Boating Scuba Accident Attorneys in Charleston
South Carolina waterways offer beautiful scenery, and miles and miles of fun and exploration. Our beautiful lakes, rivers, and ocean access draws boaters of all ages. Unfortunately, many of these boaters are inexperienced, and others are irresponsible. The result can lead to serious accidents with life-altering consequences. Too many of these accidents could have been avoided.
Americans tend to understand the dangers of automobiles and the serious accidents they can cause. These same people, however, tend to underestimate the dangers of boating accidents:
- Maritime boating accidents
- Recreational boating accidents
- Cruise ship accidents and injuries
Every boating accident requires the expertise and knowledge of an attorney who understands your needs and is willing to treat your case with respect. Boating accidents can be complicated and time consuming. Moreover, even if you win your case, it is can be difficult to collect the compensation you need to put your life back in order. At the Bostic Law Firm, we can help.
To learn more about your specific accident situation, contact our Charleston boating accident lawyers for your free case evaluation.
Staggering Boating Accident Statistics
According to a report by the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, more than 4,000 boating accidents occur annually, resulting in more than 600 deaths, 2,600 injuries, and almost $40 Million dollars in property damage. In fact, deaths resulting from boating accidents increased more than 10% over the previous year. Drowning was the most reported reason for boating accident deaths, but over 20% died from other injuries. Most tragic of all, of those who did die from drowning, 84% were NOT using a life jacket. There is simply no excuse for boat owners not to insist that their passengers wear personal flotation devices.
Inadequate training by the operator is another recurring reason for boating accidents, as well as the size of the boat. A stunning 73% of boating deaths occurred in boating accidents where the operator had no training. Equally alarming, 80% of all boating accidents occurred in boats that are less than 21 feet in length. Experts believe that even basic training courses can help reduce many boating accidents. Moreover, training is important even in small boats.
Other contributing factors cited by experts for boating accidents include operator inattention, failing to designate a lookout, speeding, and operating a boat while intoxicated. In fact, the use of alcohol is the leading contributor in fatal boating accidents – accounting for 21% of all deaths in boating accidents.
With almost 12 million recreational boating vessels in the United States, the most dangerous type of boat are open motorboats (47%), personal watercrafts (17%), and cabin motorboats (15%). Other vessels that contribute to boating injury include canoes and kayaks.
Any boating accident, even seemingly minor ones, can result in serious injuries or death. Open water is very unforgiven. Apart from the water, however, human factors responsible for boat accidents include:
- Not wearing life jackets
- Cavalier or irresponsible operation of a boat
- Insufficient training by the operator
- Boating while drunk or drinking
- Rash behavior by passengers
- Operator inexperience
- Operator inattentiveness
- Equipment that is improperly maintained
- Equipment that is used improperly
- Missing equipment
Ignorance is no excuse for recklessness behavior on a boat. Regardless if you are enjoying a day on the lake, water skiing, or simply bating your hook to fishing, you and other boaters rely upon someone to be safe, act responsibly, and ensure that your boat (or any watercraft) has the proper safety equipment. You have the right to expect boat operators to act responsibly, carefully, and to b experienced. You also have the right to expect that operators will place your safety above their own safety. With this in mind, boaters should take an approved operating course, and they should ensure that all reasonable precautions have been taken to prevent you or a family member from being injured or killed.
Boating operators are liable to ensure that all passengers wear proper Personal Flotation Devices (PFD’s) and have appropriate PFD’s available on the boat. Boat owners and operators must act responsibly for ensuring that all passengers behave in a mature, clear-minded manner.
It is a fact of life, however, that accidents will occur even if the boat is equipped with the safety gear and the operator has taken the proper precautions. When this happens, you need the experience and knowledge of the layers at the Bostic Law Firm. We are here to help you. If you or a loved one has been injured or lost in a boating accident, it is important to speak to an attorney immediately. You may be eligible for compensation for any losses stemming from the accident, including your medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.
