If you or a loved one has been hurt in a boating accident that you believe was caused by the negligence of another party, the team at George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers can help. While boating offers a fun way to relax and spend time with your loved ones, if a vessel is not operated with care, serious accidents can occur.
In 2018, the U.S. Coast Guard released a study regarding the dangers associated with boating accidents. The top ten leading causes of boating accidents cited in the report included:
- Operator inattention
- Improper lookout
- Operator inexperience
- Machinery failure
- Excessive speed
- Alcohol and drug use
- Force of wake or wave
- Navigation rules violation
- Hazardous waters
Our law firm can help you understand your legal options and determine if you have grounds for claiming compensation. Call today and discuss your case with us in a free consultation.
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Liable Parties in an Aiken Boating Accident
Boat operators are expected to follow boating laws and take measures to protect their passengers against harm. When another responsible party fails to take the appropriate steps required by law to promote safety, they could be held liable for your injuries and losses.
When an accident occurs, it may not always be another boat driver who is responsible. Proving liability can be challenging in some cases, especially in the event of a collision where evidence is hard to piece together. However, one or more of the following parties could be held responsible for your accident:
- Another boat operator
- The owner of the boat
- A vessel manufacturer
- A rental company
- Other passengers, if their behavior contributed to the accident recklessly
An Aiken boat accident attorney can help you identify the responsible parties and gather evidence to prove liability.
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How an Aiken Boat Accident Lawyer Can Support Your Case
Depending on the extent of your injuries and the circumstances of the accident, you may be able to pursue compensation from the party responsible for your damages. In addition to supporting you through the claims process from start to finish and ensuring that your rights are protected, your boat accident lawyer in Aiken can build a detailed and robust case by:
- Investigating the cause of your accident
- Gathering evidence to determine liability
- Proving negligence
- Estimating the value of your claim
- Negotiating with insurance company representatives
- Reviewing settlement offers
If you need legal advice following a boating accident, contact George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers. You could benefit from a free case review to determine your legal options and advance your case.
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Boating and Insurance Regulations in South Carolina
According to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, boaters must comply with specific rules and guidelines when operating a vessel. If the other party in your case violated any of the following regulations, they can be held financially liable for your losses. The following applies to all boats operating on the waters of South Carolina:
Boats are not allowed to exceed idle speed when coming within 50 feet of another anchor vessel, wharf, pier, dock, or a person in the water. Furthermore, vessels may not operate over idle speed within 100 yards of the Atlantic coastline.
All boats must supply and use U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets for everyone aboard the vessel, which must be in good condition and the correct size. Boats less than 26 feet must also carry an approved hand-held fire extinguisher if it:
- Carries passengers
- Is for hire
- Has a permanently installed gas tank
Other equipment required is navigation lights, which must be on between official sunset and sunrise, flares, and sound alarm devices, such as bells and whistles.
Boaters under the age of 16 are required to complete a boating course to operate vessels with a motor of 15 horsepower or more. If they do not complete the course, then they are only able to operate such watercraft under the supervision of an adult.
Alcohol and Drug Use While Boating
S.C. Code §50-21-112 prohibits people from operating a motorboat, jet ski, or sailboat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Boating under the influence (BUI) convictions carries steep penalties and fines, especially if someone is killed or injured.
While boating insurance is not a legal requirement in South Carolina, it can be beneficial to carry insurance for your boat. However, some marinas may require that you have liability coverage.
If you have any questions or concerns about claiming compensation after being injured in a boating accident caused by another party’s negligence, it can be helpful to consider the benefits of a boat accident attorney in Aiken. Your attorney will help you navigate the complex legal process to achieve a fair settlement for your losses.
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Claiming Compensation After a Boating Accident
The team at George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers represents people who are injured in boating accidents caused by negligence in Aiken. Our legal team helps our clients recover a fair settlement for their injuries and losses to help cover the costs incurred through:
- Medical bills
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Lost wages
- Reduced future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
Contact the Attorneys at Sink Law for Help Today
We work hard to get you the compensation you deserve. We have helped our clients successfully resolve over 40,000 cases over 40 years. Let us put our knowledge and experience to work for you.
We offer a no-win, no-fee service, which means that you do not pay us our attorney’s fees unless we secure a settlement or verdict for you. Call for a free case evaluation today.
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