sinking sailboat near a port turned on its side while the people in the water try to get get back to the boat

Boating Accident Lawyer in Myrtle Beach, SC

The scenic waters of South Carolina and Myrtle Beach attract thousands of boaters annually. Unfortunately, not all boat operators safely navigate the area’s popular waterways.

Were you injured in a boating accident in Myrtle Beach? If so, you need an experienced attorney from Jebaily Law Firm to help you secure the compensation you deserve for your losses from the parties at fault for the accident.

How do you pursue the compensation you deserve after a boat accident? Talk to the experienced boating accident lawyers at Jebaily Law Firm in Myrtle Beach. We help boat accident victims pursue the money they need to recover from their injuries and move forward with their lives.

Call us or contact us online today for a free consultation with our boating accident attorneys in Myrtle Beach.

Why You Need Our Myrtle Beach Boating Accident Lawyers

Boating accidents can be complicated and stressful. You need the help of an experienced attorney to pursue the money you need for your injuries and related financial losses.

The knowledgeable Myrtle Beach boat accident lawyers from Jebaily Law Firm stand ready to investigate the cause of the crash and identify all potentially liable parties. We can collect evidence to strengthen your claim before it is lost or destroyed. Our lawyers can identify all potential sources of compensation and help you seek maximum financial relief. We have the skills and resources to build a solid case so we can fight for you at the negotiating table or in court, if necessary.

Boating Accident Statistics in Myrtle Beach

Statistics from the SC Department of Natural Resources, Law Enforcement Division indicate there were 201 recreational boating accidents in one recent year, accounting for 21 boating fatalities. That was the highest number of recreational boating accidents recorded statewide in the past decade.

Horry County – home to Myrtle Beach – had 18,986 registered boats and saw 38 boating accidents, 19 injuries, and four fatalities in a single recent year.

South Carolina Boating Laws

South Carolina has numerous boating laws to protect people while on the water. For example, all boats must include a U.S. Coast Guard-approved wearable personal flotation device (life jacket) for each person onboard. These devices must be in good condition and readily available. Boats under 26 feet long must have at least one Coast Guard-approved portable fire extinguisher onboard.

South Carolina law also prohibits the operation of boats and other watercraft while under the influence of mind-altering substances like drugs and alcohol. A first-offense boating under the influence (BUI) conviction can result in fines and jail time. Subsequent BUI offenses can mean significant fines and up to three years in prison. The consequences become much more severe if a boat operator causes bodily harm or death while impaired.

You can find more information on South Carolina boating laws and safety regulations at the website for the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.

Causes and Types of Boating Accidents in Myrtle Beach

Boating accidents happen for many reasons. Operator error is the most common factor in Myrtle Beach boating accidents.

Other common causes of South Carolina boating accidents include:

  • Distracted boating
  • Speeding 
  • Boating while impaired by drugs or alcohol 
  • Operator inexperience 
  • Hazardous waters or weather conditions
  • Mechanical defects or failures 

Data from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources indicate that the most common type of boating accident is a collision with another vessel, followed by a collision with a fixed object.

Types of boating accidents commonly seen on South Carolina waters include:

  • Collisions with other boats
  • Capsizing
  • Grounding
  • Fires or explosions
  • Collisions with floating objects
  • Hitting submerged objects
  • Skier accidents
  • Flooding or swamping 

Common Boat Accident Injuries

Boating accidents often cause catastrophic injuries.

Some of the most common types of injuries associated with boating accidents include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Amputations
  • Scalping
  • Broken bones
  • Chemical burns from fuel spills
  • Thermal burns from explosions
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Lacerations
  • Contusions
  • Drowning
  • Near-drowning

Who Can Be Held Liable for a Boat Accident?

Who can be held liable for a boat accident depends on the circumstances. Often, careless operators can be responsible for the consequences of the accidents that result. Sometimes, the boat’s owner could be responsible for negligently entrusting the vessel to the operator. Charter companies could be liable for an accident aboard a sport fishing boat or a sightseeing vessel. Marinas could be liable for accidents if they rent boats or watercraft to inexperienced or unqualified operators.

Our skilled Myrtle Beach boat accident lawyers can review the facts of your case to determine who is liable and uncover all potential sources of insurance coverage.

Is Boat Insurance Required in South Carolina?

No. South Carolina does not require boat insurance. However, anyone with a boat or personal watercraft should invest in boat insurance. Bodily injury liability coverage can cover medical expenses if a boater is responsible for injuries to others.

If you are hurt in a boating accident caused by a careless boater, and they have boat insurance, you may file a claim against their insurance provider seeking compensation for your losses. If you are involved in a collision with a boater carrying no coverage, our attorneys can help you pursue other potential sources, such as umbrella policies, commercial general liability policies, homeowners’ coverage, and others.

Boater Safety Tips

You can protect yourself and other boaters by taking a few precautions before you hit the water.

Consider these boating safety tips:

  • Check weather conditions before casting off.
  • Follow all boating laws.
  • Avoid speeding.
  • Avoid boating while distracted.
  • Never operate a boat under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Make sure you and all your passengers wear life jackets.
  • Give details of your trip to family or friends in case of an accident.
  • Take a boating education course.
  • Never overload your boat or vessel.
  • Designate an assistant skipper or lookout.

All boaters should wear life jackets while on board. Life jackets should fit snuggly around the chest while allowing you to move and enjoy recreational activities like skiing or swimming. Life jackets come in several types. Review each type’s features to ensure you choose a jacket that meets your needs. South Carolina requires all children under 12 to wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved Type I, II, III, or V PFD when on a boat less than 16 feet long. For more boater safety tips, check out our infographic.

What Should I Do After a Boat Accident? Contact Our Myrtle Beach Boat Accident Lawyers

After a Myrtle Beach boat accident, contact local authorities, seek medical attention for your injuries, and immediately call our experienced boat accident lawyers. At Jebaily Law Firm, we want to advocate for you. Contact our Myrtle Beach office now for a free consultation.