I was on a friend’s boat fishing on Lake Michigan when we were hit by another boat. Only two of the four of us in the boat were wearing life preservers so my friend didn’t want to fill out an accident report even though the other boater was at fault. He and the owner of the other boat exchanged information and agreed to settle the damage privately. All 4 of us got to shore but I have continued to have back pain for the last two weeks. What should I do? First, let’s start out with the facts. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) IDNR reported 103 boating accidents in 2011, resulting in 71 injuries and 25 fatalities. The five most common types of boating accidents are collision with another vessel, collision with a fixed object, flooding, skier mishap and capsizing. Fatalities can often be prevented if personal flotation devices (PFDs) are properly used on board. Illinois law requires that there be one PFD available for each person on a boat or watercraft, and that anyone 12 years old or younger must wear a life jacket on board any watercraft shorter than 26 feet at all times while the boat is on the water. So, as long as there were 4 PFDs on board the boat and all four of you are adults, your friend doesn’t need to be worried about the law, just his own lack of common sense. Whether you are on the highway or on water, the first thing you should always do in the case of an accident is to file an accident report with the appropriate authorities. The Illinois Boat Registration Act of 1959 requires the operator of every vessel to file a report in writing whenever a boating accident results in loss of life, injury to a person or property damage in excess of $2000. While accidents that result in death of or serious injury to any person must be reported to the DNR by the vessel operator within 48 hours of the accident, all other reportable accidents should be reported within five days. The same rules that apply to auto or workplace accidents where you are injured should be followed here also. Go to a doctor to determine the extent of your injuries. Make sure you have a clear diagnosis of issues as well as copies of the doctor’s report and any[READ MORE…]
Poet Robert Frost wrote that “fences make good neighbors” in the early 1900’s but his simple instruction still has applications to living in urban areas today. Suppose you decide to forego your summer vacation trip this year and instead buy an above-ground pool for your backyard. Your kids love to swim, having taken lessons at the local Park District as small children, and your wife has completed a Red Cross Water Safety Instruction course. While the pool poses little issues for your family, you cannot be sure that the other children in the neighborhood will be as equally prepared for the potential risk or hazard that it provides. Cook County requires a permit for above ground pools 18 inches or deeper; other municipalities have similar laws or ordinances. Among the list of Cook County requirements is that the pool must be enclosed on all four sides by a 4 feet high non-climbable fence. The permit requirements, often considered somewhat onerous by home owners, were designed to meet one of the primary legal concerns a swimming pool poses: that of being an attractive nuisance. If anything on your property could both draw children into it while also potentially putting them in harm’s way, the law requires you to protect any children who may come onto your property, even if they are legally trespassing. The attractive nuisance doctrine says that children cannot be expected to understand the inherent dangers they face and, if a property owner believes that children might come onto their property, it is the property owner’s responsibility to prevent harm. If an owner does not meet this responsibility, they can be held liable for the child’s injuries. Swimming pools cause 300 drowning deaths a year, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. You are not required to childproof your property, but use common sense. Take some basic precautions to prevent injuries and limit your liabilities. If you see that neighborhood children are interested in something on your property, consider installing an audible alarm which detects movement in or around the pool. While a pool cover may keep debris from the pool, it will not necessarily stop a determined child. Make sure you have rescue equipment on hand. Don’t leave swimming pool toys, floats or other pool equipment lying around. Learn basic CPR and instruct all visitors about methods for preventing accidental drowning. Never assume that guests can swim or[READ MORE…]
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Pool Safely: Simple Steps Save Lives campaign recently released its 2011 summer snapshot of the number of drowning and near-drowning incidents across the country.Â Since Memorial Day, there have been 48 drownings and 75 near-drowning incidents in 35 states.Â Driven by the high number of drownings and near-drownings, the CPSC is calling for additional vigilance at pools and spas this summer and beyond. Common Pool Injuries Some common pool injuries include: Drowning Near-drowning and brain injuries Slip and falls Sunburn Broken bones Ways to Minimize Drowning Risks Drownings, near-drownings and other swimming pool accidents can be prevented by following certain safety measures.Â Â When using a residential or community pool, swimmers should make sure to: Learn basic lifesaving techniques Learn how to perform CPR on both children and adults Never leave a child unattended Teach children water safety basics Keep children away from pool drains and other entrapment hazards Keep a telephone nearby Legal Responsibilities of Pool Owners Swimming pool owners are obligated to provide a safe swimming pool area by taking certain precautions and the failure to do so may subject the swimming pool owner to premises liability for any drownings or injuries that occur on the pool ownerâ€™s property.Â Swimming pool owners should take the following safety measures in order to provide a safe swimming environment: Install a fence that is at least four feet high around the pool with self-closing and self-latching gates. Install pool and gate alarms. Ensure that pool drain covers comply with the latest safety standards. Maintain pool covers that are in good working order. Consider using a surface wave or underwater alarm. If you or a loved one has been involved in a swimming pool accident, you may be able entitled to compensation from the swimming pool owner or operator through a premises liability or wrongful death lawsuit.Â Contact the Chicago swimming pool accident attorneys at Ankin Law Offices at (800) 442-6546 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your premises liability or wrongful death claim. Howard Ankin of Ankin Law Office LLC (www.ankinlaw.com) handles workersâ€™ compensation and personal injury cases. Mr. Ankin can be reached at (312) 346-8780 and firstname.lastname@example.org. ANKIN LAW OFFICE LLC Chicago Workers Compensation | Chicago Personal Injury | Chicago Motor Vehicle Accidents Chicago Wrongful Death | Chicago Social Securi ty Disability | Chicago Class Act ion Lawsuits
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