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Columbia Personal Injury Lawyer > Moncks Corner Boat Accident Lawyer

Moncks Corner Boat Accident Lawyer

These serious accidents usually cause serious injuries. Many boats are almost as large and as powerful as many cars. Yet, in South Carolina, almost anyone can rent a powered watercraft, regardless of their amount of experience, if any, operating such a vehicle. Furthermore, help is not immediately available in these situations. As a result, by the time doctors treat victims, their injuries are more difficult, and more expensive, to treat.

The diligent Moncks Corner boat accident lawyer at The Stanley Law Group works hard to obtain the compensation these victims need and deserve. Usually, group health insurance policies exclude injury-related costs. As a result, the victim could be financially responsible for tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills. Responsibility may be a bigger issue than compensation. Attorneys hold tortfeasors (negligent parties) accountable for the injuries they carelessly cause.

Moncks Corner Boat Accident Lawyers and First Party Liability

Negligent operation and/or supervision causes most boat accident injuries in South Carolina. These injuries include head injuries, broken bones, and other wounds that, in many cases, are fatal.

Negligent operation is very common in these cases. As mentioned, many boat operators have very little boating experience. When they slide into the driver’s seat, they see a throttle, steering wheel, and other controls that resemble the ones in cars and trucks. So, they assume that operating a boat is much like operating a car or truck.

Cars and trucks have tires that grip the road. Boats float on water. Therefore, boars are much harder to control than cars and trucks. Inexperienced operators often fail to account for this important difference. So, they make mistakes like speeding, following too closely, and turning too sharply.

Furthermore, boats do not have brakes. Boat operators cannot quickly reduce the boat’s speed. Additionally, instead of stopping quickly, boats must drift to a stop.

The same duty of care applies to everyone, regardless of how much experience they have. Landlubbers who have never set foot in boats before have the same legal responsibilities as people who have operated such craft for many years.

Additionally, most boat operators must multitask. In addition to operating watercraft safely, they must supervise passengers. It’s dangerous to multitask in such ways. That’s especially true if, as is often the case, the boat operator and/or passengers have been drinking.

Third Party Liability

Most people lease boats from other people. These lessors could be financially responsible for damages, but in South Carolina, this issue is quite complex.

The general principle is quite clear. According to the negligent entrustment doctrine, owners are liable for damages if they knowingly allow incompetent operators to use their motor vehicles, and such an incompetent operator causes a crash. As mentioned, since so many people have so little boating experience, almost all operators are legally incompetent.

However, South Carolina sharply limits third party liability in these cases. Usually, a Moncks Corner boat accident lawyer must show:

  • The owner and lessee (person leasing the boat) had an agency relationship or acted with a common purpose,
  • The operator was, in fact, the owner’s agent, and
  • The owner retained some control over the vehicle.

Usually, some of these elements, but not all of them, are present in a watercraft leasing agreement, generally depending on the specific wording in the contract.

Furthermore, since South Carolina does not have a vicarious liability law, the federal Graves Amendment may come into play. This law protects commercial lessors from liability lawsuits, at least in some cases.

The takeaway is clear. Because these cases are so complex, only the most experienced personal injury lawyer should handle them.

Rely on a Diligent Berkeley County Lawyer

Injury victims are entitled to significant compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced Moncks Corner boat accident lawyer, contact The Stanley Law Group. Virtual, home, and hospital visits are available.

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