Charleston Boat Accident Lawyer
South Carolinians consistently rank boating as one of their favorite recreational activities. However, it’s also one of the most hazardous such activities. Many boat operators have little or no experience on the water. Furthermore, for many of them, drinking and boating is a way of life. That combination often causes serious or fatal injuries.
At the Gus Anastopoulo Law Firm, our compassionate Charleston boat accident lawyers understand the intense pain and suffering these victims must endure. We also understand the severe financial strain accidents place on families who, in many cases, were barely making ends meet to begin with. So, we work hard to achieve favorable out-of-court settlements which speed compensation to victims and their families. At the same time, we are with you until the end of the line, even if that means a trial.
Most boaters naturally assume that boats are like cars. They both have the same basic controls, like steering wheels and throttles or accelerators. Furthermore, they are both motor vehicles for legal purposes.
But there are some significant differences. Brakes, or more specifically the lack thereof, are a good example. Car drivers can stop moving vehicles almost immediately. But boats must drift to a standstill. Even then, they usually don’t stop entirely. Furthermore, cars and trucks are axled vehicles on pavement which are relatively easy to maneuver. That’s not true for a flat boat in the water.
There are some similarities, mostly in the area of operator impairment. Some common forms of impairment for both boaters and drivers include:
- Alcohol/drug use,
- Distraction, and
- Serious medical condition.
Operators with one of these impairments could be liable for crash damages as a matter of law. The same thing applies to boaters who speed or violate other operational rules.
The damages in a boat wreck claim usually include compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.
Boat owners are legally responsible for passenger safety. This safety is often difficult to ensure on a wet, slippery, and pitching boat deck. That’s especially true if owners are not at their best, for one reason or another. Falls and drawings are the two most common personal injuries in these situations.
Many victims fall and hit their heads. These wounds are especially serious for people with pre-existing conditions. Making matters worse, head injuries are difficult to diagnose and treat. Therefore, many victims are seriously hurt and getting worse, and they don’t even know it.
As for drownings, a few moments under the waves could be enough to cause a serious brain injury. Life jackets significantly reduce the chances of such an accident, but they don’t entirely eliminate them.
Usually, the owner is liable for damages if s/he owed a duty of care and either breached that duty or knew about the hazard which caused injury.
Reach Out to a Diligent Charleston County Boat Accident Lawyer
Boating injury victims are entitled to fair compensation for their serious injuries. For a free consultation with an experienced Charleston boat accident lawyer, contact the Gus Anastopoulo Law Firm. We routinely handle matters throughout the Palmetto State.