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Columbia Personal Injury Lawyer > Spartanburg Boat Accident Lawyer

Spartanburg Boat Accident Lawyer

Recreational boating might be one of the most fun activities, and most dangerous activities, in South Carolina. Many boat operators have little or no experience. Furthermore, most boat operators multitask as party hosts. Finally, to some people, boating and alcohol consumption go hand in hand. When fun-filled activities cause serious injury, the Spartanburg boat accident lawyer at The Stanley Law Group is there to help.

Boat accident injuries are usually a combination of vehicle collision and drowning injuries. Therefore, boat accident injuries are usually catastrophic (life-threatening). Many boats are almost as big and fast as many cars. But a boat does not have brakes or a reliable steering mechanism. As for “man overboard” injuries, even if the victim is wearing a life preserver, which is rather doubtful, the injury could be fatal.

Spartanburg Boat Accident Lawyers and First Party Liability

Compensation for these injuries is available if a Spartanburg boat accident lawyer proves negligence, or a lack of care, by a preponderance of the evidence, or more likely than not.

Ordinary negligence is a lack of reasonable care, at least in most cases. Boaters must be sober, well-rested, and otherwise fit to operate powered craft. As they operate their boats, they must follow all safety rules and avoid accidents whenever possible.

Operator impairment, like alcohol use, breaches the duty of care. So does aggressive boating, like speeding or turning unsafely. If the breach substantially caused the injury, compensation is available.

This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. A third party might be financially responsible for these damages. More on that below.

Evidence in an ordinary negligence matter usually includes the police accident report, witness statements, and medical bills. This evidence must establish the amount of damages in a negligence per se matter. Usually, there’s a relationship between the amount of evidence a victim presents and the amount of compensation jurors award.

The same compensation is available in negligence per se matters. If the tortfeasor (negligent party) violates a safety rule, and that violation substantially caused injury, the tortfeasor could be liable for damages as a matter of law.

Third Party Liability

Most people lease watercraft. These owners could be financially responsible for damages in these cases. However, South Carolina law is quite complex on this subject.

The basic principle is straightforward. Vehicle owners are financially responsible for damages if they knowingly allow incompetent people to operate their vehicles. Evidence of incompetence includes:

  • No valid license (perhaps including an expired license),
  • Safety-suspended license,
  • Driving in violation of license restrictions,
  • Recent at-fault collisions, and
  • A poor driving record.

However, South Carolina law limits this doctrine, which is called negligent entrustment. For example, Contributory negligence can only be imputed to the owner if there is an agency relationship, common purpose, and/or joint enterprise.

The Graves Amendment may apply as well. This federal law limits the liability of commercial owners, like Enterprise and U-Haul, when they lease vehicles to incompetent drivers who cause crashes.

Contact a Dedicated Spartanburg County Lawyer

Injury victims are entitled to significant compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced boat accident  lawyer in Spartanburg, contact The Stanley Law Group. We routinely handle matters throughout the Palmetto State.

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