With a number of major rivers, several large lakes, and nearly three thousand miles of bays, inlets, and islands to explore, South Carolina offers an abundance of recreational opportunities to both residents and visitors. Although safety should be of utmost concern, not everyone enjoying activities on the water obeys the rules. Carelessness can quickly turn a relaxing outing into a life-changing tragedy. The injury attorneys at Lofton & Lofton are here to help if you or a loved one has been hurt in a South Carolina boating accident.Filing a Negligence Lawsuit Based on a Boating Accident
Most people understand the importance of proper safety measures and respect for the water. Whether fishing in the Santee River¸ riding a jet ski across Lake Murray¸ or exploring the coastline in a sailboat, there are laws that must be followed. These include proper navigation speed, driver sobriety, and careful procedures for overtaking another vessel. All boaters in South Carolina must obey these basic rules, whether they are small watercraft operators or commercial fishermen.
Traffic on the water seems to increase each year, making it more and more likely for accidents to happen if laws ensuring safety are not followed. Property damage, personal injury, and even death can occur. Because of the serious consequences of a boat crash, it is important that an injured person or the family of someone who has been killed in one of these events enlists competent legal counsel who understands the nuances of these situations.
Many boating accident cases are based on a claim of negligence. In these lawsuits, the victim must show that the defendant owed him or her a duty of due care, that the duty was breached, that the victim was injured as a result, and that the accident resulted in actual, quantifiable damages that can be compensated.
The duty of care is generally defined as what a reasonable person running a boat would have done in the same situation. Examples of conduct that might fall below this standard include:
- Intoxication of the operator;
- Improper passing;
- Failure to operate a vessel safely, given the weather, wind, wave height, or other conditions; or
- Not properly maintaining a boat or cruise ship.
Beyond showing that the defendant acted carelessly, the victim also needs to establish that he or she was hurt because of the specific conduct constituting the breach. If the accident would have happened even if the defendant had acted as prudently as the ordinary person would have behaved, the negligence claim will not succeed because the causation requirement is not met.
The types of damages that may be available to someone injured in a boating accident could include lost wages, pain and suffering, and payment of medical expenses. If a collision results in a tragic death, the deceased person’s family may be able to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit and potentially a survival action on behalf of their loved one.Compassionate Injury Attorneys Helping South Carolina Residents
At Lofton and Lofton, someone is always available to speak with you about your accident case. Our experienced injury lawyers know how to help South Carolina victims pursue the maximum recovery for the harm that they have suffered in a boat crash or another traumatic event. To schedule an appointment with an attorney to evaluate your case, call us at (843) 722-6319 or contact us online. For your convenience, we offer both home and hospital visits to discuss your situation.