Boat accidents can cause a variety of accidents – such as slips and falls, burns, traumatic brain injuries (TBI), spinal injuries, or broken bones. When they occur, victims are often left paying for medical bills and losing income during recovery. They also experience pain and suffering, which can affect them and their families.
If this sounds like your story, then now is the time to take legal action. You have the right to hire a boat accident lawyer in North Charleston and pursue compensation for damages. George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers can help you with your personal injury claim.
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South Carolina Maritime Laws and Regulations Which May Affect Your Case
Since personal and commercial boating is a big part of life on the South Carolina coast, South Carolina maritime laws are enacted to prevent injuries and protect victims’ rights. These laws cover all boating issues, such as:
- Reckless operation
- Unauthorized boat access prevention
- Proper licensing and vessel registration
- Proper usage of all boating equipment
- Safety regulations for all types of vessels
- Operation violations and penalties
Laws are intended to hold boat operators, boat owners, or boat companies accountable for law violations or boat accidents.
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South Carolina Penalties for Reckless Operation of Vessels
South Carolina imposes firm penalties for reckless behavior or negligence that leads to injuries or fatalities. S.C.C. Ann. § 50-21-111 defines reckless operation as “wanton or willful disregard for the safety of people” when operating a boat. Some examples of reckless operation may include:
- Weaving through other vessels
- Speeding too fast for conditions
- Jumping water too close to other vessels
- Obstructing the view of oncoming vessels
- Maintaining a collision course with another vessel
- Operating a vessel while under the influence
The penalties for violating boat operating laws may include fines, jail time, or license suspension. Violators may lose their right to operate a vessel on the water. They may also have to attend a mandatory boating safety education program before being allowed to operate their boat on the water again.
When reckless operation ends in a fatality or injury, the victim or their family also has the right to submit a personal injury claim or file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. If you would like to know more about your legal rights and options in South Carolina, then contact George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers.
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What to Do After a Boat Accident
The first few steps you take after a boat accident are critical to the success of your personal injury case. While your injuries may prevent you from doing what you need to prove your case, you may be able to take some of the following actions after the accident.
Seek Medical Treatment Immediately
The most important action you can take after your accident is to care for your injuries. Visit the ER or your doctor immediately after the accident, even if you think that you may be okay. The longer you delay receiving treatment, the more difficult it becomes to connect the accident to your injuries.
Document the Boat Accident
There are several ways you can document your accident. First, try to get the names and numbers of eyewitnesses. Second, take photos or videos of the accident.
Finally, keep all medical documents. You can provide documentation to your lawyer who can follow up and use it to build your case.
Limit Communication with Others
It may be tempting to talk with others or share your accident on social media. However, doing so can backfire quickly. Try to limit communication with other people, the media, or the insurance company. Doing so can keep you from accidentally incriminating yourself during your case.
Consult Boat Accident Lawyers in North Charleston
Before you speak with anyone about the accident, you may want to consult a boat accident attorney in North Charleston. You will have the opportunity to discuss your case, ask questions, and get valuable legal advice. Legal counsel gets you on the right track when you decide to submit a personal injury claim to the insurance company.
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Damages You Can Claim in a Boat Accident Case
When seeking damages after a boat accident, we will look at all the ways in which the accident affected your health, finances, and your family. We review all economic and non-economic damages, such as:
- Lost wages
- Medical treatment
- Physical suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of companionship
- Property damage
- Wrongful death
In wrongful death cases, your family may be entitled to recover death-related damages. Losses may include:
- Lost household income
- Burial/funeral expenses
- Pre-death medical bills
- Pain and suffering of the deceased
We push for fair compensation that covers all of your expenses and personal losses.
Get Help From Our Boat Accident Attorneys in North Charleston
George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers is dedicated to helping you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries and subsequent damages. To get started with your case, contact our law firm. Call us to get a free consultation with a North Charleston boat accident attorney.
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