Tend to anyone who’s injured: First things first, get everybody out of the water and tend to people’s injuries as best you can.
Call law enforcement: Wisconsin law requires operators to submit a written report within 10 days of the incident. Failure to do so could harm your case.
Gather information: If the accident involved another boat, take down their contact, insurance, and boat identification information. Note the time and place of the incident and take pictures of the damage.
Call an experienced boat accident attorney: If a boat accident has left you financially, physically, or emotionally damaged, don’t represent yourself. Contact the experienced boat accident attorneys at Warshafsky Law.
2 biggest mistakes you can make after a boating accident
Not reporting the incident to law enforcement: Before you contact a Milwaukee boat accident lawyer, you need to contact the proper authorities after you’ve been involved in a crash. Boat operators are required by law to report boat accidents to law enforcement immediately. Written reports need to be submitted within 10 days of the incident.
Accepting the insurance company's first offer: When you’re the victim of a boating accident, the responsible party may try to get you to talk to their insurance company before contacting a lawyer. They know that once you have legal representation, your chances of receiving a favorable settlement significantly increase.
If you get a call from the insurance company— don’t talk to them. Whatever you say could come back to bite you during the legal process. Call Warshafsky and let us do the talking for you.
Warshafsky Law represents boat accident victims in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
The Milwaukee boating accident lawyers at Warshafsky Law Firm fight to get the MOST money for victims of boating accidents. Our team has extensive experience negotiating large settlements in a wide variety of boat-related cases, from wrongful death claims to property damage, injuries and more. In our 60+ years of practice, Warshafsky has earned a reputation for winning record-setting settlements. No case is too big or too complex, we’ll fight for the settlement you deserve. No law firm has a board-certified accident investigator and lawyer who doubles as a medical doctor on staff! Receive maximum compensation from insurance companies with our trial-proven attorneys.
Milwaukee Boat Accident FAQ
What should I do when I get in a boat accident?
After getting everyone out of the water and tending to basic injuries, it’s important to call law enforcement immediately. You should then gather information, like photos, videos, and eyewitness testimony. These will help your case once you contact an experienced accident attorney.
When should I hire a lawyer after a boat accident?
If you were injured or suffered boat or property damage in excess of 2,000, you should not only report the accident but hire a lawyer. A lawyer will help you navigate the insurance process and fight for the best possible settlement.
Who is at fault in a boat accident?
Operator error is the leading cause of boating accidents. In rare cases, other passengers or the boat’s designer/manufacturer can be found liable.
What are the most common boat accidents?
The most common boat accident is when two vessels collide. Boat accidents can also occur due to grounding, collision with a fixed object, flooding, falls overboard, capsizing, fires, and more.
Can you sue if you are injured on someone else’s boat?
If you were injured as a passenger on somebody’s boat, you may be able to file a claim against them. A person is liable for the injuries they caused while operating a vessel. Warshafsky won a $250,000 dollar boating accident case that resulted in a passenger needing an amputation.
How much is my boat accident settlement worth?
No attorney can give you an exact number without first understanding the factors surrounding your accident. Some factors that might affect your settlement include:
Severity of injury
Amount of damage to your vehicle
Length of hospital stay and anticipated recovery
Whether there is permanent disability or life-long injury
Time away from work
Your health and lifestyle pre-accident
The overall negative impact on your life
How are boating accident damages calculated?
In personal injury cases, damages are typically broken down into two categories:
Special damages: These losses are easily quantified. These include medical bills, property damage, and lost wages due to time missed at work.
General damages: These losses aren’t so easily quantified. They include pain and suffering, physical discomfort, mental anxiety, stress, and other negative side effects from the crash.
In order to reflect these hard-to-quantify damages, a multiplier (between 1 and 5) is applied to the overall settlement. The multiplier is higher or lower depending on the severity of your injuries, driver fault, and other aggravating circumstances.
