Most days on the water include sun, fun, and memories that last a lifetime. However, operating a watercraft is not without risk, particularly when certain precautions do not get observed. If a boating accident resulted in severe injuries or the passing of a loved one, you may be entitled to damages.
A Myrtle Beach boat accident lawyer provides consultation services that determine if your case is worth pursuing and what compensation you may be able to claim. To begin discussing the details of your case, feel free to reach out to an experienced attorney for help.
What are the Boating Laws in Myrtle Beach?
The Palmetto State enjoys 2,876 miles of coastal shoreline, making it a boating destination for residents and tourists alike. Boating accidents and related incidents violating the South Carolina Boating and Safety Act of 1999 become subject to lawsuits since they can result in serious or fatal injuries. The state cites numerous grounds for negligent operation, including a watercraft going above the designated “idle speed” in a no wake zone, and going too fast for the water’s conditions. Additional grounds for boating negligence include failing to keep watch for other persons and boats in the water. Those who do not adhere to such laws become subject to fines and jail time not exceeding more than $200 and 30 days of imprisonment, respectively.
The state also defines reckless boating actions, such as operating a vessel with either a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of other individuals and vessels. Reckless actions include maneuvering the vessel in a high-traffic area above the idle speed, swerving too close to another watercraft, and jumping the wake of another vessel that is 200 feet away or less. Penalties include up to $200 in fines and up to 30 days in jail as well as completion of a mandated boating safety course. The offending individual’s boating privileges might also be suspended for up to 90 days.
Fines and jail time for boating offenses additionally depend on whether they are the person’s first, second, or third offense. If it is the defendant’s second offense, for example, the individual may be fined up to $5,000 and remain in jail for up to a year. Depending on the severity of the plaintiff’s injuries and whether the incident off the coast of Myrtle Beach included fatalities, the boating accident attorney may call for the maximum penalties.
What Safety Items Does South Carolina Require Boaters to Have?
The state features a list of safety items all watercrafts must include to avoid violations and lawsuits from legal professionals in Myrtle Beach. These items include:
- Current boat registration and title
- Personal floatation devices
- Fire extinguisher
- Kill switch
- Type IV boat throw
- Horn, whistle, or bell
Watercraft operators must also complete a state-administered boating course if they are under 16. Each watercraft should also include one sober adult over the age of 18.
Speak with a Myrtle Beach Boat Accident Attorney Today
If you sustained an injury or a loved one aboard your vessel was killed due to another boater’s negligence or intentional behavior, speak with a Myrtle Beach boat accident lawyer as soon as possible. The legal professional offers the help that makes navigating a legal claim significantly easier.
Discuss the details of your case today to possibly recover damages including past and future medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, mental anguish, lost earning capacity, funeral expenses, loss of consortium, and loss of financial support. Schedule a consultation today to get started.