Yes, in many cases you can be compensated for a boating injury. Getting injured in a boating accident is not much different from being hurt in a car accident. If someone else is to blame for your injuries, then that person is responsible for paying for your injuries, including any lost income, permanent disabilities, pain and suffering, or other related losses. There is one big difference, however. South Carolina law does not require boaters to carry liability insurance the same way that it would require drivers to carry auto insurance.
For this reason, if you spend a lot of time on the water, make sure to speak with your insurance agent about what benefits you may have that could cover your medical bills if you were to be injured in a boating accident.
Types of Boating Accidents
There are a lot of ways to get hurt on the water. Here are just a few of the more common accidents and injuries we see in Myrtle Beach and the surrounding areas:
- Alcohol impaired boaters not paying attention and hitting swimmers
- Distracted boaters colliding with other boats and personal watercraft
- Inexperienced boaters hitting pilings, piers, docks, or other stationary objects
- Falls overboard
- Jet ski injuries (collisions with boats or stationary objects
- Capsize accidents (often due to bad weather or an inexperienced boater not recognizing limitations of the boat)
Reporting a Boating Accident in South Carolina
On the highway, you would probably call 911 and the highway patrol or local police department would respond to the scene. In a boating accident, depending on where you are and how far you are from shore, you may need to contact the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR). You can reach them toll-free by calling 1-800-922-5431.
Boating Accidents On the Rise in South Carolina
In 2015, 131 recreational boating accidents were reported to SCDNR, including 19 fatalities. The numbers show that since 2006, there has been a gradual increase in the number of severe or fatal boating crashes in the state.
Filing a Claim for Your Injuries
The first step to getting compensated is to make sure you get immediate medical attention. Next, make sure the incident is reported to the appropriate authorities, which might also include the U.S. Coast Guard, local Marine Patrol or police. Make sure to get copies of any investigation report that is created by law enforcement. Finally, you should schedule a time to meet with an experienced South Carolina personal injury lawyer. During your initial consultation, you should bring the following with you:
- Photo ID
- Copies of any incident reports
- Names and contact information for everyone involved (if you have it)
- Witness’ names and numbers (if available)
- List of medical facilities and providers you’ve seen
- Your health insurance information
- Your personal auto insurance, homeowners insurance, or any other individual insurance policies you may have
Experienced Myrtle Beach Injury Lawyers
With four offices throughout the Low Country, the David Aylor Law Oficces are available to discuss your case 24/7. We are always happy to discuss your case and help you discuss your options. Don’t talk to an insurance adjuster or sign anything you don’t understand until you’ve met with a lawyer first. We never take a fee unless we can help you recover for your injuries, so you have nothing to lose by calling.
David Aylor is a Criminal Defense Attorney who practices in Charleston, Walterboro, and Myrtle Beach, SC. He graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law, and has been practicing law for 11 years. David Aylor believes in defending the accused. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.