For example, if you were involved in a boat accident where the other driver was drunk and driving recklessly, your multiplier could be 5 or more. Say you suffered $50,000 in combined medical, property, and wage loss— your estimated settlement would be somewhere around ($50,000 x 5), or $250,000.
Obviously, many factors will affect your compensation and this method is simply a way to provide a rough estimate. Contact an attorney before making any settlement demands.
What damages are available for victims of a boating accident?
Lost or reduced earning capacity
Disfigurement or disability
Pain and suffering
Loss of enjoyment of life
What is Wisconsin’s minimum payout for boating accidents?
There are no minimum payouts or guaranteed restitution for victims of boating accidents. This is why it’s extremely important to surround yourself with the best boat accident lawyers in Milwaukee.
Can I still receive compensation for a boating accident if I’m partially responsible?
Yes. Wisconsin has a modified comparative negligence rule that means you may be able to recover damages if you are no more than 50 percent at fault for the accident. Your settlement will be reduced by the percentage of the accident that has been determined to be your fault.
How to deal with insurance companies during a boating accident claim
The most important thing to remember is to never accept the first offer from an insurance company. They are incentivized to pay you as little as possible to make the case go away before you have time to talk to an attorney. ALWAYS talk to an experienced accident attorney first. The sooner you contact Warshafsky, the sooner our investigators can start compiling the most robust possible case for the highest potential payment.
The Legal Process
Who is liable in a boating accident?
There are 4 main parties who can be found liable in a boating accident.
Boat operator: If you were injured on someone else’s boat, they may be liable for your injuries.
Other passengers: If somebody interferes with the safe operation of the boat, causing a crash or injuries, they can be held liable.
Other operators: If another operator crashes into your boat, they may be held liable for any injuries caused.
Boat designer/manufacturer: In rare circumstances, if something mechanical in the boat malfunctions, causing injury to you and others, the boat’s designer or manufacturer may be held liable.
How do I prove negligence in a boating accident?
A boat operator owes a duty to each passenger on his or her boat. They are responsible for ensuring that passengers avoid dangerous behaviors and take adequate safety precautions. Tort law provides a cause of action if somebody suffers an injury as the result of a breach of this duty.
Since boating accidents happen on the water, it’s common for crucial evidence to get washed away. After you’ve been involved in a crash, you should do your best to gather the following evidence:
Photo or video evidence from the scene
Data from a Voyage Data Recorder (VDR), if available
How long do I have to file a lawsuit after a boat accident?
The Wisconsin statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits is typically three years. This means you have three years from the date of your boat accident to file a claim. It is important to note, you must report boat accidents to law enforcement within ten days of the incident.
How much does a lawyer cost?
At Warshafsky, we understand that after a boat crash, you’re likely dealing with a lot. This is why we pride ourselves on being a no-win, no-fee law firm. We handle all costs upfront and then take a percentage of the final settlement once you win.
Will my case go to court?
In Wisconsin, less than 5% of personal injury cases go to trial. However, at Warshafsky, all of our cases are funded to go the distance if necessary. We’ll fight to get you the settlement you deserve.
How long will my boating accident case take?
Case length will depend on a lot of factors, including the severity of damages suffered. When damages are severe, the case might take a year or longer. Other factors might affect the case’s timeline, including:
The other party being unwilling to cooperate
Case factors being disputed by the opposing party
Discrepancies or mistakes on certain documents
Court and/or judge availability
How do you prove negligence in a boat accident case?
Proving negligence can be difficult, especially in a boating accident, when camera evidence and witness testimony is hard to come by. Partner with Warshafsky and we’ll conduct a thorough investigation of all the factors that led up to the crash:
Collision with a recreational vehicle or another boat When an operator isn’t paying attention or is traveling at too high a rate of speed, he or she runs the risk of colliding with other vessels.
Collision with a fixed object: Boats can collide with piers, buoys, or shorelines, causing damage to the vessel as well as its passengers.
Grounding: When a boat runs aground unexpectedly, the momentum of the sudden stop can send passengers flying. Boats should always be run in waters of sufficient depth and shores and docks should be avoided.
