The Chicago River, whose rivers and canals run 156 miles through the heart of the city, including its center (the Chicago Loop), is a central tourist attraction for visitors to Chicago, Illinois, and is one of the main reasons that Chicago became an important location as the link between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi Valley waterways. It’s not surprise that boat tours on the river have become a staple in Chicago’s tourist industry.
Nevertheless, the Chicago Tribune reported that earlier this week, at least nine people were injured when a Wendella Boat Tour vessel “The Lila” hit a concrete dock near the Michigan Avenue bridge on the Chicago River. Wendella Boats operates the Chicago Water Taxi which offers service along the Chicago River with stops at Michigan Avenue, Clark Street and Madison Street. On weekends, Chicago Water Taxi service extends all the way to Chicago’s Chinatown. Wendella Boats also offers architecture cruises departing from Michigan Avenue.
The Tribune reported that seven people were taken to local hospitals in ‘good condition,’ while two others in ‘fair-to-serious condition’ were rushed to to Saint Joseph Hospital and Rush University Medical Center, both in Chicago, Illinois. Eleven other people of the more than 150 passengers on board refused treatment further than examinations at the scene.
As a general rule of law under Chicago boat accident law, a boat operator and its owner must exercise the highest degree of care to prevent injuries to those passengers in the boat or swimmers or others in the waters or boats around them. When an operator or owner fails to do so and someone suffers serious personal injuries, the victim or victim’s family may be able to file a lawsuit to hold wrongdoers accountable for injuries suffered.
Although during the summer months in Chicago, activities on and near the water can be a fun diversion, boat accidents can sometimes occur, potentially leaving people seriously injured. Our Illinois boat accident lawyers represent clients in the Chicago area and throughout all of Illinois who have suffered personal injuries or lost loved ones in boating accidents and collisions. Many factors can contribute to a boating accident either on a privately owned vessel, a personal watercraft (jet ski) or even a ferry. Some of these factors include:
• Driver error;
• Driver inexperience;
• Driving while intoxicated;
• Equipment failure; or,
• Adverse weather and/or water conditions.
Our experienced Illinois boat accident attorneys have handled numerous similar cases, including Illinois Jones Act cases which are federal cases filed on behalf of employees who work on boats or vessels and who were injured while working.
If you or a loved one have been injured while on a boat – whether or not in the scope of your employment, an attorney may be able to advise you of your rights under the law.