow or gunwales.
  • Stay the appropriate distance away from shore, other boats, etc.

These are only a few of the rules all boaters must follow.

Local towns and villages may also have their own rules for their waterways. After an accident, it is important to figure out if any rules were broken and by whom. That will help you deal with any legal issues.

Reporting a Wisconsin Boat Accident

You do not have to report every minor accident, but state law does require reports when:

  • A boat was a complete loss.
  • Damage to any property totaled more than $2,000.
  • Someone died.
  • One or more people were badly injured.

Each driver involved must make a report. First notify local law enforcement right away. Then file an Operator Boating Incident Report Form with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

State law requires the written report within 10 days. Federal law requires reports within 48 hours if there was a death or serious injury.

Locate a Local Wisconsin Boat Accident Lawyer Today

Depending on where your accident happened, local, state or federal laws may apply. An experienced lawyer can help you sort it all out. Call now to speak with a boating accident attorney in Wisconsin at 877-913-7222.