Living in the Charleston area, your South Carolina workers’ compensation attorneys are no strangers to boats, boating, and all the other various forms of water activity. Also, everyone working at the Howell Law thoroughly enjoy the seafood that comes from our scenic coast and waterways. But, it often is forgotten that a lot of hard work is done by local fisherman to get that fresh, delicious seafood to our local grocers, restaurants, and ultimately our stomachs. Fishing is an industry that exemplifies the risk-reward philosophy, fisherman take great risks to reap the monetary rewards of their labors. Case in point, late Monday night, around 10:00 p.m., two fishermen were hurt after their fishing boat struck an object and ran into a bank in the Diversion Canal. The Diversion Canal is located in Berkeley County near Cross, South Carolina. Fortunately one of the fishermen had his cell phone with him at the time of the boat accident and called 911. The Berkeley County Rescue Squad was able to quickly find the crashed boat and two fishermen, as the fisher on the phone stayed on the line and directed rescuers straight to them. The driver of the fishing boat suffered head injuries from hitting his head against the windshield of the vessel. Thankfully the injury is not life threatening. The article outlining the incident in Wednesday’s Post and Courier did not specify the extent of the injuries suffered by the other fisherman.
While the boat was taken back to the boat landing, the fishermen were transported to a local hospital by Berkeley County EMS. The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources is looking deeper into the accident.
In an unrelated incident, which occurred late last Sunday night, a captain of a 21-foot scout boat fell overboard between the Stono Inlet and the Folly Beach Marina. According to a report from Coast Guard Station Charleston, the 28-year-old captain was not wearing a life jacket when he fell overboard. Responding to the incident was a 28-foot boat rescue crew sent out by the Coast Guard and Air Facility Charleston launched an MH-65 Dolphin air rescue crew. Additionally, Charleston County Fire and Rescue and the Charleston County Sherriffs Office helped out in the search for the captain. Fortunately, and much like the earlier mentioned incident in this post, the rescue was a success, and there were no serious injuries to be reported. About an hour after the captain fell into the water, rescuers found him out of the water and stranded on a marshy area along the shore. According to reports, another boater on the Stono River heard the captain calling for help and was able to direct the rescue crews to his location.
As a general consideration, it is important for South Carolina residents to know that if you, or anyone you know, is seriously injured or killed by a boating accident or drowning in Charleston, Myrtle Beach, Beaufort or anywhere else in our Great State you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and other damages. There are many ways boating accidents occur, many boats and other water craft have insurance policies that are similar to that of insurance provided for automobiles. This means that when a serious accident occurs on the water, there is likely compensation available to the victims to be reimbursed for their damages like medical bills, lost wages, permanent injuries and loss of enjoyment of life.
Sadly, there are time when boating and other water accidents result in death. The most common cause of death in South Carolina water accidents is drowning. Many of those fatalities are caused by failure to have a life vest or other flotation device available for the victim to use after an accident. Families of the victims of drowning are entitled to additional damages for any amount of time the victim survived prior to their death and are also entitled to damages for loved one’s wrongful death.
Some of these cases fall under state law in South Carolina and many of these accidents fall under an area of the law known as admiralty law. For example: was the site of the accident on navigable or non-navigable water? Because of this and other reasons, there are many complex legal issues regarding boating and other water accidents. The insurance company will have skilled representatives that work for them and not you. It is important to have a skilled advocate on your side that understands the legal issues and will represent your best interest in reaching a fair and just resolution in your case.