Carolina Accident Lawyers

Boating License Issue Raised in South Carolina

Boating License Issue Raised in South Carolina

Boating License Issue Raised in South Carolina

Charlotte, NC Personal Injury Lawyer

According to a news report, a lake association has raised the idea of establishing a mandatory operator’s license for boaters in order to improve safety conditions. Herb Burnham, executive director of the Lake Hartwell Association, indicated that boater education is the only good answer and that mandatory licensing requirements are the best means of enforcing that. South Carolina has 485,000 boat owners, and a total of 108 boating accidents were reported in 2014, resulting in 58 injuries and 28 deaths. However, several Republican legislators have indicated that they are skeptical about the merits of a boating license requirement and that a firm link must be established between licensure and saving lives before they consider a new tax to be imposed.

Only a few states require boaters to have an operator’s license. Alabama requires boaters to acquire a license since 1997, and in Indiana, only those with driver’s licenses are allowed to operate boats. In neighboring Georgia, anyone born on or after January 1, 1998 must complete a boating safety court to lawfully operate a motor boat on state waters.

Boating Requirements in South Carolina

In South Carolina, boat operators under the age of 16 must complete a boating safety course approved by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources to operate a boat with a 15-horsepower motor or greater, unless he or she is accompanied by an adult 18 years or older. additionally, vessels are prohibited from operating in excess of idle speed within 50 feet of an anchored vessel, wharf, pier, dock, or a person in the water, and may not operate in excess of idle speed within 100 yards of the Atlantic coastline. Additionally, operators involved in boating accidents have to report the accident to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources if it involves loss of life, loss of consciousness, medical treatment, disability in excess of 24 hours, or property damage.

General Boating Rules

While operating on a boat on South Carolina waterways, there are certain basic rules of navigation that operators must abide by when encountering other vessels even if there is no “right of way” over other vessels.

If you are operating a powered vessel, you must give way to anchored or disabled vessels, vessels that are restricted in their ability to maneuver, such as a vessel laying cable or towing another boat, or a large ship in a channel, commercial shipping boats, and a sailboat under sail. Additionally, jumping the wake of a passing boat, or riding too close to another boat, creates the risk of an accident.

Thousands of vessels operate on South Carolina waterways, and boating accidents occur with too much frequency. They can be extremely dangerous accidents, with the potential for serious and even fatal injuries. Those injured in boating accidents may hold operators liable for injuries if they were negligent in the operation of their vessels. You should contact the attorneys at Bice Law, LLC if you or a loved has been injured in a boating accident to help you seek compensation for your injuries. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.

Contact the Personal Injury Law Firm of Bice Law:

The personal injury firm of Bice Law will examine your case to determine the type and amount of damages that your injury warrants, including payments for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and any permanent disability.  We’ll determine whether an out-of-court settlement or trial is the best strategy to obtain maximum benefits for you or your family. If you have suffered injury or harm because of someone else’s actions, take the first step to protect your legal rights – contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law serving both North and South Carolina. You only have a limited time after your injury to file a claim, so act quickly.  Call (855) 500-BICE today or submit an online request  to get a free consultation with a  personal injury attorney. We serve families across both North Carolina and South Carolina.

 

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Obligations to Assist Others in Peril

Obligations to Assist Others in Peril

Charlotte, NC Personal Injury

As the weather heats up, people flock to outdoor, recreational activities.  A trip to the lake or ocean to swim away the scorching temperatures is typically a pleasant summertime activity, but sometimes, things can go wrong.  Drowning is the third leading cause of death from unintentional injury, worldwide.  In the United States, an average of nearly 4,000 deaths by drowning occurred each year from 1999-2010.

So what happens if you are caught in a situation where someone is in peril?

The legal adage that “danger invites rescue” is as true as ever.  In other words, when another person is drowning—or in some other type of peril—it is the natural, or moral inclination of many to attempt to help.  Surprisingly, the law rarely demands that one do so.

This concept is somewhat counterintuitive and foreign to the majority, who would find it all but impossible to sit by while another human perished by any means.  However, legally, an ordinary, reasonable person is generally under no legal duty to act to rescue another who finds him or herself in peril.  Of course, certain exceptions exist.

Dipping a Toe:  When Failing to Attempt to Rescue Another Could Result in Liability

The most common legal circumstance that would require a person to act in aid of another is when there is a special relationship between the two parties.  Though states vary slightly in the special relationships that do or do not create a duty, common relationships that impose a requirement to render aid are familial ones, like husband/wife or parent/child, and contractual ones like teacher/student, business-owner/guest, and mental-health provider/patient.

Certain other circumstances can create a duty to act, most notably when someone actually creates the peril that endangers the person in need of rescue.  In such circumstances, when the would-be rescuer actually created the danger, he or she is legally bound to render aid.

