Charleston Boating Accident Attorney
Boating is a popular recreational activity for South Carolina visitors and residents. The popularity of the sport also raises the risk of accidents on the waterways. If you have been the victim of a recreational boating accident then you will need the help of a skilled Charleston boating accident attorney, like Max Sparwasser, to protect your rights and help you win fair compensation for your injuries.
What to Do After A Boating Accident in Charleston
If you have been involved in a boating accident then you may have the right to compensation for the damages incurred because of your injuries. Damages can include property damage, medical expenses, lost wages, loss of future wages, and pain and suffering. You should take these steps to safeguard your rights:
- Seek medical attention. Get it as soon as possible. Some pain from injuries may not surface until later so an evaluation right away is important to establish a baseline.
- Gather information. Record the names, addresses, and phone numbers of everyone involved in the accident, including any possible witnesses.
- Stay silent. Don’t talk to anyone, especially insurance representatives, about the accident or your injuries. It’s okay to answer questions from law enforcement officers but be sure to get the report or incident number from them for your records.
- Don’t sign anything. Consult with your own Charleston attorney before you sign anything.
- Secure legal representation. You need to find an experienced Charleston boating accident lawyer to represent your rights.
Maritime Injury Laws You Should Know
While certain boating accident injuries fall under South Carolina law, many of them actually fall under the jurisdiction of admiralty law. There are various maritime law factors to consider in boating accidents. One of the most important things to look at is whether or not the crash took place on navigable or non-navigable waters. Admiralty laws can be very complex and confusing. Insurance companies will have representatives that are well-versed in this area of the law, so you should too. Get in touch with a Charleston boat accident lawyer to see how they can help you and your case.
The Main Causes of Boating Accidents
Boating accidents are less common than automobile accidents, but the impact of the injuries sustained can be just as devastating.
There have been over 100 boating accidents in South Carolina from 2012 to 2016. That is almost one boating accident every three days. 2016 saw 136 accidents, the highest number in the past 5 years. An experienced Charleston boating accident lawyer will stay updated on all accident statistics for their clients.
According to the 2016 Recreational Boating Statistics Report, published by the U.S. Coast Guard Office of Auxiliary and Boating Safety, the most common causes of boating accidents were:
- Colliding with another recreational vessel
- Colliding with a fixed object
- Swamping or flooding
Accidents occur the most with high-speed boats but can also include sailboats and personal watercraft.
Many boat wrecks occur due to driver incompetence. Boat operators are often inexperienced, causing them to drive at unsafe speeds. A majority of boat drivers are also intoxicated. Similar to car wrecks, boat drivers are typically responsible for the crash. However, since boat owners are not required to get insurance, it makes accidents more complicated. Speak to a Charleston boat accident lawyer for guidance on your case.
South Carolina Boating Accidents 2012-2016
[Source: USCG Boating]
Common Boating Accident Injuries
The type of injuries that people can sustain in boating accidents is slightly different than those in car accidents. Here are the most common injuries that occur in boating accidents:
- Broken bones
If you were a victim of any of these injuries, contact a Charleston boating accident lawyer for help filing a claim.
How to Prevent Boating Accidents in Charleston
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the following for a safer boating experience:
- Life jackets. Life jackets are life savers. When someone falls out of a boat, whether he or she is wearing a life jacket can mean the difference between life and death. Injuries sustained in an accident can make swimming difficult or impossible. Everyone on a boat should be wearing a life jacket.
- Alcohol. Driving a boat while intoxicated isn’t just dangerous, it’s illegal. Judgment, balance, reaction time, and coordination are all affected when a person is under the influence of alcohol. Boating while under the influence is reckless and puts the driver and passengers at risk.
- Education. Boating education classes train the operator about safe driving and navigation of vessels. If the driver has the proper education, he or she can frequently avoid dangerous situations.
- Safety check. The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary offers free safety checks. During this public service, a certified vessel examiner inspects the boat. Boats that pass the inspection receive a decal indicating that it complies with state and federal laws.
- Carbon monoxide detectors. Carbon monoxide is a silent killer. It’s extremely poisonous, invisible, and odorless. Be sure that your boat has working carbon monoxide detectors and can be properly ventilated.
How to Secure Legal Representation in Charleston
If a boating accident leaves you with injuries, get in touch with one of the Charleston boating accident attorneys at the Max Sparwasser Law Firm, LLC. They will provide you with aggressive representation to protect your rights and get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries. A free case evaluation is a phone call away. Call today.