Alton Boating Accident Lawyers

Representation when you’re injured by a boat or other watercraft in Illinois

Boating can make for a fun recreational activity with family, friends, or both! However, when an untrained or unsafe person takes the helm, or boating equipment malfunctions, a day on the water can quickly turn tragic. The combination of high speeds, alcohol, and dangerous operators all contribute to the unique risks of boating, for anyone else sharing the water, as well as fellow passengers.

The Alton attorneys at Glisson Law have more than 25 years of experience representing those injured and harmed in boating, sailing, and other watercraft accidents. We understand the law that governs these types of incidents and can address all of your questions and concerns, including how to file a claim and how much compensation to which you may be entitled. Let us take care of the legal details while you take the time you need to recover.

What are common boating accident injuries?

Aside from death and drowning, a boat accident can cause any number of injuries, including:

  • Head injuries. These can include traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) caused by impacts or falls, as well as injuries from being struck by flying debris or falling overboard.
  • Spinal cord injuries. These can be caused by falls or collisions, and can result in permanent paralysis and other serious health complications.
  • Burns. Boats can catch fire or explode from fuel leaks or other causes, resulting in severe burns.
  • Fractures and dislocations. Bones can be broken or dislocated in crashes, falls, and collisions.
  • Lacerations and contusions. Boats are often equipped with sharp edges and metal parts that can cause cuts and bruises, particularly if someone slips and falls or is thrown from the boat and makes contact with the propellor, resulting in traumatic amputation.
  • Hypothermia. If someone falls into cold water, they can develop hypothermia, which can lead to serious complications or death.
  • Emotional trauma. Serious boating accidents can leave mental scars, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression and anxiety.

Most serious boating accidents result in multiple injuries to multiple people. If you were involved in a boating accident, get medical attention as soon as possible, as all of your injuries may not be apparent immediately.

Good To Know: In 2021, the Coast Guard reported 4,439 accidents involving 658 deaths, 2,641 injuries, and approximately $67.5 million dollars of property damage as a result of recreational boating accidents.

What causes boating accidents?

Although hitting an iceberg and slowly sinking is always a possibility, boating accidents here in Illinois typically happen in less glamorous, Hollywood-friendly fashion.

In 2021, Illinois reported 93 boat accidents, with 28 injuries and 16 fatalities. Fourteen of these individuals drowned, while the other two died of “trauma.” Out of the 16 people killed, 13 weren’t wearing a lifejacket. Other statistics of note:

  • Boating accidents are much more likely to happen on the weekend, and between noon and 6:00pm
  • The majority of accidents happened in waters reported as “calm” (waves less than 6”) and clear weather
  • 14 accidents and 5 fatalities involved boaters with over 100 hours of experience
  • 22 accidents and 4 fatalities happened on Lake Michigan
  • July saw the highest number of accidents (27) and fatalities (4)

Per the report, the most common causes of and contributing factors to boating accidents were:

  • Alcohol/Drug Use
  • Careless/Reckless Operation
  • Congested Waters
  • Did Not Contribute
  • Equipment Failure
  • Excessive Speed
  • Failure to Vent
  • Force of Wake
  • Hull Failure
  • No Proper Lookout
  • Off-Throttle Steering
  • Operator Inattention
  • Operator Inexperience
  • Other-Stuck due to Low Water Conditions
  • Passenger/Skier Behavior
  • Restricted Vision
  • Rules of Road Infraction
  • Standing/Sitting in Inappropriate Position

Who is liable for my boat accident?

Liability for a boat accident can depend on a variety of factors, including the cause of the accident and the actions of those involved.

For example, if the accident was caused by a mechanical defect, the manufacturer of the boat or its equipment may be liable for any resulting damages or injuries. If the accident was caused by the negligence of another boater, that boater may be liable.

If the accident occurred due to the operator's own negligent or reckless behavior, such as operating the boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs, speeding, or driving distracted, they may be liable for your damages or injuries.

What is the value of my Alton boating accident case?

Injuries from boating accidents can range from serious to life-altering. You might need medical intervention for the rest of your life, or you might not be able to work at your job the way you used to. A personal injury claim can help you recover compensation for things like:

  • Medical expenses, current and future
  • Lost wages, current and future
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment life
  • Scarring and disfigurement

The lawyers at Glisson Law will build a strong case on your behalf and work to secure the maximum compensation possible for your particular circumstances.


Do you have a boating accident lawyer near me?

Glisson Law is located at 111 East Fourth Street, Suite 400, in Alton, IL. We’re a block away from City Hall, and you can find plenty of parking across the street. There’s also a bus stop right outside our office. Glisson Law conducts phone and video conferences when applicable, and makes home and hospital visits if you cannot travel to us.

Skilled Alton boating accident attorneys fighting for you

Boating accidents can happen for a variety reasons and result in severe and deadly injuries. If you or a loved one has suffered harm in a boating accident, it is important to consult with an experienced law firm who understands how to determine liability and pursue compensation on your behalf. The Alton attorneys at Glisson Law want to help. To schedule a free consultation, call our offices or fill out our contact form today. We proudly serve the people of Belleville, Edwardsville, St. Clair and Madison County, and all of Southwestern Illinois.