In 2019, there were 4,168 recreational boating accidents, which involved 613 fatalities, 2,559 injuries, and $55 million in property damage, according to the United States Coast Guard. If you find yourself a victim of a boating accident, do not hesitate to reach out to George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers.
Our boat accident lawyers in Lancaster, South Carolina, are familiar with these types of claims and can advise you of the steps moving forward. Learn more about your rights and how a Lancaster boat accident lawyer may be able to help by reaching out to us.
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Types of Boating Accidents
There are many different types of boats and other water vessels on which people are injured. Some of the most common types our South Carolina boating accident lawyer see include:
Millions of visitors and residents alike flock to the open waters of South Carolina to enjoy fun recreational boating activities, like jet skiing. However, many operators may not be experienced in these types of water sports and may crash into others or cause injuries to their passengers.
Jet ski owners may also sometimes be negligent by renting out equipment to visibly drunk customers or by not properly maintaining the equipment.
Water Skiing Boats
Other people may be injured on water skiing boats that travel at high speeds. These accidents may result in serious injuries, including:
- Multiple fractures
- Spinal cord injuries
Drivers of these boats who cause accidents because of violating safety rules may be responsible for damages that victims suffer.
Some people may rent or charter boats specifically to party on them. Operators may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, leading to catastrophic injuries for many passengers on board.
The U.S. Coast Guard says that alcohol is the leading factor in fatal boating accidents. South Carolina Statute § 50-21-112 prohibits operating a boat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs when doing so “materially and appreciably” impairs the operator.
In addition to facing potential criminal penalties for this offense, including incarceration, a fine, and a loss of boating privileges, operators can also be held civilly liable for the damages they cause passengers or victims on other boats they crash into.
While many people enjoy relaxing on pontoon boats, passengers can be seriously injured when they dangle their limbs outside these boats or fall overboard. They may suffer drowning, propeller injuries, or even be run over by the boat. These accidents may be caused by alcohol use, poor training, or failure to follow safety protocol.
Yachts are large vessels that are difficult to maneuver. When a yacht company hires inexperienced captains who do not know how to safely handle the boat or who otherwise operate the boat in a negligent fashion, they may be liable for injuries their passengers sustain.
Some boating accidents occur while working, such as on a shrimp or fishing boat. Federal maritime laws like the Jones Act help provide compensation to workers aboard boats who are injured on the job, as explained by the Legal Information Institute (LII).
Additionally, boat owners are required to provide a safe working environment to their crew and may be held liable if the vessel is unseaworthy or they act negligently toward their workers.
Besides fishing boats, many people work aboard commercial boats that transport goods and passengers. Workers and passengers alike may be injured on these boats in accidents involving:
- Deck fires
- Equipment failures
- Negligent operation of the boat
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Evidence That May Help Prove Your Case
If you or your loved one was injured in a boating accident, you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries. However, you will need evidence that establishes:
- The defendant acted negligently
- The defendant’s negligence caused the boat accident
- You suffered damages in the boat accident
Immediately after the accident, you should report the accident to the proper authorities and document the scene as much as possible. A boat accident attorney from George Sink P.A., Injury Lawyers may be able to establish the legal elements described above with proof such as:
- The accident report
- Photos or video you took at the accident scene
- Your medical records
- The defendant’s own admissions
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Possible Damages in Boating Accidents
Boating accidents can cause serious injuries and economic damages. Some damages involved in boating accident injury cases may include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
If the boating accident was tragic and claimed the life of your loved one, you may be able to recover compensation for:
- Funeral expenses
- Burial expenses
- Loss of services
- Loss of support and inheritance
- Loss of society and companionship
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How Our Personal Injury Lawyers May Be Able To Help
A Lancaster boat accident lawyer from our team may be able to guide you through the claims process and fight for your financial recovery by:
- Reviewing your claim and determining all potentially liable parties
- Reviewing photos, video, accident reports, and other evidence of your claim
- Requesting medical records, bills, employment records, and other evidence that documents your damages
- Handling communication with the insurance company and supplementing your claim with evidence to support your full recovery
- Hiring expert witnesses when necessary
- Preparing a comprehensive demand package that justifies your full recovery
- Negotiating a fair settlement on your behalf
- Representing you in court or through alternative dispute resolution methods to fight for your fair compensation
If you were injured in a boating accident, you may wish to take immediate steps to protect your rights and the potential value of your claim.
Contact Our Team Today for Immediate Assistance With Your Claim
If you or a loved one was injured in a boating accident, a Lancaster boat accident lawyer from George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers may be able to help. Let us estimate your potential compensation and tell you more about your options.
Our attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, so we do not get paid any attorney fees unless and until we recover compensation for your claim.* Contact our team today to learn more about your rights under South Carolina law.
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