In addition, if a person chooses to attempt to rescue another, that rescuer must then perform that rescue as reasonable, ordinary person would under the circumstances.  The rescuer—having decided voluntarily to engage in the rescue–cannot leave the victim in a worse position, as when others decline to act because the person in peril is already being rescued.

Jumping In:  When Attempting to Rescue Could Result in Liability and Legal Protection of the Rescuer

As noted above, abandoning a rescue attempt undertaken by choice could lead to liability.  Voluntarily attempting to rescue a person in peril will very rarely result in liability.  A rescuer will only be liable for injury caused during a rescue attempt when the rescuer’s efforts were so careless when weighed against the nature of the emergency that his or her carelessness rises to the level of acting rashly or imprudently.  In South Carolina, a person who attempts to render aid in an emergency situation is insulated from any liability by statue under so-called “Good Samaritan” law.  North Carolina observes the same principle, though not by statute.  Moreover, if the rescuer is injured trying to aid another whose peril was caused by a third party, the third party may become liable to the rescuer for his or her injuries.

The Bottom Line

Because danger invites rescue, and danger is inevitable, the law works equally to protect those who choose not to engage in assistance to one in peril, and those who volunteer to do so.  Like so many choices then, in general, the decision whether or not to “jump in” to assist another will be personal.

Of course, to avoid having to choose between a legal and a moral obligation during a moment of crisis, the best strategy is to keep safety first this summer, wherever you are, and whomever you may be with.

Three Summer Water-Safety Tips

  1. Know how to swim. This may seem obvious, but the Red Cross reports that only 56% of Americans who said they could swim could pass a basic swimming skills test.  Before getting in over your head, test your swimming skills.  Swimming classes are available to adults as well.  Practicing in a pool, you should be able to (1) jump into the water over your head, (2) return to the surface, (3) tread water for one minute, turning around in a full circle, (4) swim 25 yards, and (5) exit the pool without using a ladder.
  2. Know the conditions. Most child drownings occur in pools.  In pools, barriers that keep children from entering the pool without supervision reduce a child’s risk of drowning by 83%.  Lifeguards are critical, but are not a substitute for individual supervision of a young child in the water.  If at the ocean, know the meaning of colored flags, do some research on Rip currents, and swim in pairs.
  3. Stay Dry. Drowning by those 15 and over more commonly occur in natural water settings.  Alcohol use was involved in 70% of water-recreation-based accidents.  You should avoid drinking alcohol not only before swimming or other water sports, but also when supervising children swimming.  One of the most important safety practices when in the water is to stay alert.

Contact the Personal Injury Law Firm of Bice Law

The personal injury firm of Bice Law will examine your case to determine the type and amount of damages that your injury warrants, including payments for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and any permanent disability.  We’ll determine whether an out-of-court settlement or trial is the best strategy to obtain maximum benefits for you or your family. If you have suffered injury or harm because of someone else’s actions, take the first step to protect your legal rights – contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law serving both North and South Carolina. You only have a limited time after your injury to file a claim, so act quickly.  Call (855) 500-BICE today or submit an online request  to get a free consultation with a  personal injury attorney. We serve families across both North Carolina and South Carolina.

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Boating Accident Fatality in North Carolina

Boating Accident Fatality in North Carolina

Charlotte, NC Personal Injury Lawyer

 On May 16, a boating accident took place on the Roanoke Sound in North Carolina that claimed the life of one man and injured another.  According to the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, three people were on one both and two on a second boat when the boats collided in the water.  Apparently, one boat sustained more damage than the other.

According to the Commission, 130 boating accidents occurred in North Carolina in 2014, of which 23 were fatal.  A total of 176 vessels were involved, and 93 persons who were injured in these boating accidents required medical treatment. Among the leading causes of fatal accidents include operator inexperience, hazardous waters, alcohol use, operator inattention, carelessness/recklessness, restricted vision, and excessive speed.

 Establishing Liability in Boating Accidents

 The majority of boating accidents usually involve a collision with another boat or another boat’s wake, hitting a wave, or hitting a submerged object, rock, or land. In a collision between two boats, both operators will usually be at least partly at fault.  In North Carolina, if the injured party was partly at fault for the accident, he or she is barred from recovering for any injuries. Injured passengers on either of the boat, if they are without fault, may have a legal case against the operators of both boats.

In instances where a boat hits a big wake, the impact can knock passengers down or throw them overboard. Liability for a wake accident is not always clear. Liability in a wake accident will generally depend on the circumstances, such as the the size of the wake, the boat’s speed, visibility, boat traffic, or whether the operator warned the passengers in reasonably timely fashion that they were heading for a wake. The operator of the boat that created the wake may also be liable depending on the location and the boating traffic. For example, if the boats were in a no wake zone usually found in marinas, then creating a wake violates safety rules and the operator would likely be liable for any injuries.

