South Carolina is home to over twelve major lakes. It has miles of coastline and the beautiful intra-coastal waterway. People from everywhere enjoy the luxury of some of the finest boating and fishing waters in the United States. Unfortunately, the popularity of the waterways has led to increases in boating and watercraft accidents.
While there are fewer boating accidents and water-related accidents than car accidents, the injuries and long-term impact can be just as severe, resulting in lost wages and future earning potential, current and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, emotional trauma or loss of enjoyment of life.
The aftermath of a boating injury can be a confusing time and you might not know what to do next. You have the legal right to seek representation. A Columbia, SC boat accident lawyer from the Solomon Law Group might be able to help you get compensation for everything you’ve been through. Our lawyers are experienced, skilled, and compassionate people who want to stand up for your rights.
What Are the Common Causes of Boating Accidents?
High-speed boats have a higher chance of getting in accidents than sailboats. There are many ways for a boating accident to occur. The U.S. Coast Guard’s 2016 boating accident report lists some of the most common reasons for boating accidents:
- Collisions with a recreational vessel caused 1051 accidents, 38 deaths, and 708 injuries. Collisions with a fixed object caused 565 accidents, 63 deaths, and 432 injuries.
- Out of the 470 accidents, 90 people died, and 156 were injured in a flooding event.
- The 413 accidents had 13 deaths and 246 injuries.
- This caused 305 accidents with 175 deaths and 200 injuries.
In 2016, drowning was the main cause of death in boating accidents with 509 deaths. Out of that group, 82 were wearing life jackets, 404 were not wearing them, and there were 23 unknown to wear or not wear a life jacket.
Motorized boats aren’t the only water-based vehicles that commonly get into accidents, either. Personal watercraft accidents are common, and many occur due to other vehicle operators who fail to pay attention or otherwise operate their vessels neglectingly. If you’ve been injured in any type of watercraft accident, legal compensation may be available to you.
What Are Some Boating Safety Tips?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported in 2009 that boating accidents caused 3,358 injuries and 736 deaths. 9 out of 10 of the people who drowned weren’t wearing life jackets. Drowning was the leading cause of death from those boating accidents at 73 percent. In the fatal boating accidents, alcohol was a main contributor to the tragedy.
To avoid common boating accidents or injuries, the CDC has some safety tips that you can follow.
- Wear a Life Jacket. If you’re in an accident and are thrown from the boat, a life jacket can save your life. The shock and possible injuries that come from a boating accident might make it difficult for you to swim, so you and everyone else on the boat should wear life jackets at all times.
- Avoid Alcohol. Drinking alcohol and driving a boat is illegal and reckless. Your ability to judge situations, reaction time, balance, and coordination are all impaired when you’re under the influence.
- Get Educated. You can take a boating education course that will teach you how to safely navigate and use the boat. This might help you avoid possibly dangerous situations in the future if you have the education and training.
- Get a Vessel Safety Check (VSC). The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and U.S. Power Squadron offer this free public service. A certified Vessel Examiner will inspect your boat and if your boat passes, you get a decal that will show your vessel complies with all Federal and State laws.
- Use Carbon Monoxide Detectors. Carbon monoxide can kill you in minutes if your inside or outside of the boat. You can’t see or smell carbon monoxide and it’s an extremely poisonous gas. Along with using carbon monoxide detectors, also make sure your boat has the proper equipment for ventilation.
Do You Need a South Carolina Boat Accident Lawyer?
Have you or a loved one been injured in a boat accident or in any type of accident involving a personal watercraft? The Solomon Law Group knows how financially and emotionally stressful this time can be, especially when you’re trying to recover.
The South Carolina boating injury attorneys of the Solomon Law Group understand the regulations involving boating and watercraft operation. We handle claims arising from incidents involving private boats, ferries and charter boats, cruise ships, personal watercraft, docks and marinas, diving accidents and drunken boating.
Don’t wait another day. Call the Solomon Law Group now at (877) 323-3120 and we’ll talk about your options and what is in your best interests.