Hurt in a Boating Accident? Call Stewart Law Offices, Your Rock Hill, SC Personal injury lawyer
A serious boating accident that results in injury can be extremely frustrating, especially if it puts you out of work or leaves you with expensive medical bills. That’s just the beginning, though, as financial pressures can continue to mount as time goes on and you struggle to recover.
If you were hurt in a boating accident that was caused by someone else’s careless or reckless behavior, you need to learn about your legal rights. At Stewart Law Offices, Rock Hill personal injury lawyers can evaluate your case for free and explain your rights to seek financial compensation from the responsible party. But time is limited, so contact our personal injury law firm today.
If you’ve been injured in a boating accident you need an experienced Rock Hill personal injury lawyer
When you have been hurt by someone else, it is easy to just assume you can “work it out” or tough it out. However, the truth is, even if the negligent individual or company wanted to make it right, often they can’t. This is because they aren’t really in charge. The insurance companies are.
While having insurance is a great protection, it also means the insurance company will be calling the shots. In many cases, these insurers will attempt a wide range of defensive tactics to minimize payouts to injured individuals or avoid paying altogether.
An experienced boating accident attorney in Rock Hill can help by:
- Working to collect and analyze all the evidence in your case
- Discussing your injuries with medical specialists to determine how they will affect you in the long term
- Negotiating with the insurance companies on your behalf
- Arguing your case before a jury, if a fair settlement is not possible
- Resolving health care liens and health insurance reimbursements
- Dealing with government liens like Medicare and Medicaid
- Negotiating with health care providers to reduce the cost of your care, if possible
When Would a Written Boating Accident Report Be Required?
Most boating collisions and incidents on the water need to be reported to the authorities. These specific situations include any time that:
- A person suffers injuries that require medical attention beyond basic first aid.
- A person is lost at sea or thrown overboard and can’t be found.
- A person dies.
- There are damages to property.
Don’t let a negligent boating operator convince you to not call the police or marine patrol. Doing this will invariably hurt your chances of recovering compensation later.
Without the authorities there to create documentation of the collision, the other boater could possibly just later deny the event took place. Therefore, you really do need to contact authorities in most cases.
Causes of Boating Accidents in Rock Hill
There’s no shortage of reasons for why people get into boating accidents in Rock Hill and the surrounding areas. Some examples of major causes of boating accidents, including fatal boating accidents, include:
- Drunk boating
- Operating a watercraft under the influence of drugs or medications
- Distracted boating (texting, talking on the phone, etc.)
- Failure to maintain proper safety equipment
- Lack of proper boater instruction, training, and experience
- Excessive speeds for the conditions
- Running aground
- Striking a pier or dock
- Hitting scuba divers, swimmers, and snorkelers
- Collisions with personal watercrafts (i.e. jet skis)
No matter why a crash or incident happens on the water, the experienced Rock Hill boating accident lawyers at Stewart Law Offices can help you understand your rights and get the answers you need.
Do You Know What to Do in a Boating Accident?
First, if you are on a lake or river in South Carolina, you will probably need to just call 911. However, in some remote areas, conservation officers may be the closest form of emergency assistance. If possible, try to keep numbers handy before you hit the water.
Once authorities are reached and are in route to your location, try not to move a lot. If you’ve hurt your back, neck, or head, it’s often a good idea to wait for help before attempting to move around.
You should go straight to the hospital and get evaluated to make sure that your injuries are properly documented and treated.
You also need to obtain the name, contact information, and insurance information for the negligent boater.
The next step is to hire an experienced Rock Hill boating accident attorney to represent you. Something as seemingly simple as an insurance claim can quickly become quite complicated. For instance, you may likely encounter situations where:
- There are multiple injured people with competing claims.
- You must negotiate with your own health insurance company because they stop paying the providers.
- The defendant insurance company starts blaming you for your own injuries.
- Medical providers refuse to turn over billing statements and records.
Any one of these scenarios can end up creating significant delays, but our knowledgeable lawyers can help you navigate these situations and take the pressure off you.
What Compensation Is Available for Boating Accident Victims?
Once you’ve been hurt in a Rock Hill watercraft or boating accident, you’ll need to make sure you understand all of your rights very carefully. Depending on the nature and extent of your injuries, you could be entitled to receive compensation for the following:
Medical bills and treatment costs. This is money to help you and your family meet the financial burdens that come from getting medical care for your injuries.
Rehabilitation expenses. For injuries that are more serious and require lengthy rehabilitation services, you can seek payment for future medical expenses.
Loss of wages. Injuries can force you to take time off work. This can take an enormous toll on your finances as you struggle to recover.
Reduced earning capacity in the future. For those who suffer permanent and catastrophic injuries, the effects could leave the victim unable to work in the future or with reduced earning power. Your attorney can demand compensation to account for these losses.
Pain and suffering. Anyone who has truly suffered from a serious injury knows that pain and suffering are real, and the law says victims should be compensated.
Wrongful death compensation. When you lose a loved one in a fatal boating accident, South Carolina law provides additional forms of compensation that may include reimbursement for final expenses, loss of love and affection, loss of financial support, and even things like burial costs and funeral expenses.
Filing a Boating Accident Claim Under South Carolina Law
The first step to filing a boating accident claim is identifying the negligent party(s). Once you have this information, your attorney will put the negligent party on notice that you are seeking compensation for your injuries. This allows the potential defendant the opportunity to make a reasonable offer to settle the claim. If the defendant refuses to offer a fair boating accident settlement, then your attorney may need to take your case to a jury to argue for full compensation.
Experience and specific knowledge of the law and local court rules are key to filing a successful lawsuit. At Stewart Law Offices, our attorneys routinely appear in court and handle all aspects of litigation relating to personal injury cases.
However, you should be aware that South Carolina law gives you just three years to pursue a lawsuit for your injuries. Otherwise, you will forever lose your right to do so. So, if you’ve suffered serious injuries in a boating accident, give us a call to discuss your case as soon as possible.
Filing a Boating Accident Claim Under Maritime Law
In specific situations involving injuries on the open seas, you may have different options for recovering compensation. Rock Hill residents who go on cruises or find themselves injured on a charter boating off the coast of the Carolinas may be entitled to recover compensation under federal admiralty laws. Again, in most cases you’ll have just three years to bring your claim, but these cases present a number of additional complexities, so you should be sure to reach out to our experienced South Carolina maritime injury lawyers as early as possible.
Types of Boating Accidents in Rock Hill
A skilled boating accident lawyer from Stewart Law Offices, can help with most of the injuries you may suffer in a boating collision or other incident on the water. Common examples include:
- Head-on crashes
- Losing control and striking docks and piers
- Striking swimmers and others in the water
- Propeller injuries
- Skiing injuries
- Jet ski injuries and injuries on other personal watercrafts
Ultimately, after a boating injury in South Carolina, your first goal has to be your physical recovery. Make sure you get the care you need as soon as possible. The faster you can get treatment, the faster you may be able to get back on your feet, back to work, and back to supporting yourself and those you love.
But in the meantime, let Stewart Law Offices, fight for full financial compensation for your injury and your losses. Give us a call today to schedule a no-cost initial meeting with a boating accident attorney near you.