Michigan Boat Lawyer

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Michigan earns its name as the Great Lakes State by bordering four of the five Great Lakes. In addition to these famous bodies of water, Michigan is home to over 26,000 inland lakes and some 120 major rivers.

No wonder boats and personal watercraft are integral to life in Michigan. Yet, sport fishing, charter boating, and recreational water activities are not without risk to your health and safety. Were you or a loved one injured in a boating accident in Michigan?

The experienced attorneys of Mike Morse Law Firm can help you maximize your personal injury claim results. Email or call to set up a free consultation with our Detroit or Southfield office to learn about our outstanding services for victims of boating accidents.

Someone is available for you at Mike Morse Law Firm 24 hours a day. We can respond within hours to let you know if you are eligible to file a legal case.

Michigan Boating Accidents Could Qualify For Compensation

Most boating accidents happen suddenly and without warning. Yet, the cause of an accidental injury can often be traced to specific factors.

Operator inattention

A Michigan boat operator must stay alert at all times to navigate a vessel through waterways, avoiding other watercraft and obstructions. He or she must also respond quickly to changing weather and water conditions to prevent serious injuries. 

What might distract boaters and cause a boating accident injury? Potential distracting activities are:

  • Using cell phones: Talking, texting, interacting with social media, and searching the internet is especially dangerous on the water. Unlike a motor vehicle on a street with clearly marked lanes and traffic signals, boats tend to move in unpredictable patterns. 
  • Eating and drinking: Operators need to have their hands free to control a vessel well. Eating and drinking can affect their ability to steer and respond to unexpected obstacles.
  • Navigating: Consulting a GPS, map, compass, or another instrument can distract an operator from the boating task at hand. Many seasoned boaters rely on passengers or crew to assist with navigation.
  • Doing anything non-essential: Almost any activity can become a distraction. Our Michigan boat accident attorneys can investigate to determine whether non-driving tasks increased your risk of injury. 

Excessive speed

Just as on highways and city streets, Michigan watercraft must obey speed limits. Unless otherwise indicated, the maximum speed is 55 mph. 

Still, Michigan law requires operators to be careful not to cause injury to others or their property. Operating a vessel at an unsafe speed for the circumstances would be illegal regardless of the limit. 

For example, the rate of travel affects the wake created by watercraft. Boaters must avoid making a wake within 100 feet of shoreline, piers, people, rafts, swimming areas, and people. 

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Reckless operation

A boat has the potential to cause severe injury and even death if mishandled. According to a boating safety handbook, a responsible operator practices basic laws of navigation, including:

  • Good seamanship
  • A sharp lookout
  • Safe speed and distance 

Breaking these rules could constitute negligence under Michigan law. Boaters are also prohibited from abusing drugs and alcohol. The legal blood alcohol content limit for boat operators is 0.08. Causing injury or death to another person while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a felony.

Operator inexperience

In Michigan, you must be at least 14 years old to operate a personal watercraft. Teens between the ages of 14 and 15 must be accompanied by an adult, obtain a boating safety certificate, and keep it aboard the vessel during operation. 

Children 12 years of age and older can operate motorboats on Michigan waterways under specific circumstances. Anyone who handles a boat or personal watercraft should have the proper training to use water vessels in a safe and legal manner.

Inclement weather

High wind, heavy rain, and fog can affect boat operators’ visibility and ability to steer. 

According to the US Coast Guard, the vessels most often involved in fatal boating accidents are pontoon boats, kayaks, and open motorboats.

Water jets (also known as jet skis) are also known to capsize under certain conditions. Even a seasoned boat operator should check the forecast before boating and monitor for rapid weather changes while on the waterways. Keeping USCG-approved (United States Coast Guard) floatation devices on board and heading for the nearest safe shore are always good practices.

Mechanical defects

Some boating accidents occur because of mechanical problems. A Michigan boat accident lawyer can help you pursue monetary damages after accidents associated with:

  • Engine failures
  • Steering system malfunctions
  • Electrical issues
  • Cooling system defects
  • Gears 
  • Fuel system failures

Determining who is at fault for a mechanical defect is complex. Boat accident attorneys can pinpoint who is responsible for your injuries.

When accidents happen, you don’t have to suffer alone. At Mike Morse Law Firm, we can make sure you know your rights under the State of Michigan law. For a free consultation, you can always email us or call us toll-free at 855-MIKE-WINS anytime, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Claiming Compensation For a Michigan Boating Accident

In 2020, the US Coast Guard received reports of 159 recreational boating accidents in Michigan. 29 of these accidents were fatal, and 31 people lost their lives. The one responsible for a preventable accident should compensate for the harm caused to injured victims or the victims’ surviving families.