Flooding: Leaks in the boat, pumps that are working improperly, or large waves can cause a vessel to fill up with water, putting it at risk of capsizing or sinking.
Falls overboard: Falls overboard were the leading cause of death in Wisconsin boating accidents in 2022. These can be caused by sharp turns, sitting on the stern or bow, or hitting large waves. Passengers are far more likely to survive when wearing a life jacket.
Capsizing: Boats can capsize from large waves, improper weight balance, sharp turns, and collisions with other boats.
Fires: Fires can start for a variety of reasons, including gasoline spills, an overheated engine, electrical fires, smoking, and more.
Frank Wins Head-on Car Accident Collision Settlement
My husband was in a very bad accident. A truck crossed the center line of the highway and hit his vehicle head on. We recognized right away the need for an experienced lawyer that we could trust. The insurance company representing the company responsible for the accident, called us within the first ...
My husband was in a very bad accident. A truck crossed the center line of the highway and hit his vehicle head on. We recognized right away the need for an experienced lawyer that we could trust. The insurance company representing the company responsible for the accident, called us within the first 24 hours of the accident. Our family lawyer recommended Frank Crivello of Warshafsky, Rotter, Tarnoff & Bloch. We knew from our first meeting that we were in good hands. Frank made us feel comfortable and inspired confidence in how to proceed. It was an enormous weight off of our shoulders, and we were allowed to focus on the recovery of my husband. Throughout the 3+ years of multiple surgeries, Frank and his paralegal Sandra were by our side. He kept us informed of every action needed, and had a long term plan for either settlement or trial. He always had our best interests in mind, and spent a great deal of time laying out pros and cons every step of the way, and most importantly, he helped us understand in layman's terms the legal terms and actions. His negotiating skills are second to none, and he always had a solid plan of action. He was always available to us, and provided his undivided attention. Frank's in-depth understanding of my husband's medical issues and surgical procedures gave us great confidence during the development of the case and during depositions. Frank, Sandra, and this firm exceeded all our expectations and achieved a settlement that we were pleased with. We recommend Frank and his firm to anyone in need of personal injury experience. The professionalism, concern, and care for our wellbeing for over 3 years made all the difference in the world. The settlement or recovery met our best interests and would not have been possible without Frank and Sandra.
Victor Doesn't Sugarcoat His Clients
Victor Harding no sugarcoating right to the point did me a wonderful job and did as he said he would. I recommend him to anyone in need of a law firm thank you Victor and your team
"Warshafsky Law is the Best Law Firm in Wisconsin"
The best law firm in the state!! Extremely professional and yet personal. They absolutely care about you and your family get the best legal representation you could ask for. I have known this firm for over 30 years and they are the gold standard for law firms. Frank Crivello is the smartest and most...
The best law firm in the state!! Extremely professional and yet personal. They absolutely care about you and your family get the best legal representation you could ask for. I have known this firm for over 30 years and they are the gold standard for law firms. Frank Crivello is the smartest and most honest lawyer I have ever had the pleasure to work with.
Antonio J. Z
Keith Helped David Through a Difficult Time
I was so very pleased with how helpful this law firm was, especially Keith Trower We would not have gotten through this trying time without him and Warshafsky law firm.
Frank Fought for Chris Against the Insurance Companies
When I was hit by an underinsured driver, Warshafsky was the company I talked to first. Frank Crivello immediately addressed my medical concerns and then we discussed my car. The other drivers insurance company wanted me to settle right away. What the insurance company wanted to offer me barely cove...
When I was hit by an underinsured driver, Warshafsky was the company I talked to first. Frank Crivello immediately addressed my medical concerns and then we discussed my car. The other drivers insurance company wanted me to settle right away. What the insurance company wanted to offer me barely covered my car issues, I did not even know what my medical bills would be yet. Frank put me at ease that this was not acceptable and he would make sure I would be treated fairly. In the end, Frank made sure my medical bills were covered and my car is good as new. Thanks Frank!
