Sumter Boat Accident Lawyer
Mostly to attract tourists, South Carolina has some of the weakest boater licensing requirements in the country. Many boaters have little or no experience on the water. Additionally, many boaters are inexperienced operating certain types of boats. There’s a big difference between a party barge and a motorboat, especially if there are a number of passengers to look after. Other boaters, and onboard passengers, often pay the price for this inexperience.
In contrast, the experienced Sumter boat accident lawyer at The Stanley Law Group routinely handle these matters throughout the Palmetto State. Over the years, we’ve learned what works and what doesn’t work. So, your injury claim is not a training exercise for us. Instead, we quickly get to work building a case. Because of this strong foundation, we are well-positioned to obtain maximum compensation for your serious injuries. Usually, we settle injury claims out of court, which means our clients obtain compensation and justice faster than they would otherwise.
Boat Accident Injuries
Inexperienced operation often leads to boat collisions. Many people assume that a boat drives a lot like a car or truck. After all, they’re both motor vehicles, they both have steering wheels, and they both have accelerators. However, motor vehicles have brakes, so they can stop quickly. Boats drift to a stop. Additionally, cars and trucks have tires that grip the road and provide excellent traction. Boats float.
Inexperience is not the sole cause of boat collisions. For many people, boating and alcohol consumption go hand in hand. Alcohol’s impairing effects, such as clouded judgment and slow reflexes, begin with the first drink. As mentioned, only boaters with clear judgment and fast reflexes can safely operate these vehicles.
A combination of impairment and inexperience also often leads to “man overboard” drownings. Alcohol causes unsteady balance. That’s a very dangerous effect on a wet deck of a rolling and pitching boat. Life preservers prevent some drownings, but certainly not all of them. On a related note, many victims fall and hit their heads, or another part of their bodies, on the deck or another solid object.
Boat operators are legally and morally responsible for these injuries. These individuals have a dual duty of care. They must safely operate boats and also keep the passengers on board reasonably safe. The operational duty of care includes a duty to boat friendly and avoid accidents if at all possible. The on-board safety duty includes a responsibility to make the boat safe and frequently inspect it and remove hazards.
After an injury, a Sumter boat accident lawyer can obtain compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. Additional punitive damages may be available as well, in some extreme cases.
Frequently, boat owners are financially responsible for these damages, because of the negligent entrustment rule. Owners are liable for injury compensation if they knowingly allow incompetent operators to use their boats or other vehicles, and such owners cause injuries. Evidence of incompetence includes no valid boating permit and inexperience operating a certain kind of boat (e.g. a power boat as opposed to a sailboat).
Arguably, under South Carolina law, almost everyone who rents a boat for the day is an incompetent operator, since as mentioned, the standards are so low. These commercial negligent entrustment cases work a bit differently in South Carolina. Since the Palmetto State doesn’t have a vicarious liability law, the federal Graves Amendment gives boat owners limited immunity in some cases.
Count on a Thorough Sumter County Lawyer
Injury victims are entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced Sumter boat accident lawyer, contact The Stanley Law Group, P.A. Attorneys can connect victims with doctors, even if they have no insurance or money.