Columbia, Lexington, Orangeburg, Sumter, Camden, Newberry, Aiken, SC.
It is estimated that recreational and commercial boating has nearly tripled in the last decade, with more than 14 million boats and personal watercraft currently registered in the United States today. The number of boats has increased by more than 2 million since the late 1980s, crowding the limited space of our country’s rivers, lakes, and waterways. This level of growth in boat use has inevitably led to an increase in related boating accidents. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, there are currently more than 8,600 boat crashes each year, and these accidents leave more than 900 people dead and nearly 4,500 seriously injured.
Typically, powerboats such as speed boats, cabin cruisers, and jet skis are the most common types of watercraft to be involved in boating accidents, although sailboats can also be involved in accidents. The most frequent sources of injuries seem to be caused by propeller accidents and collisions. Also, because personal watercraft such as jet skis can’t be steered when the throttle is released, inexperienced drivers often have collisions when confronted with an emergency situation.
The most common causes of boating accidents include:
- Sinking or flooding
- Falls overboard
- Bad weather conditions
- Driver error
Even if injuries from the boating accident appear minor, it is advised to seek medical evaluation. Oftentimes, an injury from a boating accident may be underestimated and the boating accident injury can later cause continued pain, further injuries, and more financial burdens. A boating accident attorney in South Carolina can seek damages appropriate to the injuries sustained, and in the event that further medical treatment will be needed for the boating accident injuries, compensation can reflect that.
The attorneys at McWhirter, Bellinger & Associates, P.A. have more than 30 years experience helping boating accident victims in South Carolina. We are experienced in boat accident litigation and can help you pursue fair compensation in cases involving:
- Impaired boaters, boating under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Water skiing accidents
- Jet ski accidents
- Personal watercraft accidents
- Recklessness of other boaters
- Overcrowding conditions
- Failure to provide personal floatation devices
- Any other violations of state boating laws
Visit these pages to learn more about boating accidents:
- Questions about Boating Accidents
- Types of Boat Accidents
- What You Should Know about Boating Accidents
- What to do After a Boat Accident
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a boating accident anywhere in South Carolina, please contact us today for an initial consultation.
With offices in Aiken, Camden, Columbia, Lexington, Newberry, Orangeburg, and Sumter, South Carolina, our personal injury lawyers are ready to serve you.
For immediate help, call today at 888-353-5513.
What counts as a boating accident?
Any accident that involves a vessel out on open water—including ferries, personal watercraft, or tour ships—is considered a boating accident. Boating accidents do not only involve collisions; they can also involve sinking, capsizing, explosions, fires, and passengers falling overboard.
How are personal watercraft different from other boat types?
A personal watercraft is any vessel that uses an inboard motor and is operated by someone in a standing, sitting, or kneeling position. Examples of personal watercraft include Jet Skis, Sea-Doos, and other popular brand names. Personal watercraft also pose unique dangers in recreational waterways because of their design.
What is maritime law?
Maritime law regulates the transportation of goods and people on all navigable waterways, including oceans, rivers, large lakes, and more. Anytime a boat accident occurs on navigable waters, maritime law governs the grounds and procedures for legal claims. Hiring an attorney who is experienced in maritime law is important if you want to increase your odds of a successful case outcome.
What should I do if I’m injured in a boating accident?
All boating accidents should be reported to the U.S. Coast Guard or the local authorities if:
- Any person’s injuries require attention beyond first aid
- A passenger is missing
- The vessel is lost
- Property damage exceeds $500
After emergency personnel arrive, be sure to gather relevant information about the accident, including the contact information and insurance information of the boat operators, contact information of other passengers and witnesses, and the registration numbers for all boats involved in the accident.
What are the most common causes of boating accidents?
The majority of boating accidents are caused by speeding, intoxication, inexperience, hazardous conditions, or equipment failure.
If you or one of your loved ones has been seriously injured in a South Carolina boating accident, please contact McWhirter, Bellinger & Associates, P.A., today to schedule a free case evaluation. We represent injured victims throughout South Carolina, with offices in Camden, Columbia, Lexington, Sumter, Orangeburg, Aiken, and Newberry.