South Carolina Boating Accident Lawyers
South Carolina is home to 2,876 miles of shoreline along the Atlantic Ocean, numerous rivers such as the Santee, Congaree, and Broad Rivers, and 437,672 acres of lakes including Lake Murray and Lake Wateree. Although there is ample opportunity for boating across South Carolina, boating accidents are too common of an occurrence.
In 2014, the U.S. Coast Guard was notified of 4,064 boating accidents that led to 601 deaths, 2,678 injuries, and an astonishing $39 million in property damage.
Whether the result of
- An operator who is not paying attention,
- an inexperienced driver who should not be operating the boat,
- a boat driver who speeds and loses control,
- a rider on a jetski who is not able to steer out of harm’s way,
- an impaired boat operator who is boating under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or
- defective equipment,
South Carolina’s boating accidents can cause catastrophic injury and death.
After a Boating Accident, Take These Safety Steps
If you own a boat or regularly spend time on the water, it is important to be prepared. If you are involved in a boating accident, you should:
- Check on, and account for, everyone involved in the Accident.
- Render aid. If anyone was knocked out of the boat as a result of the accident, pull them into safety. If you know basic first aid, can supply a flotation device, or take other steps to ensure others’ safety after a boating accident. Make sure that your life jacket is on.
- Contact the proper authorities. The operator of every vessel involved in the boating accident must report the incident to DNR when the accident results in the loss of life, loss of consciousness, medical treatment, or disability in excess of 24 hours, or property damage. Many boating accidents must also be reported to the Coast Guard.
- If you are asked questions while you are at the scene, be honest. Don’t volunteer any information that is unrelated to the specific question asked. Do not make any guesses as to what occurred.
- Seek Medical Treatment. Even if no one has immediately apparent injuries, spinal cord injuries and brain injuries may not immediately be apparent. Do yourself a favor and make sure that you are evaluated by a medical professional.
- Exchange insurance and contact information with the other boat operator(s) and obtain the contact information for any witnesses. Just like after a car accident, you should exchange insurance information with the other boat operator. However, when you get their contact information, you should also be sure to get the name of the boat and the Hull ID number.
- Take photos or video of the accident. You should also take stock of items that have been lost or damaged in the boating accident. This will help you later on during the claims process.
- Contact an attorney. A South Carolina boating accident attorney can help you with any legal problems that may follow your accident, from denied insurance claims to personal injury or wrongful death filings.
Jet Ski Accidents in South Carolina
Jet skis alone comprise more than half of boating collisions each year, as well as approximately one-third of overall boating accidents. Given the speeds jet skis can reach and the rider’s relative lack of protection, jet ski accidents in South Carolina result in serious injuries such as traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, soft tissue injuries, broken bones, and even death. It is typical for Jet Ski collisions to occur with other riders and immovable objects in and around the body of water.
5 Easy Steps to Take When Boating To Reduce the Risk of an Accident and Related Injuries
- Wear your Lifejacket. While you may be able to swim, an astonishing 78% of fatalities were caused by drowning. 84% of these victims were not wearing a life jacket.
- Carry a VH-FM Marine radio. If you only carry a cell phone, you run the risk of not having cell service.
- Carry a US Coast Guard Approved fire extinguisher.
- Pay attention on the water. The number one cause of boating accidents is operator inattention.
- Don’t speed or drink alcohol.
The Strom Law Firm helps victims injured in a boating accident. We can help ensure that your rights are protected while you focus on a speedy recovery. Call us today to schedule a convenient time to discuss your case with a South Carolina Accident Attorney.