The U.S. Coast Guard reports that there were 4,168 recreational boating accidents in 2019. These boating accidents caused 613 fatalities, 2,559 injuries, and approximately $55 million in property damage. While some boating accidents may not always be avoidable, many others are caused by negligent or incompetent boat operators.
If you were harmed by a negligent boat operator, a Cayce boat accident attorney from George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers can review the circumstances surrounding your accident and inform you if you have a claim.
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Potential Causes of Boating Accidents Include Drinking and Speeding
There may be various causes that lead to boating accidents. However, the U.S. Coast Guard reports that the following factors most commonly contribute to boating accidents:
- Boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Not being experienced with operating a vessel
- Not receiving proper boating safety instruction
- Speeding or weaving through boat traffic
- Being distracted
- Not paying attention to or looking out for vessels and people nearby
- Being struck by a propeller
When a person’s negligence causes a boating accident, accident victims may be qualified for compensation. A boat accident lawyer in Cayce from George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers can help determine the cause of the accident and the parties responsible for it.
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Boating Under the Influence Can Lead to Severe Injuries or Death
The U.S. Coast Guard reports that alcohol is the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents. Additionally, it is listed as the leading factor in 23 percent of fatalities in accidents where the primary cause was known.
S.C. Ann. § 50-21-112 prohibits operating a moving motorized water device while under the influence of drugs or alcohol to the point that the operator’s faculties are “materially and appreciably impaired.” A boat can be pulled over by law enforcement if they suspect impairment. In addition to possible jail time and fines, a person convicted of this offense may lose their privilege to operate a vessel for six months.
If the person who harmed you was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, our personal injury lawyers can thoroughly investigate the accident and collect evidence of this. We can also review their boating history to see if there are any previous convictions of this offense or a pattern of negligent boating.
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Understanding Maritime Law Can Help You Build Your Case
Maritime law governs boating accidents and disputes that occur on a navigable body of water. This type of federal law also addresses accidents that occur when people are working, transporting goods across the water, or simply boating on open waters as recreation.
If you were injured in a boating accident, you may choose to work with a boat accident lawyer in Cayce who is familiar with maritime law and federal claims.
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Collect Evidence to Help Prove Your Case
To receive any compensation for your claim, you must have evidence that establishes the other party is to blame and that you sustained damages as a result of the accident.
Our boat accident attorneys in Cayce can help gather evidence to support your claim. However, you may also be able to collect or have some evidence of your own, such as:
- Photos you took at the accident scene
- Videos you took of the accident scene
- Medical records that attribute your injuries to the boating accident
- A copy of the police report and other official reports of the boating accident
Our lawyers can gather additional evidence after investigating the accident and interviewing eyewitnesses.
Possible Damages in Boating Accidents
Boating accidents often cause deaths and serious injuries due to accident victims having little protection against an impending collision or explosion. Damages that you may have suffered in a boating accident might include:
- Property damage
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
If a loved one passed away in a boating accident, you may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim on their behalf to collect compensation for funeral expenses and other damages.
A personal injury lawyer can review your claim and determine the damages you may be able to pursue compensation.
You Can Enlist the Help of a Personal Injury Lawyer to Build Your Case
Our Cayce boat accident lawyers can walk you through the claims process. If you choose to work with us, our team may provide the following services:
Advise You of Your Rights
When you first contact our firm, we will get a better idea about the circumstances surrounding your accident and whether you have a viable claim for compensation. We can advise you of your rights and your legal options to pursue compensation for your claim. We can also discuss the steps involved in filing a boating accident claim.
Investigate Your Accident
Our legal team may also investigate the accident. During this stage, we can review accident reports and medical records. We may also interview eyewitnesses. Your lawyer may also be able to get information from law enforcement, other parties, businesses, and eyewitnesses. We will gather as much evidence as possible during this stage to substantiate your claim.
Your personal injury lawyer may also request medical records, employment records, and other evidence of the damages you have sustained. This information can help your lawyer compile a statement regarding your injuries and damages.
Negotiate Your Claim With the Insurance Company
We will prepare a demand package that summarizes the damages you sustained. We can handle all communications with the insurance company, so there is no need for you to give a recorded statement. If you need to make a claim with your own insurance company, we can help prepare a statement for you or coach you on what to say and not say.
If the insurance company offers a low settlement, we can argue why a higher settlement figure may be warranted. We strive to use our negotiating powers to secure a fair settlement. If this is not possible, we can discuss taking your case to court.
Contact Us Today for Help With Your Claim
If you or a loved one was injured in a boating accident, our Cayce boat accident lawyers from George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers are standing by, ready to help. Our attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. We do not get paid any attorney’s fees unless we successfully recover compensation on your behalf.
Contact our firm today by phone or through our online form to get started with a free case review.
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