A Myrtle Beach boat accident lawyer may be able to help you file a personal injury lawsuit against a negligent boating operator if you were injured because of their actions or inaction. The team at George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers may be able to help you build a case that describes what you have been through since the boating accident.
Depending on the extent of your injuries and losses, you may be entitled to compensation, and we want to help you fight for your right to receive it. Call today for a free case evaluation.
For a free legal consultation with a boat accidents lawyer serving Myrtle Beach, call 843-779-1777
How Boat Operators Can Be Liable in an Accident
For many, Myrtle Beach is a vacation destination for the summer, where people can hop on a boat and cruise the Atlantic coastline off South Carolina. However, while boating is a fun aquatic pastime for tourists and locals alike, boating accidents occur every year, involving serious injuries and even fatalities.
The U.S. Coast Guard reported 4,145 boating-related accidents in 2018, which involved 2,511 injuries and 633 fatalities. In South Carolina specifically, 130 recreational boating accidents occurred that year, with 16 of those accidents resulting in a fatality. The reasons boating accidents occur can range from reckless boating operator behaviors, such as boating under the influence, to a lack of safety equipment.
Commercial boating operators must be licensed, have proper safety education, and adhere to boating laws. However, as is common in tourist locations, people may rent boats for recreational purposes. If a person operates a boat without proper training, accidents can occur.
Myrtle Beach Boat Accidents Lawyer Near Me843-779-1777
Boating Operators Have a Duty of Care to Their Passengers
Per S.C. Ann. 50-21-110/111, no person is allowed to operate a water device in a negligent or reckless manner. Water devices include motorboats, personal watercraft, water skis, surfboards, aquaplanes, and other watercraft.
This means that all boating operators, licensed or not, owe a duty of care to passengers and other vessels in the water. Committing one of the following negligent or reckless boating behaviors may result in penalties:
- Boating while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Operating a water device within 50 feet of another vessel
- Speeding in a no-wake zone
- Failing to keep watch of other water devices or people in the water
- Pulling a water skier in a designated swimming area in the water
- Recklessly weaving through congested boat traffic
- Crossing the path of another vessel or blocking another vessel from moving
- Chasing or disturbing wildlife
The U.S. Coast Guard reported that the top five contributing factors of boating accidents are operator inattention, operator inexperience, speeding, machinery malfunction, and failure to keep proper watch of other vessels or people in the water. One of the main causes of improper boat operator behavior is alcohol consumption, which was found as the main causal factor in 19 percent of boating accident deaths.
Boating accident injuries and fatalities may also occur because of a lack of proper safety equipment on the vessel. According to the South Carolina Boating Regulations, vessels must be equipped with the following under certain circumstances:
- Personal floatation devices (PFDs), such as life jackets and lifesaver rings
- Navigation lights
- Fire extinguisher
- Sound-producing device (such as a bell or whistle)
A Myrtle Beach boat accident lawyer can look over your case and determine if a boating operator may be at fault for your injuries, whether because of negligent behavior or a lack of safety equipment.
Boat Accident Injuries Can Be Severe and Even Lead to Death
Sustaining an injury from a boating accident is no laughing matter. The water can be deadly on its own, but the risk for injury increases when a boating operator is not taking the proper precautions to keep others safe in the water.
Common boating accidents include:
- Being struck by a boat propeller
- Falling overboard
- Being run over by a boat, jet ski, or other water device
- Slipping and falling on a vessel
Any of these accidents can lead to severe injuries, such as:
- Skin lacerations, bruises, and other forms of scarring
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Spinal cord and back injuries
- Head and neck injuries
- Broken bones
- Loss of consciousness or brain damage
In the worst case scenario, a boat accident can lead to a wrongful death. The U.S. Coast Guard reported drowning as the leading cause of death in 77 percent of boating accident fatalities, and that 84 percent of those who drowned in a boating accident were not wearing a PFD. Had a boating operator supplied proper safety equipment or care, victims may not have drowned.
However, another alarming statistic to note is that 74 percent of deaths occurred because the boating operator did not have proper safety instruction or education.
If you lost a loved one in a boating accident, you do not have to tolerate this kind of injustice. Call a South Carolina wrongful death lawyer today to see if you qualify for a wrongful death lawsuit.
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Know the Statute of Limitations for Boat Accidents
Claimants generally have three years to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit for a boat accident, per S.C. Ann. 15-3-530. Through this lawsuit, claimants may request compensation from the at-fault party for their losses, such as:
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Lost income or reduced earning capacity
- Permanent disability or disfigurement
- Loss of consortium if a wrongful death occurred
Your lawyer can help you file your lawsuit within the statutory deadline, as failure to do so may result in your case being dismissed.
Hire a Myrtle Beach Boat Accident Lawyer From George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers
If you or a loved one got into a boating accident due to the negligence of a boating operator, you might be eligible to file a personal injury claim against them to compensate you for your losses. People who lost a family member due to a boating accident may file a wrongful death claim on their loved one’s behalf.
Call now to speak with a team member at George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers about your case. We are ready to listen to what happened to you or your loved one and help you make a plan of action on how you want to pursue compensation. You can worry about recovering from your injuries. Just leave the rest to us.