South Carolina Boating Laws and Accident Reporting Requirements

If you have been in a boating accident, you may not know what your next step should be. Understanding South Carolina’s boating accident reporting laws is a major first step in navigating a potential injury claim.

Our boat accident attorneys in Moncks Corner, SC have experience with complex cases. We can help you with the details of your case so that you can begin the necessary steps after a boating collision. Contact us to get started.

South Carolina Boating Laws

Most people are familiar when it comes to laws regarding something like driving, but anyone operating a watercraft needs to understand South California’s boating laws. Whoever isn’t familiar with these laws could be at risk of causing an accident from negligence without realizing it. Being unaware of boat operation laws in South Carolina isn’t an excuse to avoid liability.

Here are some examples of the primary boating laws a boat owner should be aware of in South Carolina:

  • Never pass a boat stopped by law enforcement at a speed over no-wake.
  • Do not go over idle speed if you’re within 50 feet of an object like a wharf, bulkhead, pier, or a person in the water.
  • Never obstruct an access area to facilities, a pier, boat ramp, or dock.
  • Do not exceed the limits on weight and the number of passengers for your boat.
  • Yield right of way to a boat you are passing, and when boats cross paths, the boat on the right side needs to yield.
  • Always heave to and allow law enforcement, the Coast Guard, or the DNR to board your boat when you are signaled.
  • Maintain safe speeds and a constant lookout to avoid collisions.
  • Do not go within 50 feet of another boat with a diver down flag.
  • Never exceed idle speed when you are within 100 yards of the Atlantic Ocean coastline.

Does a Boat Accident Have to be Reported in South Carolina?

If you own a boat, you may be wondering when are you required to file an accident report while boating. In South Carolina, boating laws require boaters to report an accident within ten days if there is damage to the vessel or other kinds of property. In the case of a death, injury, or disappearance, you are required to report within 48 hours.

Is Boat Insurance Required in South Carolina?

Something boaters need to understand is that South Carolina does not require boat insurance.

With that being said, it is still very important to have insurance in the case of a collision.

Uninsured and underinsured coverage helps to protect you if you are in a collision with another boater who is not insured or doesn’t have enough insurance to cover your claim. This kind of insurance coverage ensures you receive compensation for any injuries sustained from the crash.

There are also other types of boating insurance that help to provide coverage for your boat, its contents, and other kinds of damages.

What to Do After a Boat Collision in South Carolina

If you were in a boating accident, there are certain things you need to do to follow local boating laws. Taking these steps also ensures you are setting yourself up for success if you plan on filing a case.

Report the accident

An official boating accident report needs to be filed with either law enforcement or the Coast Guard regarding property damage or physical injury. It is a good idea to do this since an accident report will serve as evidence if you file for damages.

Exchange information

Getting into a boating accident is similar to being in a vehicle accident when it comes to interacting with the other party. You’ll want to make sure you exchange information with the other party involved, including personal contact information, the names of the insurers, and the vessel identification number.

Document evidence

After a boating collision, it is a good idea to collect as much evidence on the scene as possible.

This usually includes taking photos of the damage to your boat, any bodily injuries, and the scene of the crash.

Seek medical care

If you were injured in a boating collision, you need to seek medical attention, even if it doesn’t feel serious. There are many invisible injuries that can have future consequences, and it is always better to practice caution after an accident.

Hire an attorney

No matter the situation regarding the boating accident, it is important to hire an attorney you can rely on. Lawyers understand your legal options and have access to more information and resources to help create a substantial case.

Hire a Moncks Corner Boat Accident Attorney Today

After getting into a boating accident, do the necessary steps to verify everyone is okay and the authorities are alerted. Then, consider hiring an attorney to consider filing a claim or a lawsuit. If your insurance company is being stubborn, or you were in a collision with an uninsured boater, you are going to need legal help getting the compensation you deserve.

Our team in Moncks Corner understands how South Carolina’s boating laws may apply to your case and can help you collect evidence to create a compelling case. Contact us today at West Law Firm Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation, or you can call us directly at 843-483-8630.

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