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  • Writer's pictureDana Adkins, Esq.

What You Should Do in the Aftermath of a Boating Accident to Protect Your Legal Rights

Updated: Aug 23, 2021

South Carolina is known for its beautiful waterways inviting boaters, swimmers, and jet skiers to enjoy time on the water. Enjoyment of our lakes, rivers, and shoreline comes with dangers. Injuries, even death, can result in the blink of an eye.

This past 4th of July weekend, one boater lost their life and three others were injured when their boat struck a wooden piling in Colleton County. In relation to another deadly boating accident, a lawsuit was filed this week against the Coast Guard and the Army Corps of Engineers alleging inoperable navigation lights caused the accident. Last month's death of Elijah Dominic Weatherspoon, has many still wondering what happened.


There are few experiences more terrifying than a serious boating accident. If you or a loved one is injured in a boating accident, you have legal rights. Here are a few steps you can take to protect those rights in the aftermath:

  • MEDICAL CARE: The shock of the accident sometimes masks the symptoms of injuries. Even if you don't believe that you were hurt, it is still a good idea to be examined by a doctor.

  • COLLECT INFORMATION: Collect the names, addresses, and phone numbers for everyone involved, as well as for any witnesses. Also, collect the insurance information for all boats involved in the accident. If possible, take pictures of the boat and the surrounding area.

  • FILE REPORTS: It is important to file all necessary reports with the U.S. Coast Guard and the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. These reports may be used to help determine what happened, and who was at fault in causing the accident. It is important to be truthful and accurate in providing information but you should not provide any unnecessary information or speculate about the cause of the accident or who was at fault.

  • LEGAL HELP: It is also wise, to seek legal help immediately. The laws governing boating accidents are more complicated than most automobile accidents. Often federal admiralty laws apply. Those responsible for causing your boating accident can be held liable and made to compensate you for medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering or the wrongful death of a family member.


If you or a loved one has been hurt in a boating accident, contact Dana Adkins Personal Injury Attorneys, for help pursuing your damages claim.


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