South Carolina has many beautiful waterways and boating is one way to enjoy the water. Whether you are a passenger on someone else’s boat or are operating your own watercraft, collisions and accidents can happen. Even if you take every reasonable precaution, the actions of others can result in incidents that lead to severe injuries or even loss of life.
It is possible for you to file a personal injury after a boat accident if your injuries and property damage were caused at least in part by someone’s negligence. A claim allows you to seek boat injury compensation for medical costs, lost wages, property damage, and other losses.
What to Do After You’ve Been Involved with a Boating Accident
If you have been in a boating accident, you will need to:
- Get Yourself and Others to Safety: Your priority is to get yourself to safety and offer aid to anyone else who is injured or needs assistance. This may mean calling 911, helping to evacuate the ship or taking other emergency measures.
- Get Medical Help Quickly: Even if you feel fine after an accident, get a full medical evaluation. If you have hit your head during a boating accident, especially, get an immediate medical evaluation. Some severe brain injuries and soft tissue injuries, as well as chronic pain conditions, are not apparent right away, and you will want to get a correct diagnosis and treatment.
- Remain Calm: Stay calm and do not get into conversations about fault or details of the accident. The words you say after an accident can be used in any legal claim after the fact. You may need to offer information to police or insurance companies, but be wary of how much you share.
- Get Legal Representation as Soon as Possible: Before you sign anything — and ideally before you speak to an insurance company — talk to a personal injury attorney. Even if you have boater’s insurance, legal representation may be essential to ensure you get fair compensation. An attorney can help you evaluate all your options, so you do not sign away the rights to pursue fairer compensation. They can also start building your case and protecting your rights at once.
- Secure Documentation: If possible, get a copy of your medical records, police report and any other evidence. Pictures of the boat damage, your injuries and even a written description of what you remember can be beneficial for your attorney if you do file a boating accident lawsuit. The sooner you take photos or write down what you remember, the more information you will retain.
- Look Over Your Boater’s Insurance Policy: If your incident occurred in your boat, take a look at your policy. Are you covered? Do you have coverage in case another boater is uninsured or underinsured? If you are not sure about coverage or have concerns, have an attorney review the policy with you.
How We Can Help
If you have been injured in a boating accident — either as a passenger or the boat operator — contact Thurmond, Kirchner and Timbes, Attorneys at Law for a consultation with a boating accident attorney in South Carolina. Our compassionate and experienced team is aggressive in pursuing the rights of those who have been injured.