Boat accidents may not generally get the attention that motor vehicle accidents do. However, the consequences of being injured on the water can be just as great – if not worse – than those of road accidents. Those responsible for causing a boat accident could be held financially liable for your medical costs and other accident-related losses.
A boat accident lawyer in Gaffney may be able to pursue compensation on your behalf. Call George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers today for a free consultation about retaining our services after a boat accident.
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Boating Requires Responsibility
Those who operate boats have a general responsibility to keep those inside and outside of their vessel safe. This may mean considering the welfare of:
- Passengers riding in the boat
- Those being towed behind the boat
- Snorkelers and other types of swimmers
- Occupants in other boats and water-faring vessels
The BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water notes that maintaining the proper number and type of life jackets on board, servicing fire extinguishers, refraining from alcohol abuse, and understanding navigation practices are a few ways to reduce the risk of a boat accident. Other safety-conscious steps that boat drivers may take include:
- Taking courses regarding boat safety and navigation
- Brushing up on the meaning of various signals encountered on the water
- Ensuring that you have contact lenses, eyeglasses, sunglasses, or other tools you need to see clearly
- Using a depth-finding navigation device to avoid running aground
- Having a spotter to keep an eye on anybody being towed behind the boat
- Driving the boat at a safe speed at all times
- Being particularly cognizant of the presence of swimmers in the water
- Turning the motor off as soon as you realize a swimmer may be near the engine
- Accelerating steadily, rather than rapidly
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Alcohol and Boating Can Lead to Injury and Death
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) cites the dangers of drinking excessively and driving a boat. The NIAAA cites U.S. Coast Guard findings that alcohol is the leading contributor to boating deaths.
Boaters who have alcohol in their system are substantially more likely to die in a boating accident than somebody who has no alcohol in their system, per NIAAA. Boaters who are intoxicated:
- May have poorer coordination,
- Be less aware of their surroundings,
- Lack the alertness needed to remain aware of changing conditions
- Could behave dangerously
The Insurance Information Institute (III) notes that you should prevent anybody you believe is intoxicated from operating a boat. Depending on the specifics of your accident, somebody who did not prevent a clearly intoxicated driver from operating the vehicle may also be liable. A Gaffney boat accident lawyer may oversee your accident case. Call George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers today for a free consultation.
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You Could Be Owed Compensation After a Boating Accident
If you were injured in a boat accident and somebody other than you is liable, then you may be entitled to compensation. The American Bar Association states that negligence is one basis for a personal injury claim, and may be the relevant legal concept in your case for awards.
Somebody may be guilty of negligence and owe you compensation if:
- They owed you a duty of care, which may be the case for boat operators whose actions could cause injury or death if they are careless
- They took some action that breached their duty of care to you
- Their breach of duty of care has caused you to suffer one or more losses
A boater may take overt action that causes you to suffer losses, or may instead fail to take precautionary steps that would have prevented your injuries. In either case, that person could be liable for some or all of your losses.
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Injuries That Could Prompt a Boat Accident Lawsuit
Boats can cause significant injury, and the harm that you suffer could vary depending on the nature of your accident. If you were struck by a propeller, then your injuries could include:
- Severe cuts
- Loss of limbs
- Nerve damage
The American Journal of Sports Medicine notes that injuries involving broken skin could cause you to develop a serious bacterial infection. This is because the water you are injured in could be far from clean.
Injuries that could come from being on a boat involved in an accident or being struck by a boat as a swimmer include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Broken bones
- Severe bruising
- Internal bleeding
You may have suffered an injury other than those listed, or under circumstances different than those listed above. Your lawyer will consider the specific circumstances of your accident as they pursue compensation for you or your loved one.
A Lawyer May Be Able To Help You Seek Compensation
Our team of boat accident lawyers in Gaffney can handle your case for awards so that you do not have to. Their knowledge of the law and any prior experience they have pursuing compensation for boat accident benefits could be a great asset for you.
Some tasks that your lawyer can handle include:
- Filing your lawsuit
- Organizing evidence
- Documenting your injuries
- Calculating the value of your losses
- Making appearances on your behalf
- Negotiating a settlement or completing a trial
A boat accident attorney in Gaffney can also protect your rights and guide you through the various stages of the legal process.
Call Our Gaffney Boat Accident Attorneys Today
A Gaffney boat accident attorney may be able to handle any necessary lawsuit so that you can focus on your recovery. Call George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers today for a free consultation. Do not wait to call, as you may have a limited period of time to bring a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit in South Carolina.
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