"The Warshafsky team is incredible, responsive, kind, knowledgeable, and tenacious"
I cannot say enough about the Warshafsky Law Firm Team - they are incredible. Responsive, kind, knowledgeable, and tenacious in protecting and advocating for their clients. I trusted they were acting on my behalf and ensuring my best interests were represented throughout my case, and the outcome was...
I cannot say enough about the Warshafsky Law Firm Team - they are incredible. Responsive, kind, knowledgeable, and tenacious in protecting and advocating for their clients. I trusted they were acting on my behalf and ensuring my best interests were represented throughout my case, and the outcome was exactly what I needed. Best in class legal team AND client advocates. Thank you!!
Krista Fought for a Better Payday for Jimi
I had the pleasure to work with Krista G. LaFave at Warshafsky law firm. Not only was Krista available for my questions, but she worked hard to get more money than I expected. Because of her insight, and professional advice, I listened to her. I was very anxious and wanted to just get this over with...
I had the pleasure to work with Krista G. LaFave at Warshafsky law firm. Not only was Krista available for my questions, but she worked hard to get more money than I expected. Because of her insight, and professional advice, I listened to her. I was very anxious and wanted to just get this over with. Krista explained that she wanted to fight harder for me to end up with a better payday. I totally trusted her, I could tell she was fighting for me like I was a family member of hers. So happy to have had Krista fighting for me. I ended up with literally double the amount I had anticipated. Thank you again Krista.
Frank & Sue Went Above and Beyond for Kristi
Absolutely a great law firm!! If you want excellent representation ask for Attorney Frank Crivello and his paralegal, Sue. They went above and beyond when representing our Father.
"I couldn't have asked for a better experience with Krista"
Krista LaFave did a wonderful job on my case. She had realistic expectations and was able to guide me through the entire process. She explained difficult concepts and kept me calm and clear during the process. She was also responsive to questions or concerns i had over email and was able to reply qu...
Krista LaFave did a wonderful job on my case. She had realistic expectations and was able to guide me through the entire process. She explained difficult concepts and kept me calm and clear during the process. She was also responsive to questions or concerns i had over email and was able to reply quickly. I had a great outcome and couldn't have asked for a better experience.
"This is the place, and these are the people."
I want to thank Warshafsky Law Firm for everything that they have done for me and my daughter. Specifically, Victor C. Harding and Sue M. Soczka. I can't express enough how grateful I am for all of their hard work and dedication. From the beginning to the end, they took control of everything needed ...
I want to thank Warshafsky Law Firm for everything that they have done for me and my daughter. Specifically, Victor C. Harding and Sue M. Soczka. I can't express enough how grateful I am for all of their hard work and dedication. From the beginning to the end, they took control of everything needed to handle my situation. I was regularly contacted and informed about each and every step of the process while working for a positive outcome in my favor. Working with Victor and Sue was not only extremely professional, it was also very personal. I truly felt that I had the support of the entire firm behind me. This is the place, and these are the people, that I would highly recommend having work for you!
"Trusting in the Warshafsky team was one of the best decisions my family has made."
The Warshafsky Law Firm were diligent and very professional. I rarely write a review unless I feel strongly about something, but I truly feel that everyone at Warshafsky worked hard on our case and deserves all the good praises. We never felt like we couldn't trust them to work for us to get everyth...
The Warshafsky Law Firm were diligent and very professional. I rarely write a review unless I feel strongly about something, but I truly feel that everyone at Warshafsky worked hard on our case and deserves all the good praises. We never felt like we couldn't trust them to work for us to get everything that we deserved. Trusting in the Warshafsky team, especially Frank T. Crivello, was one of the best decisions my family had made. Not only did we have a really good attorney on our side, but we ended up with someone we can consider a friend as well. I don't know where else we could have found an attorney like that. Thank you, Frank and the Warshafsky team.
Krista & Victor Challenged a 60-Year-Old Settlement Cap and WON!
