Boating Accidents

South Carolina boasts 2,876 miles of coastal shoreline, the 11th longest in the United States. This coastal shoreline includes the outer coast, offshore islands, sounds, bays, and rivers and it makes South Carolina a beautiful place for boaters of all ages. Unfortunately, with a large boating population, South Carolina boaters are also at an increased risk for suffering serious life-threatening injuries in a boating accident.

In 2017 alone, there were 15 recreational boating fatalities in South Carolina, including fishermen who fell overboard and reckless collisions. When your fun boating excursion turns into a tragic nightmare, do you know where to turn for help?

At the Law Offices of F. Craig Wilkerson, Jr., our law firm has extensive experience representing boating accident victims in South Carolina. We know that boating is a dangerous activity and one that can result in serious injury when boat operators are reckless or negligent. For over two decades, we have been helping boaters recover the money they need to put their lives back together again after a devastating boating accident.

South Carolina Boating Requirements

From 2013 to 2017, boating accidents in South Carolina have increased by 45%, according to data compiled by the Coast Guard. Tragically, up to 80% of boating fatalities could’ve been prevented if the boater was wearing a life jacket at the time of the accident.

Unfortunately, many people on the water in South Carolina have little to no knowledge of the state’s boating laws. They also have minimal knowledge of their own vessels and the ways they can avoid deadly accidents from occurring. To improve boat safely, South Carolina law requires you to have these items with you on your boat:

  • Current boat title and registration
  • Personal flotation devices (enough for each person on board or in tow; accessible; in good condition; properly sized for each passenger; if a child is under 12 years old we encourage them to wear it at all times)
  • Type IV boat throw (can be thrown to a drowning person)
  • Flares
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Bell, whistle, or horn
  • Kill switch
  • Lighting

In South Carolina, all boat operators under the age of 16 must complete a DNR-administered or approved boating course if the boat has a 15 h.p. motor or greater. There must also be a sober adult over the age of 18 on the boat at all times.

Common Types of Boating Negligence Claims

Enjoying the water is best when you operate your watercraft in a safe and responsible manner and when you use recommended safety guidelines. This means taking a boating safety course in order to understand the laws of the waterways. Many of the boating accident claims involve negligence of the boating operator. These negligence claims can be prompted by:

  • Speeding
  • Navigating in poor weather despite advanced knowledge
  • Operating the boat under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Failing to carry safety equipment on board
  • Failing to carry life vests for all guests
  • Disregarding rules of the waterway
  • Overcrowding or overloading vessel

Contact Our South Carolina Boating Accident Lawyers Today

If you or someone you love has been injured in a boating accident in South Carolina, we can help. At the Law Offices of F. Craig Wilkerson, Jr., we know that boating accidents often result in serious and life changing injuries. Even worse, we know that the vast majority of boating accidents could be prevented. When another person’s negligence results in your injury, you need an experienced personal injury law firm in your corner.

Call the Law Offices of F. Craig Wilkerson, Jr. today at (803) 324-7200 (Rock Hill), (803) 289-7202 (Lancaster), (803) 396-5200 (Fort Mill), (864)466-5170 (Union) or fill out our confidential contact form. With offices conveniently located in Rock Hill, Fort Mill, Union, and Lancaster, we are here when you need us. Call us today for a free case evaluation.