Experienced Support When You Have Been Injured
Our Charleston boating accident attorneys have the experience needed to help you understand your case and determine the compensation you may be entitled. We will discuss the options you have for pursuing justice for your injuries. We have assisted clients injured in boating accidents caused by a number of factors, including:
- Impaired operators
- Distracted operators
- Inexperienced boaters
- Failure to follow proper boating regulations
- Equipment malfunction
- Reckless operation of a watercraft
Whatever the cause of your accident, our experienced boating and scuba accident attorneys will work to help you recover compensation as quickly and painlessly as possible. We will conduct an investigation of the events leading to your injury, collect any evidence demonstrating the negligence of the responsible party, and we will work to negotiate a settlement that covers your losses. If a settlement cannot be reached, we will take your case to court to pursue a judgment in your favor.
Representing Divers Injured in Scuba and Snorkeling Accidents in Charleston
SCUBA and diving accidents can occur in a number of situations and often lead to severe injuries and medical conditions. In South Carolina, an unfortunate number of individuals are injured in recreational and commercial diving accidents every year. A 2000 study found that recreational diving is 36 to 62 times riskier than driving an automobile.
Much of the South Carolina economy depends upon commercial divers performing a verity of functions: pier repair and restoration, raising damaged boats, performing rescue operations, hydroelectric work, and more. The Charleston area also provides some of the best fresh water and Atlantic Ocean scuba diving experiences in the United States. Every year, thousands of coastal residents and visitors come to our state to receive scuba certification, to work as commercial divers, or to use dive shops and boating services to enjoy their unique pastime. While most divers are aware of the dangers, and all dive schools and outfitters must pass strict certification requirements, serious injuries can still occur on boat decks and under the surface of the water.
If you were injured in a dive accident while engaging in a professional or recreational dive activity in or around Charleston, South Carolina, contact a member of our litigation team at the Bostic Law Firm. We have a successful record of protecting divers who place their lives in the hands of training instructors and dive masters working out of independent dive shops and charter boats. Our knowledge allows us to offer advice on a number of diving accidents occurring in various situations, including:
- Recreational diving: Nearly 100 people are killed in recreational diving accidents every year in the United States. Many of these accidents result from diver operator error, or a lack of proper training or improper preparation of diving equipment. Regardless if you are taking your first dive on vacation, or you are an avid hobbyist, you likely rely on the expertise of a more experienced diver when you dive. When injuries occur because of the negligence of others, those individuals may be liable for your losses.
- Commercial diving: Commercial divers are often tasked with ship repairs, construction, underwater salvage operations, public safety exercises, and more. Unfortunately, even the most experienced and skilled commercial divers rely on assistance from dive masters and dive partners; negligence on the part of either can lead to serious injuries.
Diving Injuries Are Often Very Serious in Nature, and Can Include:
- Asphyxia or suffocation
- Hyperbolic injuries
- Brain injuries
- Near drowning – a condition involving unconsciousness or water inhalation and can lead to serious secondary complications, including death, after the event.
- Secondary drowning – a condition that can take place up to 72 hours after a near drowning incident, and may lead to a serious condition or death.
- Salt-water aspiration syndrome - a reaction to salt in the lungs.
- Carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide poisoning
- Emphysema or lipid pneumonia caused by inhaling oil mist.
In Most Cases, These Conditions Are the Result Of:
- Faulty demand values
- Water in the rebreather
- Faulty or misused rebreather
- Improper gas mixtures
- Internal corrosion of a cylinder
- Closing and jamming of the cylinder valve
- Rupture of a regulator hose
- Leaving a hose open
- Jammed valves
- Freezing of a first stage regulator
- O-ring failure
- and more
If you or a loved one has been injured in a SCUBA or diving accident, it is important to speak to an experienced attorney regarding your rights to pursue compensation for your losses. At the Bostic Law Firm, our SCUBA and diving accident attorneys are available to talk to you 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We have the skills and experience needed to help you pursue compensation when negligence of another party has led to injuries sustained in diving accidents. Mr. Bostic is himself a certified diver with over 25 years of experience.
Contact a Charleston Injury Attorney to Discuss Your Scuba or Diving Accident
If you or a loved one has been injured in a SCUBA or diving accident that occurred because of another party’s negligence, it is important to begin building a case for compensation as quickly as possible. Our staff will conduct a thorough investigation of the events leading to the injuries, and will use any evidence demonstrating negligence to aggressively pursue compensation through settlement negotiation or courtroom litigation.
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