Krista LaFave and Victor Harding made a recovery for almost nine times more than is allowed by law! My husband was killed in an auto accident because a municipality failed to erect warning signs alerting drivers of a road closure ahead. Early on, I was told that a municipality is protected by a $5...
Krista LaFave and Victor Harding made a recovery for almost nine times more than is allowed by law! My husband was killed in an auto accident because a municipality failed to erect warning signs alerting drivers of a road closure ahead. Early on, I was told that a municipality is protected by a $50,000 cap and that was the most that could be recovered for his wrongful death. A statutory $50,000 cap enacted 35 years ago is meaningless in today’s dollars. It provides no accountability or consequences for a municipality’s gross negligence. Krista and Victor discovered a statute that rendered the $50,000 cap inapplicable in certain situations. The statute written 60 years ago had never before been tested. Through their perseverance in applying this law, I was able to recover far more than the cap. I can only pray that this result causes the municipality to change its ways.You can’t find better representation out there than can be provided by Warshafsky.
Warshafsky Gives Out Free Legal Advice
Call Warshafsky! is what my friends told me. Thankfully in my accident, no one was injured, but I did not want to be taken advantage of by the insurance company. I wasn't sure if I needed a lawyer, but this IS about the money, right? You carefully listened to me about my situation and let me know th...
Call Warshafsky! is what my friends told me. Thankfully in my accident, no one was injured, but I did not want to be taken advantage of by the insurance company. I wasn't sure if I needed a lawyer, but this IS about the money, right? You carefully listened to me about my situation and let me know that you did not feel I needed Warshafsky. Wow!, what honesty. Then you helped me so much by graciously giving me the correct information to help me help myself. I never thought I would say this to an attorney, "You helped, even when there was nothing in it for you." I hope I never need you, but if I do, Warshafsky are my lawyers.
Krista & Stephanie Battled Insurance Companies and WON!
Never did I imagine we would hire a personal injury lawyer. In fact, when my husband's life was seriously shaken after an intoxicated driver hit and caused a roll-over (which killed 2 of my husband's friends) we waited almost two months before admitting that we couldn't manage the legal issues and m...
Never did I imagine we would hire a personal injury lawyer. In fact, when my husband's life was seriously shaken after an intoxicated driver hit and caused a roll-over (which killed 2 of my husband's friends) we waited almost two months before admitting that we couldn't manage the legal issues and medical bills ourselves. Tom and I learned that our insurance company was not on our side. We also learned that there are so many intricacies in the auto and health insurance industries that we were ill-equipped to handle it all. At this time, we reluctantly called Warshafsky to interview them for possible services. John came to the hospital to meet with us regarding the accident. It was immediately clear that we made the right call and we chose to hire them right away. We turned our worries over to them. We got a call from attorney Krista Rosolino shortly after the initial meeting. From there, we had very regular contact with both Krista and her paralegal Stephanie Laurich. They gave us invaluable advice about what to do/not do. They were responsive to email and phone calls. They were patient with us and our questions. They addressed each of our concerns with both professionalism and care. Tom's injuries were extensive. They required over two months of hospitalization and dozens of surgeries. We were 6 hours from home, making my situation more complicated. When he was finally released, Tom was medically fragile and we were both weary. During this time, Krista and Stephanie were nothing short of amazing. They instilled confidence and demonstrated every ounce of professionalism we needed. Dealing with insurance companies is not for the faint of heart. Both Krista and Stephanie clearly knew their stuff. They went with full force in getting compliance from the insurance companies. They also were very compassionate in our need to work through settlement issues with the other parties. They knew when to be bulldogs and they knew when to listen to us. We loved everything about their work, but that was my favorite part in hiring them. Krista and Stephanie are the real deal. I would recommend them in a heartbeat. Paula
Victor Went Above & Beyond for a Milwaukee Personal Injury Case
Victor Harding and his team went above and beyond for my son's personal injury. I highly recommend this law firm to everyone I know! Thank you!!
Milwaukee’s Car Accident Lawyers & Personal Injury Attorneys