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Charleston, SC Boat Accident Lawyer
In Charleston, boating accidents and fatalities are a regular occurrence
According to the U.S. Coast Guard, from 2013 to 2014, deaths increased from 560 to 610, an 8.9% increase, injuries increased from 2,620 to 2,678, a 2.2% increase and the total number of accidents increased from 4,062 to 4,064, a 0.05% increase nationally. Where the cause of death was known, 78% of fatal boating accident victims drowned; of those drowning victims, 84% were not wearing a life jacket. The most common types of vessels involved in reported accidents were open motorboats, personal watercraft and cabin motorboats. The vessel types with the highest number of fatalities were open motorboats, canoes and kayaks. Go here to read the entire USCG report.
How and when to file a boating accident report after a boat accident in the Charleston region
Federal law requires the operator – or owner, if the operator is deceased or unable to make the report – to file a boating accident report with the South Carolina reporting authority when, as a result of an occurrence that involves a boat or its equipment:
- A person dies;
- A person disappears from the vessel under circumstances that indicate death or injury;
- A person is injured and requires medical treatment beyond first aid;
- Damage to vessels and other property totals $2,000 (lower amounts in some states and territories) or more;
- The boat is destroyed.
Go to this site to learn about filing a boating accident report.
Boating Laws in South Carolina
Learn about the specific boating laws in South Carolina by going to this site. Topics covered in the reference guide include boating education, operator age, water skiing, boat noise, numbering & titling, personal watercraft, boating under the influence, personal flotation devices and more.
Common causes of Charleston boating accidents include:
failure to yield;
excessive speed and alcohol use.
When someone is injured in a Charleston boating accident, what needs to happen next?
When someone is injured, it is crucial to get appropriate medical treatment, regardless of the financial cost. The major hospitals in the area include:
- Roper St. Francis;
- Medical University of South Carolina;
- Trident Medical Center;
- MUSC Children's Hospital.
As soon as possible, an injured person should contact their insurance company to find out how medical treatment is covered under their insurance policy.
When an accident results in a serious injury or a fatality, get help from a good Charleston boating accident attorney
When an injury is serious or a death occurs, the next step is to find an experienced Charleston boating accident attorney to start the financial recovery process by launching an insurance claim. Major injury or wrongful death claims are complicated and can be hard to manage without legal help. An experienced Charleston boating crash lawyer understands the unique maritime laws that affect a claim. Since most personal injury lawyers offer a free initial consultation and work on a contingency basis, meaning that there are no up-front costs and all fees are paid when the claim is settled, there is no downside to speaking with a Charleston personal injury lawyer right away.