When an operator collides with a submerged rock or object, or runs aground, operators may be held liable for passengers’ injuries if the collision was the result of careless conduct, such as speeding in a dense fog or choosing to operate the boat without charts or a GPS.  Additionally the lack of proper safety equipment on board may also help establish a boat operator’s or owner’s liability for the accident.

Boating Insurance

North Carolina does not require boating insurance and, therefore, it is possible there is no insurance policy in place when a boating accident occurs.  If a boat operator still owed money on the vessel, it is likely the loan holder required the operator to maintain comprehensive insurance on the vessel in the case of an accident, theft, or other catastrophic loss. Even without insurance directly on the vessel, the operator might be covered by a homeowner’s policy or renter’s insurance policy that covers any liability due to the operator’s fault.

Boating accidents involve a very specific issues of law, and the maritime laws governing boating accident cases are very complex and vary depending on the location and circumstances of the boating accident. The personal injury attorneys at Bice Law, LLC, can help you seek compensation for your injuries if you have been in boating accident.  Contact us today for a free initial consultation.

Contact the Personal Injury Law Firm of Bice Law

The personal injury firm of Bice Law will examine your case to determine the type and amount of damages that your injury warrants, including payments for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and any permanent disability.  We’ll determine whether an out-of-court settlement or trial is the best strategy to obtain maximum benefits for you or your family. If you have suffered injury or harm because of someone else’s actions, take the first step to protect your legal rights – contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law serving both North and South Carolina. You only have a limited time after your injury to file a claim, so act quickly.  Call (855) 500-BICE today or submit an online request  to get a free consultation with a  personal injury attorney. We serve families across both North Carolina and South Carolina.

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South Carolina Boating Season

Rock Hill SC Boat Accident Lawyer

Spring is now upon us here in South Carolina and summer is just around the corner. Many of us are planning weekends camping, road trips to the beach and cook outs with friends. Keep in mind that during these times we need to think about safety. While out on the water things can become dangerous very quickly, keep these tips from the SCDNR in mind.

Before you Leave

  • Download DNR Float plan (Adobe PDF file), fill it out and make sure you leave the plans with a responsible individual.
  • Check the weather.
  • Let someone know where you are going.
  • Gather all lifesaving devices. Make sure they are in good serviceable condition and are the correct size for all passengers (especially children).
  • Check the fuel and the battery charge.
  • Make sure lights are in good working condition on the boat and trailer.
  • Make sure fire extinguisher is readily accessible and in good serviceable condition.
  • Put the plug in.
  • Connect trailer safety chains to tow vehicle.
  • Carry a cell phone if possible.

On the Water

  • Know the aids to navigation and buoy system in your areas.
  • Don’t operate the boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • When operating sailboats be aware of overhead power lines and wires.
  • If someone falls overboard, throw something that will float (Personal Floating Device (PFD), raft or cooler).
  • All boats approaching from the right have the right of way.
  • Always anchor from the bow of the boat and pull the anchor before leaving.
  • If boat capsizes, stay with the boat.
  • If caught in a storm, head into the wind, put on PFD’s and keep passengers low in the boat.
  • Cold water boaters such as duck hunters, fishermen, sailors beware! Cold water kills.
  • Call Operation Game Thief (1-800-922-5431) to report boating, fishing or hunting violations.

Contact the Boating Accident Law Firm of Bice Law

If you have been injured while on the water or working in a capacity covered by Maritime Law, the personal injury firm of Bice Law will examine your case to determine the type and amount of damages that your injury warrants, including payment for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering and any permanent disability.  We serve families across both North and South Carolina. You only have a limited time after your injury to file a claim, however, so you must act quickly.  Contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law today by calling (855) 5-BICE-LAW or submit an online request to get a free consultation with a boat accident lawyer.  Results are how we measure success – we’ve built a strong reputation both in and out of the courtroom, and we’ll put our experience and expertise to work on your behalf.

Source: SCDNR

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Two Killed in a Boat Crash

Rock Hill SC Boat Accident Lawyer

A child and pregnant woman were found dead after a boat crash over Memorial Day weekend.

While out on a lake in North Carolina, a speed boat went over the top of a pontoon boat, killing two and hospitalizing one.  No one on the speedboat was injured.

Investigators do not believe alcohol was a factor in the crash.  According to Sgt. Anthony Sharum with the Wildlife Resource Commission, both boats were coming towards each other. The pontoon boat was moving at a slower speed, and appeared to be heading into a dock.

The speedboat driver told authorities he did not see the pontoon boat.  Officials said it didn’t appear the pontoon boat could’ve avoided getting hit due to it’s slower speed.

