Whether they occur in the Congaree River, in nearby Lake Murray, or within any other body of water in the Columbia area, boat accidents can and do cause serious injuries that require extensive medical care. In addition to the ever-present risk of drowning, collisions and other accidents out on the water can result in bone fractures, ligament strains, traumatic brain or spine damage, and even the loss of a limb.
After filing an accident report in accordance with state law, contacting a Columbia boat accident lawyer should be your next priority after a serious incident between maritime vessels. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney could provide crucial assistance not only with proving negligence by the other party involved in your accident, but also with contesting allegations of comparative negligence made against you.
What Does Negligence on the Water Look Like?
When it comes to the duty of care owed to other people around them, many of the same expectations that apply to motor vehicle operators in South Carolina also apply to boat operators. Accordingly, if a boater directly causes an accident because they were operating their vessel at an excessive speed, not obeying buoy markers, or operating while impaired by alcohol or drugs, that behavior would likely constitute legal negligence and confer liability for the accident in question onto them.
Additionally, state law establishes several safety measures that uniquely apply to watercraft and their operators. For example, all boaters in South Carolina must have Coast Guard approved floatation devices for every person onboard their vessel, must have operational navigation lights activated if they are out on the water between sunset and sunrise, and must maintain idle speed whenever they are within 100 yards of the coastline or 50 feet of a dock, anchored boat, or person in the water. Any violation of these regulations could also constitute negligence if it leads to someone else suffering injury, as a Columbia boat accident attorney could explain in further detail.
Reporting Requirements for Columbia Boat Crashes
Any time someone in South Carolina is involved in a boating accident, they have an obligation to stop their own vessel as soon as it is safe to do so and render aid to anyone in need, so long as that would not put themselves, their passengers, or their vessel at risk of further harm. Furthermore, if an accident results in property damage, any injury that requires professional medical care, loss of consciousness by anyone involved, or a fatality, the party or parties involved must report the incident to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources as soon as possible.
Ensuring compliance with all applicable reporting requirements is essential when it comes to preserving the right to file suit after a boat crash. In addition to collecting evidence of defendant fault and arguing against assertions by the defendant that the plaintiff is partially to blame for an accident, a boat wreck attorney in Columbia could also offer guidance about the preliminary steps a boat accident victim must take before they can start pursuing civil compensation.
Speak with a Columbia Boat Accident Attorney Today
In many situations, accidents between waterborne vessels can be even more dangerous to the people involved than accidents on the water. Fortunately, you may be able to file suit over this kind of incident and recover significant compensation if you can prove negligence by the other party or parties involved.
By retaining a Columbia boat accident lawyer, you could greatly improve your chances of obtaining a favorable resolution to this type to claim. To learn what a seasoned attorney could do for you, call today.