Boating Accidents Attorney
Boating is one of the most popular outdoor activities in the United States and South Carolina with over 300,000 registered boats in the state. Each year in South Carolina, thousands of people are injured or killed in boating wrecks during recreation outings. The South Carolina, waterways are second only to highways in terms of the number of accidental deaths occurring on them.
The Coast Guard defines the term “vessel” as any watercraft or artificial contrivance used, or capable of being used, as a means of transportation on the water, including airboats, auxiliary sailboats, jetskis, cabin motorboats, canoes, houseboats, inflatable boats, kayaks, open motorboats, personal watercraft, pontoon boats, rafts, rowboats, and sailboats.
Boating Accident Reporting is Required
In South Carolina, the operator of every vessel involved in a boating accident must file a written report whenever the accident results in any of the following:
- Loss of life; or
- Loss of unconsciousness; or
- Medical treatment or disability in excess of 24 hours; or
- Property damage in excess of $200.00
Reports of death and injury cases must be submitted within 24 hours and reports in other cases must be submitted within 5 days. Boating accident reports shall be filed with the South Carolina Wildlife and Marin Resources Department, Division of Boating.
South Carolina Boating Laws
Boating accident regulations are complex and involve various local, state and federal laws. Boat operators who operate their “vessel” in an unsafe manner may face criminal charges and if there are an accident and injury, they may be held liable for damages.
There are other factors that contribute to boating accidents that are unrelated to the driver conduct. A boat manufacturer or supplier may be held responsible for damages that result from an accident under the law of product liability. Product liability lawsuits can be brought against the seller or manufacturer of a product if it is deemed a “defective product” and was a contributing factor in the accident. Additionally, if the cause of the accident is due to the fault in the design, development, or labeling of the product, the manufacturer is liable for damages.
The waterways and lakes in Upstate South Carolina include: Lake Bowen, Lake Craig, Lake Greenwood, Lake Hartwell, Lake Jocassee, Lake Keowee, Lake Lanier, Lake Lyman, Lake Marion, Lake Moultrie, Lake Murray, Lake Monticello, Lake Oak Grove, Lake Oliphant, Lake Oolenoy, Lake Rabon, Lake Robinson – Greer, Lake Russell, Lake Secession, Lake Thicketty, Lake Thurmond, Lake Tugalo, Lake Warren, Lake Wateree, Lake Wylie, Lake Whelchel
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