When serious injuries occur, it can lead to life-changing issues. If you or a loved one are a victim of injuries you sustained in a boating accident, it’s time to seek the counsel of a Columbia boat accident attorney at George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers.
You shouldn’t have to worry about recovering losses on your own, especially not while you are trying to focus on your recovery. Our South Carolina attorneys can help you recover financially from the damages you’ve incurred.
For a free legal consultation with a boat accidents lawyer serving Columbia, call 803-999-2993
Boating Laws and Regulations in South Carolina
According to South Carolina’s Official State Regulation Guide, there are several laws that boaters must abide by to operate on the waterways. Here are a few of these rules:
- A boat operator must not exceed idle speed within 50 feet of an anchored vessel, wharf, pier, dock, or person in the water. They also can’t exceed idle speed within 100 yards of the Atlantic coastline.
- All boats must be equipped with Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device (PFD) that is wearable and in good condition.
- Navigation lights must be used between official sunset and sunrise for visibility
- Flares are essential on all boats in coastal waters
- If a boat is less than 39.4 feet, then it must be equipped with a sound-producing device. If the boat is between 39.4 – 65.6 feet, then it must have a whistle and bell.
- Boat operators under the age of 16 must complete an SCDNR-approved course or be with an adult over the age of 18
These rules are to ensure the safety of others traversing on the water.
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Boating Accident Statistics
Even with the laws and requirements for operating a boat, accidents still occur. The USCG Boating Statistics Report states a total of 633 boating fatalities in 2018. Nonfatal accidents are more complicated to track, but they are definitely higher in number. When an accident on the water occurs, even if it’s nonfatal, it can bring devastation to many lives.
These boating accidents may occur for a variety of reasons. Even if someone is abiding by the rules listed above, an accident can happen due to inattentiveness or other factors. Reckless boating or boating under the influence can also be factors.
Inexperienced drivers may not be able to manage difficult situations in the water, and this may cause them to get into an accident.
Steps to Take After a Boating Accident
The United States Coast Guard (USCG) operates under federal law as it concerns boating accidents. This law requires participants in a boating accident to file an official report of the accident following their state reporting guidelines if the following occurs:
- Someone dies
- Someone is injured and requires medical treatment, which is more than simple first aid
- Someone disappears from the boat, and injury or death is suspected
- There is damage to the vessels that exceed $2,000 (this amount could be lower based on the exact location of the accident. Check with your Columbia boat accident lawyer for details)
- The boat is destroyed
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South Carolina Law in Boating Accidents
You have rights under South Carolina’s personal injury laws to file a boating accident claim. What type of damages can you claim? Although injuries from a boating accident may vary from person to person, the damages will fall within certain categories. Some of these recoverable damages include:
- Medical costs
- Wages lost from being out of work
- Future earnings if you are disabled due to the accident
- Wrongful death if applicable
- Loss of consortium
- Mental pain and suffering
If you’ve been injured in a boating accident, you deserve compensation. Find out what your options are by getting in touch with a Columbia boat accident lawyer. Check out our client testimonials to learn more about what we can do for you.
Seek Help From a Columbia Boat Accident Lawyer
Getting into a boating accident can be traumatic and result in numerous injuries. If this happened to you, take action now by contacting a Columbia boat accident lawyer.
At George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers, we will make sure your rights are protected. We will do everything in our power to build a strong case and fight for the best possible outcome.