Source: www.wcnc.com

Contact the Boating Accident Law Firm of Bice Law

If you have been injured while on the water or working in a capacity covered by Maritime Law, the personal injury firm of Bice Law will examine your case to determine the type and amount of damages that your injury warrants, including payment for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering and any permanent disability.  We serve families across both North and South Carolina. You only have a limited time after your injury to file a claim, however, so you must act quickly.  Contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law today by calling (855) 5-BICE-LAW or submit an online request to get a free consultation with a boat accident lawyer.  Results are how we measure success – we’ve built a strong reputation both in and out of the courtroom, and we’ll put our experience and expertise to work on your behalf.

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Boating Fatalities

Charlotte NC Boat Accident Lawyer

According to the United States Coast Guard’s National Recreational Boating Safety Program Executive Summary, in 2011 there were 4,588 boating accidents resulting in $52 million in damages. Of those accidents 758 of them were fatal, which is a 14.8% increase from the previous year. Roughly 70% of all fatalities were drownings, 84% of the people who drowned did not have a life jacket on.

North and South Carolina lakes, rivers, and other waterways offer some of the most beautiful scenery and opportunity for enjoyment, recreation, and relaxation for fishers, skiers, sailors and other boaters. The types of boats range from smaller personal water crafts, like a jet ski,  to charter fishing boats and houseboats. In addition to recreational boating, the South Carolina coast  serves as a cruise ship port.

Unfortunately, the careless and reckless conduct of others causes accidents resulting in serious injuries and damages. Many different laws exist to govern what happens on the Carolina waterways depending on where and how the accident occurs. Thus, boating accidents present complex questions that only experienced and skillful attorneys should attempt to handle.

Contact the Boating Accident Law Firm of Bice Law

If you have been injured while on the water or working in a capacity covered by Maritime Law, the personal injury firm of Bice Law will examine your case to determine the type and amount of damages that your injury warrants, including payment for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering and any permanent disability.  We serve families across both North and South Carolina. You only have a limited time after your injury to file a claim, however, so you must act quickly.  Contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law today by calling (855) 5-BICE-LAW or submit an online request to get a free consultation with a boating accident attorney.  Results are how we measure success – we’ve built a strong reputation both in and out of the courtroom, and we’ll put our experience and expertise to work on your behalf.

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Woman Struck by Boat Propeller Loses Arm and Breasts

Charlotte NC Boat Accident Lawyer

A 25 year old Charlotte woman was in a boating accident last summer and lost her breasts and an arm. She was seriously injured when a boat propeller struck her during the popular Lake Bash event on Lake Norman.

The 25-year-old claims that while she was in the water the boat’s propeller hit her twice and contends that, the man who was the boat’s operator, never drove a boat prior to that day and he lacked the skill to safely navigate the boat in a crowded, public area. She says that the propeller hit her as the boat operator was trying to tie it to another boat and he had not turned off the engine.

Both the woman and the boat operator had come with a group of friends to the Lake Bash event. According to her, people shouted at him to turn off the engine but he “panicked,” putting the boat into reverse and causing the propeller to hit her. He then placed the boat’s gear in forward and that was when the propeller to hit her a second time.

The victim is also suing the person that the boat operator rented the boat from contending that he should be enforcing safety procedures to his renters. Along with the company that designed, made, and marketed the vessel; accusing the boat manufacturer of continuing to sell the boat even though its design isn’t safe. Scott says that designing the boat so that seven people end up seated behind the boat operator can obstruct the operator’s visibility. Also, she claims that the ladder and platform are located just a few feet from the propeller and the vessel came with inadequate warning signs about possible dangers.

The victim’s injuries were so severe that she had to have her breasts and an arm amputated. She also suffered a severed sternum, lacerations on her legs, and punctured a lung. The accident has left her with serious psychological and emotional problems, medical expenses, permanent injury, scarring, limb loss, lost wages, and other damages.

Boat operators and boating companies must exercise caution so that they don’t end up running over swimmers or striking them with their propellers. Unfortunately, accidents do happen, and serious injuries can happen that may prove fatal.

Contact the Boating Accident Law Firm of Bice Law

If you have been injured while on the water or working in a capacity covered by Maritime Law, the personal injury firm of Bice Law will examine your case to determine the type and amount of damages that your injury warrants, including payment for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering and any permanent disability.  We serve families across both North and South Carolina. You only have a limited time after your injury to file a claim, however, so you must act quickly.  Contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law today by calling (855) 5-BICE-LAW or submit an online request to get a free consultation with a boating accident attorney.  Results are how we measure success – we’ve built a strong reputation both in and out of the courtroom, and we’ll put our experience and expertise to work on your behalf.

Posted by Bice Law LLC. March 15, 2012

Source: http://www.foxcharlotte.com

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