If you have been in a boating accident, proving who is negligent can be an overwhelming process. That is why hiring a boating accident lawyer to represent your case and help you handle the details is crucial.
At West Law Firm Personal Injury Lawyers, we help victims involved in personal watercraft accidents in the Moncks Corner, SC area. Our team of personal injury attorneys help residents and vacationers investigate and create a strong boat accident claim so they can get the compensation they deserve.
How Do Boat Accidents Happen?
There are a variety of negligent behaviors that could cause a boating accident that could lead to severe injuries. When most people think of boating accidents, they think of different watercraft colliding with one another. This is a possibility, but there are other types of accidents that are also very common:
- Lacking proper gear: Even though people know that they need to have the proper safety gear when boating, many people still ignore this. The US Coast Guard reports that in over half of all drowning fatalities the boaters were not wearing life jackets.
- Running aground: A very dangerous type of boating accident is running aground due to a lack of care or experience.
- Drinking: Because many people enjoy boating as a form of entertainment, alcohol is very often involved, which creates much more risk for an accident occurring.
- Ignoring the weather: When you take your boat out, one of the main concerns is what the weather will be like. Things like rain, fog, and wind can all create a risk of running aground, collisions, and sinking.
Common Boating Accident Injuries
Getting into a boating accident is something that could easily cause serious bodily injuries. How serious the injuries are will depend on the type of accident and where you were in the boat at the time. Some common injuries include bone fractures, lacerations, and whiplash. More severe accidents pose the risk of brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and drowning.
If you have been injured in a boating accident in South Carolina, you need to hire a boating accident lawyer to represent you. This ensures that you will get the care and compensation you need if you are not at fault.
Boating Safety Requirements and Precautions
If you are going to be operating a watercraft in South Carolina, it is up to you to understand the safety requirements and precautions. Driving a boat is very similar to operating a vehicle as it requires personal responsibility when it comes to your safety as well as the safety of others.
When you are operating a watercraft, a very important requirement is to have the right safety gear on board. You need to have a US Coast Guard-approved wearable personal flotation device for each person on board. These flotation devices need to be in good condition and be the right size for the people on board. For watercraft over 16 feet in length, you also need to have a Type IV throwable device on board.
It is also advised to keep fire extinguishers on board in the case of a boat fire, as well as first aid kits.
Anyone who owns a boat or plans on operating one needs to have the proper boating education. You need to have taken a boating education course that teaches you how to safely navigate the boat and avoid potential accidents. This should include general safety training so that you are prepared in case anything goes wrong.
Like the majority of places in the US, South Carolina law prohibits operating a watercraft while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Drugs and alcohol can impair your abilities to navigate the boat and react to different situations. It is also best not to let anyone else on the boat drink since this puts them at risk if they were to fall overboard.
Who May Be Liable for a Boat Accident?
If you have been in a boating accident, you may want to file a boat accident claim if you were injured or your property was damaged. If that is the case, you need to hire a boat accident lawyer who can help you create your case and gather the required evidence. This is important because you will need to prove who is liable for the boat accident to receive compensation.
Here are some examples of when a boater may be responsible for an accident:
- Driving impaired
- Distracted driving
- Lack of experience
- Violating navigation rules
Your boating accident lawyer will investigate these accident details so that they can help you receive compensation for damaged property, bodily injuries, and emotional damages. Having a boat accident attorney investigate the incident is especially important if the other party is also creating a claim.
Contact a Lawyer About Your Boating Accident Case
The after-effects of getting into a boating accident can feel very overwhelming, especially if you may want to file a boating accident claim.
Our trusted legal team at West Law Firm Personal Injury Lawyers can help you get the justice you deserve by creating a strong case in your favor. Contact us today to request your free consultation, or call us directly at 843-483-8630 to reach a member of our team immediately.