Various actions and factors can lead to an accident while boating. Boating accidents often result in significant financial losses, as well as injuries and trauma. If another boater’s negligence is what caused your accident and subsequent injuries, you should not be financially responsible for the damages. When you contact a Union boat accident attorney from George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers, you can discuss your case and determine your legal options.
Our attorneys take on cases involving boating and personal injury law, so our clients do not have to navigate their legal proceedings alone. We can handle investigating the collision, collecting evidence to build a case, negotiating with insurance companies, and going to court, when needed. All you need to do is reach out to our firm and find out how we may be able to help you.
Get in touch with the team at George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers today and discuss what may come next in your boating accident case. We will start you off with a free consultation and only charge if we secure your compensation.
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Steps to Take After a Boating Accident
After a boating accident, you may wonder what the rules are as far as reporting the collision and what you need to do next. The United States Coast Guard (USCG) does have regulations about reporting boating accidents. Specifically, you must file an official report if any of the following occurs:
- Someone perishes due to the accident
- Someone disappears from the boat, and you suspect they have perished or are injured
- Someone is injured, beyond a simple first-aid measure
- There are substantial damages to the vessel
- The boat is destroyed
Once you have reported the accident, you should seek medical attention for your injuries. This creates a medical record, which you can use as evidence in your personal injury case for compensation.
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Building a Case for a Boating Accident
When you get into a boating accident, your case may appear straightforward at first, requiring nothing but a simple insurance claim. However, there are three legal requirements that you must fulfill to negotiate a fair settlement in personal injury cases. These involve proving the following:
- Duty of care: You must be able to outline how the other party owed you a duty of care—reasonable steps they must take to preserve your safety and the safety of others, such as following local boating laws.
- Breach of duty of care: This portion of the evidence must show the other party broke the duty of care they owed you, such as through an act of malice or negligence.
- Connection between the accident and your damages: During the causation and damages phase, you or your attorney must show a connection between how you got injured and the accident.
Evidence in a case like this may include statements from eyewitnesses, reports from responding officers, and photographs of the damage. You may also present medical records from a doctor regarding your injuries.
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Boating Laws and Regulations in South Carolina
When you hire an attorney to work on your case, they will also look at the boating rules and regulations to see if the other party broke any of them. For example, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources puts forth the following rules:
- A boat operator cannot be within 100 feet of the Atlantic coastline when idling
- A boat operator cannot be within 50 feet of an anchored vessel, wharf, pier, dock, or person in the water when idling
- Navigation lights must be on between official sunset and sunrise
- Flares are essential on all boats in coastal waters
- Boats must have Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device (PFD) on board, and they must be in good condition
- If a boat is less than 39.4 feet, it must be equipped with a sound-producing device
- If the boat is between 39.4 – 65.6 feet, it must be equipped with a whistle and bell
- Boat operators must complete an SCDNR-approved course or be with an adult over the age of 18 if they are under the age of 16
These rules help to ensure everyone’s safety and failing to follow them may contribute to a boating accident. A Union boat accident lawyer can also help you determine if someone was driving while impaired or distracted, or if they were speeding. These are other factors that can lead to accidents.
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Recoverable Damages from a Boating Accident
When a boating accident occurs, there are different damages your attorney may be able to help you recover. The first step is to identify your injuries and calculate your financial losses. Some of the recoverable damages they may argue for on your behalf include:
- Medical expenses.
- Mental anguish.
- Lost wages from being out of work.
- Estimated loss of future earnings from permanent disability.
- Loss of consortium.
Your attorney can help you calculate the value of these economic and non-economic damages. A lawyer will also ensure you file your claim promptly.
Contact a Union Boat Accident Lawyer for Help
If you are suffering injuries after a boating accident, working with a boat accident attorney from George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers can help you understand all your options for collecting the financial compensation that is rightfully yours.
Get in touch with a boat accident lawyer at George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers to begin the process of recovering damages from a boating accident. We will begin with a free case consultation. Call now for more information.
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