Devastating boating accidents in 2020 were due to:

  • Collisions with submerged, fixed, or floating objects
  • Collisions with a governmental, commercial, or recreational boating vessel
  • Carbon monoxide exposure
  • Capsizing or sinking 
  • Electrocution
  • Fall injuries
  • Fires
  • Explosions
  • Flooding
  • Propeller strike injuries
  • Sudden medical conditions
  • Drowning
  • Grounding

After a boating accident, you might be eligible for the following compensation:

  • Property damage: If your boat or property was hit by another boat, you can pursue money for repairing or replacing your possessions. 
  • Medical expenses: You could start racking up medical bills from the moment you are transported to the hospital. In a personal injury lawsuit, you can seek compensation for qualifying medical expenses, such as emergency services, surgeries, rehabilitation, and prescriptions. 
  • Lost wages: As you recover from your injuries and undergo medical treatment, you could miss many days of work. Your boating accident lawyer can help you calculate how much you are due in lost wages so you don’t miss out on a penny you deserve.
  • Pain and suffering: Your physical injuries after a boating accident could cause you untold misery. You might also be suffering emotionally and mentally as you struggle to cope with the trauma. Our knowledgeable boat accident lawyers can help you pursue financial compensation for your pain and suffering. 
  • Wrongful death damages: Losing a loved one because of a preventable boat accident is devastating. Life is precious, and our team of boat accident attorneys knows that your family member is irreplaceable. Yet, a wrongful death settlement can cover funeral expenses and lost income, thus lifting the economic burden from your family.

Would you like to learn how to qualify for financial compensation for your injuries and damaged property? A representative of our legal team is available 24 hours a day: Email, call 855-MIKE-WINS, or chat online with us now. You can also stop by our Detroit and Southfield, MI, offices to discuss your legal options. 

How a Michigan Boating Accident Attorney Can Assist You

What are the advantages of consulting with a boat accident lawyer after a boating accident? Here are 5 reasons you should get in touch with Michigan’s largest personal injury law firm without delay: 

  • We have been in operation since 1995. Our boat accident lawyers have the experience you need to handle your case from the initial insurance documentation to the moment you collect the maximum possible for your claim.
  • Boating accidents face a statute of limitations. Michigan only allows a limited amount for those injured in boat accidents to pursue justice for their losses. Even with the law on your side, you will need to act fast to meet these strict deadlines. Contact a member of our hard-working team to request a free consultation that could set the wheels in motion for your personal injury case. 
  • Insurance companies would love to capitalize on your mistakes. For insurance companies, paying less money in boat injury claims means making more profit. Missing a deadline, omitting important information, or making an error in your paperwork can cost you big. A knowledgeable Michigan attorney can give you the advice you need to make confident decisions. 
  • No matter where you are in Michigan, we have you covered. We have law offices conveniently located in Detroit and Southfield, MI. Yet, as the largest personal injury law firm in the state, we provide service throughout Michigan for those injured in boat accidents.
  • You have nothing to lose. Our boating accident consultations are free. There is no obligation to hire an attorney. Yet, you can get answers to your questions 24 hours a day about the laws that apply to your rights as a boat accident victim.

 

Types Of Auto Accidents

Michigan Car Accident
Our experienced Michigan accident attorneys have successfully resolved thousands of Michigan car accident, Michigan truck accident and Michigan motorcycle accident cases, many of them including claims for Michigan no-fault benefits.
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Michigan Pedestrian Accident Lawyers
If you have been injured as a pedestrian by a motor vehicle in Michigan, please contact us for a free consultation. We will be happy to answer all of your Michigan pedestrian accident questions and explain your rights.
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Michigan Truck Accident Lawyers
Truck accidents typically result in great amount of vehicle damage. If you were involved in such an accident, you will want your vehicle to be repaired or replaced.
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Michigan Bicycle Accident Lawyers
If the bicycle accident involved a car or truck, Michigan No-Fault Insurance Benefits are available to the injured bicyclist.
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Uber, Lyft & Taxi Accidents
Are Uber and Lyft drivers and passengers protected when injured in a car accident in Michigan? At the Mike Morse Law Firm we have attorneys that specialize in handling Uber and Lyft cases.
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Uninsured & Underinsured Collisions
Even if you have been handling your own UM/UIM claim, we advise you not to take on the insurance carriers alone. You may be dealing with an insurance carrier who may not be giving you the full value of your injuries.
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Rear-End Accidents
Don’t make the mistake of trying to recover damages on your own. Why? First, you may have physical injuries that haven’t yet become apparent.
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Contact Us Anytime, 24 Hours a Day

Accidents happen around the clock. And once you are injured, you could be in pain 24 hours a day. During that same time, your worries could be increasing by the hour, along with your medical expenses and lost wages. Meanwhile, the Michigan statute of limitations adds pressure to act fast before your time runs out to file a claim.

We know traumatic injuries bring Michigan families unexpected new challenges. Your life may never be the same as before your boating accident, but we want to do our best to bring you the relief afforded by Michigan boat laws. Take the first step to protect your interests today.

After a major boating accident injury, every minute counts. We are always ready to help. Someone is available to chat or take your call to 855-MIKE-WINS every day of the week, 24 hours a day. 

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– Melvin Johnson Highland Park, Michigan

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“When the attorneys at the Mike Morse Law Firm represented me, we were not just a number, we were family. They really cared about what I was going through. I could not have asked for better people to work on my case.”

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