If you do not know who to pursue for damages after a boating collision, a lawyer may be able to help you. A Lexington boat accident attorney from George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers may be able to establish liability in your case to help you secure a financial award.
You may be able to seek damages for the following:
- Property damages
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning capacity
- Medical expenses
If a loved one passed away due to the accident, you may be able to collect damages for funeral and burial costs, your loved one’s last medical costs, loss of consortium and guidance, and loss of income.
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Important Things to Know About Compensation
You can file an insurance claim under the proper policy, but the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) reports that boat operators do not need proof of insurance to register a boat in the state.
Even if everyone involved has insurance, you may not secure a settlement at this stage. Some insurance companies try to pay out as little as possible to accident victims. You may decide to file a lawsuit. You (or your lawyer) can continue to negotiate at this point. Your case may never even make it to court.
You may be able to collect damages even if you think you were partly at fault for the accident. Under the modified comparative negligence doctrine that South Carolina follows (South Carolina Code § 15-38-15), you can collect some compensation as long as you are less than 50% at fault.
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What to Do If You Have Not Already
Make sure that you see a doctor after your accident. This can connect your injuries to the accident, in addition to allowing you to ensure that you are healthy. There is always a chance that you suffered an injury that may not make itself obvious.
South Carolina Code § 50-21-10 states that you will need to report your Lexington, SC, boat accident to the SCDNR if the following happens:
- Loss of life
- Loss of consciousness
- Someone is carried away from the scene
- Medical treatment is required
- Property is damaged that is worth more than a minimum amount set by the United States Coast Guard
Take photos of your boat and any injuries that you suffered. Detail your experiences healing from your injuries in a journal. You can even document your healing process via photos or videos.
Be sure to turn over any contact information you may have gathered from eyewitnesses at the accident scene to your boat accident lawyer in Lexington, SC. Keep all of your medical receipts and prescriptions on hand, as well. All of these may prove helpful in proving your claim.
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Possible Boat Accident Causes
Most South Carolina boaters follow safety tips and guidelines. But if someone else has hit your boat, and you want to hold them accountable for their negligent action or inaction, we may be able to help. Your accident may have been due to any of the following circumstances:
Intoxicated Boat Operation
It is illegal to operate a boat while intoxicated “to the extent that the person’s faculties to operate are materially and appreciably impaired,” under South Carolina Code § 50-21-112. If someone chose to do so, they would likely be determined to be negligent.
There are speed limits boat operators must uphold. If someone failed to operate their watercraft at an appropriate speed for weather conditions and wave height, they could be liable for your injuries.
Defective Boat Part
If there was a part of your (or another person’s) boat that caused or contributed to your accident, you may be able to pursue compensation from the manufacturer and/or seller of the part. There may be multiple liable parties in this circumstance.
Damaged or Stolen Lights or Signs
Your accident may have been caused by a lack of proper safety warnings or lights in the area. A municipality or individual may be negligent if they knew (or should have known) about something like a broken light bulb under a bridge or a stolen sign warning of shallow waters. If you damaged your boat or got hurt due to something like this, we may be able to help you.
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Call Our Team Today to Begin
You do not have to pay us until and unless a Lexington, SC, boat accident lawyer wins you damages. This way, you can direct your current finances to more relevant bills. No one expects accidents, and some might not have money put away for an event like this. We know what you are going through, and we want to help.
Retaining a lawyer from George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers is not something you have to do in order to collect compensation, but you may not be aware of all the relevant state laws or opportunities to collect damages. We can answer your questions.
We can also negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf, protect your rights, represent you in court, file paperwork, collect evidence, and evaluate your damages. Call us or fill out our online contact form today. We offer all prospective clients free consultations.
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