Myrtle Beach is one of the country’s best spots for boating. There are few things more fun than spending the weekend enjoying the wind and the sun while cruising around on a boat. However, it must also be acknowledged that boating can be dangerous when proper safety precautions are not taken. All boat operators have legal obligation to take proper care of their passengers and to follow all of the Myrtle Beach’s Beach and Boating Regulations. The failure to follow these safety standards could potentially lead to a passenger or bystander suffering a very serious injury. If you or a loved one has been injured in a boat accident, please contact an experienced Myrtle Beach boat accident lawyer today to learn more about your rights and legal options.

Myrtle Beach Boat Accident Injuries: Understanding Negligence

Similar to most other South Carolina personal injury cases, negligence is the foundation of a boat accident injury case. If you can prove that your injury occurred as the result of another party’s negligence, then you can hold that person or entity legally liable for your damages. In the simplest terms, negligence occurs when a party fails to take proper care when performing an action. There are four basic elements required to establish negligence:

  • Duty: First, the standard of care must be established. You must be able to articulate what ‘proper care’ would have entailed in the situation in which you were injured.
  • Breach: After establishing the appropriate standard of care, you must then show how the defendant deviated from that standard in your case. This is known as a breach of the duty of care.
  • Causation: Additionally, you must also be able to connect the defendant’s deviation from the standard of care to your injuries. Proving that they breached the standard and that you were injured is not enough to hold them liable. You must be able to prove that there is a causal link between the two.
  • Damages: Finally, you must prove the full extent of your damages. After all, you can only recover compensation if you actually sustained an injury.

How Do You Prove Negligence in a Boat Accident Case

Proving negligence in a South Carolina boat accident case is always challenging. You will need an experienced Myrtle Beach boat accident lawyer by your side throughout the legal process. While you will certainly need to prove each of the four aforementioned elements of negligence, the breach element is typically the most fiercely contested. When it comes to proving a breach of the duty of care, each boat accident claim is very much fact specific. Some examples of negligent and reckless boat operator behavior include:

  • Consuming alcohol or drugs while operating a boat;
  • Boating in an area that is restricted;
  • Allowing passengers to ride in an unsafe spot on the boat, such as the bow or the transom;
  • Operating the boat at an unreasonably high rate of speed;
  • Failing to fix broken parts of the boats, thereby creating a safety hazard;
  • Making an unsafe turn;
  • Being too distracted to operate the boat safely; and
  • Any other boat operator action that creates an unreasonable safety risk.

It is clear that a wide variety of different types of boat operator actions could be considered reckless or negligent. In some cases, it may not be particularly difficult to prove the negligence of the boat operator. For example, imagine that a boat made a sharp turn, throwing you off the side and causing you a serious head injury. If the boat operator consumed a large amount of alcohol before making that turn, and there are several witnesses who can confirm the heavy alcohol consumption, then a breach of the duty of care will be relatively easy to establish. In that scenario, your attorney will then move on to other issues. On the other hand, if you were seriously injured because the boat operator failed to inform you that you should not sit in a certain spot on the boat, proving negligence may be more complicated. Ultimately, no matter the facts of your case, you need to speak to an attorney about your boat accident injury. Boats are inherently dangerous. As a result, South Carolina imposes many stringent legal duties on boat operators. They must look out for the safety of their passengers. You may have been injured because of a boat operator’s negligence without even realizing it. It is always advisable to have an attorney review the facts of your case.

Brain Injury Victims Need to Take Action

All head injuries need to be taken seriously. As more and more scientific research is conducted, medical experts continue to learn just how devastating brain injuries can truly be. A recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that nearly two million concussions are reported nationwide each year. Many of these injuries cause severe long-term damage. Further, many victims fail to seek proper medical and legal assistance because they do not recognize the extent of their injury. Concussions, also referred to as traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), can have a life-altering impact on a victim. It must be re-emphasized that any person who has suffered a blow to the head needs to seek immediate medical assistance. The following provides a list of symptoms that are commonly associated with a TBI:

  • The loss of consciousness, for any amount of time;
  • Confusion or memory problems;
  • Numbness in the fingers or the toes;
  • Nausea, vomiting or dizziness;
  • Intense headaches;
  • Issues with visions; and
  • Sudden or unusual fatigue.

Were You Injured in a Boating Accident?

At Joye Law Firm, our South Carolina boating accident attorneys have helped many victims obtain the full and fair compensation that they deserve. Reckless and negligent boat operators must be held accountable for their actions. If you have suffered a head injury or any other serious injury in a Myrtle Beach boat accident, please do not hesitate to contact our office today to set up a free review of your case.

About the Author

Mark Joye is the Head of the Litigation Department at the Joye Law Firm. A Board-Certified Trial Advocate with nearly 30 years of litigation experience, he currently serves on the Board of Governors for the American Association for Justice and is a past president of the South Carolina Association for Justice. In a recent trial, Joye headed a trial team that secured $17 million for a family killed in a tractor-trailer accident.

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