Spartanburg Boating Accident Lawyers - Stewart Law Offices
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Spartanburg Boating Accident Lawyers

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The Spartanburg area is full of excellent opportunities for outdoor recreation, in particular water sports. Fishing, whitewater rafting, kayaking, and pleasure boating are just a few of the terrific options in our region. The personal injury attorneys of Stewart Law Offices, want you and your family to be safe on the water. Unfortunately, when boating or enjoying any of the amazing water-based activities our region has to offer, there are many ways people can get seriously injured.

Our dedicated Spartanburg boating accident attorneys help victims pursue compensation when their injuries are caused by someone else’s careless or negligent conduct. If you or a loved one has been injured in a boating or water sports accident in Spartanburg, please contact us for a free consultation about your legal rights. We can answer your questions and explain what to expect throughout the process.

Do You Need A Boat Accident Lawyer in Spartanburg?

In general, a good rule of thumb is that if you suffer injuries that require medical treatment above and beyond basic first aid (e.g. emergency room, diagnostic testing, extended rehab, surgery, etc.), then you should probably at least call and speak with a boating accident attorney near you.

After a boating accident, a personal injury attorney can help you seek payment for medical bills, lost income, and other expenses that you may face as a result of someone else’s negligent actions. Without an experienced Spartanburg boating accident lawyer, you will be alone in going up against the insurance companies and the lawyers that represent them. You may end up facing serious financial hardship or waiving your rights to significant monetary compensation if you do not seek sound legal advice.

With Stewart Law Offices, a consultation is free. Call or contact us online now to talk about the details of your case and learn about your legal rights.

When Would a Written Boating Accident Report be Required?

There are several scenarios where the law in South Carolina requires a boating accident report to be completed. These are:

  • Any time someone dies in a fatal boat accident
  • Whenever someone falls overboard and can’t be located (presumed dead)
  • If a person is injured enough to require more than minor first aid
  • If there are damages to property/boats/personal possessions

As a practical matter, if someone is hurt in a boating accident in Spartanburg, it’s always a good idea to contact the local authorities. In some areas, this may be the local police. In remote parts of the state, it may be the Fish and Wildlife or Conservation Police. Offshore in coastal regions, it could be the U.S. Coast Guard or local Marine Patrol. Be sure to know what authorities patrol the area where you are boating.

When an accident happens, law enforcement and emergency responders will document details from the scene, take helpful information from everyone involved, and create a detailed record of the event. This will be critically important when dealing with insurance companies.

Spartanburg Boating Accident Causes and Injuries

There are many ways that people can be seriously hurt while boating or taking part in water sport activities in South Carolina. Here are just a few examples of accidents that our law office may be able to help with:

Boat collisions. When boaters don’t follow the rules or become distracted, they can cause serious collisions with other watercrafts. These can be every bit as serious as auto accidents, and in many situations, they are worse.

Jet ski injuries and collisions. Everyone knows there are risks associated with operating a jet ski, but those who choose to enjoy the sport should still be given the basic rights afforded them under boating laws. When drunk, distracted, or careless boat operators ignore the rights of others, jet skiers can be seriously or even fatally injured.

Drownings. When people are swimming and get struck by a careless boater, one of the most common injuries is a head injury. The same is true of those who are thrown overboard. When someone suffers a head trauma, they can be knocked unconscious, leading to a drowning.  

Water skiing injuries. Sometimes boaters fail to keep a reasonable distance from boats that are pulling skiers and other tow-along devices and inflatables. This can lead to the skier being injured or killed.

Boats hitting piers and docks. Perhaps one of the most common types of boating accidents happens when a distracted or otherwise inattentive boater fails to see a pier or dock. People may be eating, fishing, or just enjoying the view from a land-attached structure, when the boater collides with them. These can be extremely dangerous and deadly accidents.

Swimmers, snorkelers, and scuba divers struck by boaters. People should be free to snorkel, scuba dive, or swim in and around lakes and other water ways. Granted, there are a number of precautions people can take if doing these activities in areas where boaters operate. However, it’s still important for watercraft operators to use reasonable care to keep a watch out for people in the water.

Fishing accidents. Fishing is one of our state’s great past-times, but the hobby does have its risks. Sometimes people charter fishing boats, which have trained crew responsible for maintaining the safety of guests and passengers. Many people get hurt on charter boats each year, especially far offshore.

Propeller injuries. When people are swimming near a boat, it’s extremely important for the boat’s operator to keep track of where everyone is before turning on the engine.

Drunk boating accidents. Impaired boating is perhaps one of the biggest causes of serious boating collisions and other accidents on the water.

Distracted boaters. Just like drivers in car accidents, boaters can become distracted by cellphones, eating, drinking, and passengers. When a boater is not paying attention to the water, serious injuries can happen.

Ultimately, every boater in the state is required to stay up-to-date on South Carolina boating safety rules and regulations, including what to do in a boating accident.

What Compensation Is Available for Boating Accidents?

Dangerous and poorly trained boat operators pose a threat to everyone on the water, even those on land in some cases. Therefore, when a negligent boat operator creates a danger and hurts someone, the victim has a right to seek compensation, including:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Medical bills and expenses
  • Future medical expenses
  • Out-of-pocket costs
  • Lost income from work
  • Reduced earning capacity in the future
  • Compensation for damaged property

If someone is killed in a fatal watercraft accident, the responsible party can be held liable for paying:

  • Final medical bills
  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Surviving relatives’ loss of emotional and financial support

Filing a Boating Accident Claim Under South Carolina Law

The first step to filing a claim for injuries is knowing the rules. South Carolina law gives you just three years to bring a lawsuit against a negligent party (individual or corporation) that you believe was responsible for your injuries.

If you miss the deadline to file a boating accident lawsuit, your case will be barred by the courts. Therefore, you first want to speak with an experienced Spartanburg boat accident lawyer who can advise you on time limits and other potential complications. For instance, your attorneys will need time to:

  • Determine who is at fault
  • Notify the at-fault party’s insurance company, if applicable
  • Gather important evidence
  • Retrieve medical records, medical bills/expenses, and obtain proof of any lost income
  • Make a formal claim with the insurance company or negligent party directly
  • Attempt to negotiate a boat accident settlement, if possible
  • If no settlement is possible, file a lawsuit in the appropriate jurisdiction and court
  • Aggressively argue the case at trial

Filing a Boating Accident Claim Under Maritime Law

Sometimes an injury takes place on the open seas. While Spartanburg may be inland, many local residents enjoy their weekends in areas along the Carolina coast, whether it’s cruises, fishing charters, or other getaways. If you are injured on the open seas, you may have different rights under federal maritime laws. The deadline to file under admiralty rules is usually the same – three years from the date of the injury. However, given the unique nature of these claims, there are exceptions that may apply.

For instance, many cruise lines have mandatory arbitration agreements included in your booking agreements. Therefore, you may have as little as six months to notify the cruise line of your intent to pursue a claim. Never assume you know the statute of limitations or legal deadline without first speaking with an attorney.  

Talk to an Experienced Spartanburg Boat Accident Lawyer Today

When you hire Stewart Law Offices, our Spartanburg boating accident lawyers will manage all aspects of your legal claim, so you can focus on your recovery.

Contact us to learn more about our services and what we may be able to do for you. But don’t delay. Time is limited for getting the help you need, and the longer you wait, the harder it can be to build a strong case for compensation for your injuries.

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