Boat Accidents Lawyer in Charleston, South Carolina
Countless numbers of boaters take advantage of the Cooper River or the Atlantic Ocean and other small streams throughout the Charleston area. Unfortunately, boating accidents occur too often on these waterways.
Sometimes, these boat accidents can’t be helped. Bad weather can be a factor, however, a boating accident may be caused by the driver’s negligence or some defect in the boat or its equipment.
If you were involved in a boating accident that was caused by negligence or a boat defect, you may be entitled to compensation. The Charleston boating accident lawyers at Hartman Law Firm, L.L.C. can help. With offices conveniently located in Charleston, we have helped numerous boat crash victims throughout the state. We have the expertise and knowledge about boat wrecks to help you win the largest amount of compensation possible given your situation.
To schedule a free consultation, call our Charleston boating accident law firm today at 843-300-7600 or use our online form.
Boating Accidents Occur in the Charleston Area
According to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, 141 boat crashes occurred in Charleston in 2008. These boat wrecks led to 61 injuries and 29 fatalities.
The majority of South Carolina boating accident deaths result from drowning, and most victims were not wearing a life jacket. Also, statistics show that fatal boat crashes more likely occur when boaters lack proper safety instruction. For instance, the Coast Guard indicates that only 11 percent of the fatalities in 2011 occurred on boats where the boat operator had reviewed boating safety instructions.
Causes of Charleston Boating Accidents
The U.S. Coast Guard data shows a clear link between deaths and a lack of boating safety knowledge. But there are many causes of boating accidents. According to U.S. Coast Guard data, common causes of boating crashes include:
- Alcohol and drug use
- Excessive speed
- Failure to ventilate the boat or equipment
- Failing to properly observe other boaters (i.e., improper lookout)
- On-board navigation lights that do not work properly
- Boat operator inattention
- Inexperience of the boat operator
- Restricted vision
- Infraction of the rules of the “road,” including right-of-way rules
- Sharp turns
- Starting the boat in gear
- Improperly anchoring the boat
- Loading the boat incorrectly such as distributing weight improperly or overloading the boat
- Equipment failure
- Hull failure
- Machinery failure
- Overly congested waterways
- Hazardous waters, including waves or wakes
- Bad weather
- Missing or insufficient navigation aids
- Fires caused by spilled fuel or vapors igniting.
In some cases, a combination of these factors may contribute to an accident that injures or harms someone.
We Hold Negligent Boaters Accountable
Human error, improper boat maintenance, or boat defects are most often the reason for most boating accidents. If any of these factors played a role in an accident that injured you or caused the death of a loved one, you may be able to seek legal relief. Possible scenarios include:
Being the passenger on a boat where your friend or acquaintance is driving while intoxicated, failed to follow proper procedure, or did not act with the reasonable care that any boat driver should exhibit. You may be able to make a claim against the boat operator for negligence.
If you are involved in a boat collision caused by another vessel, such as a boat or jet-ski, you may have a claim against the driver of the other boat. This, too, would be a negligence case.
If there is a defect in the design or build of the boat that caused the event, you may be able to hold the manufacturer or seller of the boat responsible. We would need to bring a product liability case against the manufacturer on your behalf.
If you contracted with someone to repair your boat. If that person failed to properly repair or maintain the boar or failed to identify broken or damaged parts, he could be held responsible for negligent maintenance.
The Charleston boating accident law firm of Hartman Law Firm, L.L.C. can help. We can determine if one or more potential defendants exists in a boating accident case. If so, you may be able to collect money for pain and suffering, medical costs, lost wages, emotional distress and other damages. If the boating crash resulted in a death, the victim’s family members may pursue a wrongful death claim.
Our Charleston boating accident attorneys can help you to determine which legal theory or theories are best to make your claim after a boat wreck.
Contact Our Charleston Boat Accident Lawyers Today
At Hartman Law Firm, L.L.C., we have experience working in the personal injury area. We can put our skill and experience to work for you in your boating accident case. Call us today for a free, no-obligation consultation at 843-300-7600 or use our online form.