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Boating/Maritime Accidents

Illinois is bordered by Lake Michigan, the Mississippi River and also is home to many other small lakes and rivers. With these bodies of water comes great boat traffic. The United States Coast Guard (USCG) reports on boat accidents each year. Although agencies like the Coast Guard try to promote boat safety and prevent accidents, tragedies continue to occur on the waters in Illinois and throughout the country due to the negligence of others.

Although most boating accidents are preventable, hundreds of people die every year and the number appears to be on the rise. The USCG reports that in 2005 there were a total of 12,942,414 recreational boats registered in the United States. There were 4,969 boating accidents in 2005 that resulted in 697 fatalities and 3,451 injuries. The most common type of boat accident was a collision with another boat.

There are 380,865 recreational boats registered in Illinois, which is the tenth highest registration number of all 50 states. In Illinois alone, 101 boating accidents were reported in 2005 which resulted in 16 deaths and 91 injuries, according to the Coast Guard. Because of the threat of drowning, boating safety and education are particularly important. The USCG has found that the most common time for boating accidents is during the summer weekends between 2:30-4:30 p.m.

Boat Accident Injuries On The Rise

Throughout the country the number of injuries 1,007 rose in 2005 for the first time since 1996. Injuries can include brain injury, spinal cord injury, loss of limbs, fractures and other severe problems as a result of boating accidents. The leading cause of all boat accidents is some type of reckless operation.

Call on the Illinois Boat Accident Lawyers with Clifford Law Offices

Clifford Law Offices has been representing victims of serious boating and other vehicular accidents for 30 years. The combined attorneys’ experience at the firm adds up to hundreds of years of personal injury and wrongful death work. A Clifford Law Offices’ boat accident attorney examines the cause of the crash. It can be an issue of machinery failure, manufacturing defects, improper maintenance, driver operation, inattention or inexperience, excessive speed, alcohol use, passenger behavior, or environmental hazards or conditions. The law firm also will examine boat accident victims’ losses that include medical expenses, lost wages, future earnings, future medical care, pain and suffering, grief, sorrow and mental suffering, loss of quality of life and other possible damage claims.

For example, Clifford Law Offices represented a Wilmette man who was severely injured in a boating collision. The law firm also represents the passenger of a recreational motorboat who suffered facial fractures, a shoulder dislocation and other serious injuries when a barge struck him in the water.

All of these are tragic crashes and all of them required experienced boat accident lawyers. The drivers must be held accountable for their negligent actions. Clifford Law Offices represented these victims and got answers for them that they deserved. Please call Clifford Law Offices, experienced boat accident attorneys, at 312-899-9090.

As any maritime accident attorney will recognize, Chicago is an established transportation nexus between the Atlantic, the Great Lakes and the heartland of America, making it one of the world’s leading centers of maritime trade and recreation. According to the Port of Chicago, 26 million tons of goods and resources pass through the port annually. The city is the third largest intermodal container handler in the world, according to the U.S. Coast Guard’s Marine Safety Unit in Chicago, and more than 25 million passengers take to area waterways each year. However, with the abundance of traffic and business comes great responsibility, and oftentimes the guidance of knowledgeable maritime injury attorneys is required.

Given the tremendous amount of maritime traffic in the Chicago area, water safety is of the utmost importance. Negligence on the part of those operating on and around the city’s waterways can lead to incidents of personal injury and wrongful death. In 2011, the Coast Guard MSU Chicago completed 185 investigations related to marine casualties and alleged violations of maritime laws or regulations and acts of misconduct or negligence. For example, if a plane taking off suddenly crashes into the water, maritime case issues may be considered. Another example of a maritime case is the 2011 Costa Concordia cruise line disaster off the coast of Italy. When such violations take place, a maritime accident attorney is the best source on proper legal action.

Ranked as a first-tier firm by U.S. News-Best Lawyers, Clifford has extensive experience in handling transportation-related personal injury and wrongful death cases. Our maritime injury attorneys understand that mass transportation disasters are especially complex. Because of our extensive experience, Clifford Law Offices has not only represented individuals affected, but is also often appointed as lead counsel to head litigation effort in the courts.

Clifford Law Offices works closely with lawyers from around the world in representing victims of mass disasters, assigning the best maritime accident attorney for the case. For example, the firm represents a number of families who were injured in the Turkish Airlines plane crash that skidded off the runway at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. Clifford Law Offices and AKD Prinsen Van Wijmen, a law firm in The Netherlands, have been retained by 17 families who lost loved ones, or some who survived with severe injuries, in the crash of Turkish Airlines Flight 1951 on February 25, 2009.

In a separate case, Clifford Law Offices’ maritime injury attorneys represented a family whose daughter was killed in the 2005 Chalk seaplane crash off the coast of Miami, Florida. The plane burst into flames and plunged into the water after takeoff, killing all 20 people on board. The passengers on that flight never thought they would face the alleged recklessness and danger they encountered on what was to be a short trip to the Caribbean. A thorough investigation into the tragedy uncovered the facts that led to this disaster. Clifford Law Offices also represented a number of families who were killed when Alaska Air Flight 261 crashed into the Pacific Ocean, killing everyone aboard. A number of depositions led by Clifford Law Offices’ maritime accident attorney, Kevin Durkin, were taken of airline executives and aviation executives. That led to Boeing, the airplane manufacturer, stipulating to a liability judgment against them despite the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) giving the corporate giant a virtual pass in its final report. The firm also represented a Chicago suburban man who was injured when his catamaran was cut in two after a power boat rammed him in Lake Michigan.

While U.S. News-Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms" ranked Clifford Law Offices as a first-tier firm, it also recognized maritime accident attorney, Robert A. Clifford, as the 2012 Lawyer of the Year in Personal Injury Litigation in Chicago. Additionally, it named him the 2010 Lawyer of the Year in Medical Malpractice in Chicago and the 2009 Lawyer of the Year in Personal Injury in Chicago. Best Lawyers is the oldest and most respected peer-review organization in the legal profession in America. For more than a quarter of a century, Best Lawyers has been designating "Lawyers of the Year" in high-profile specialties in large legal communities. Only a single lawyer in each specialty in each community is honored as "Lawyer of the Year."

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