Charleston Boat Accident Lawyers

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Helping Charleston Boat Accident Victims

Were you or a loved one injured in a South Carolina boating accident? If the accident was due to someone else’s negligence, the boat accident lawyers at the Hopkin’s Law Firm, are here to assist you in receiving all the monetary compensation you deserve.

With over 8,000 miles of rivers, 460,000 acres of pristine lakes, and 3,000 miles of coastline, South Carolina residents and visitors enjoy water-skiing, fishing, boating, and other water activities. However, South Carolina boat accidents happen frequently, and its important you understand your rights.

When accidents happen on the water in South Carolina, you are at risk for drowning, suffering severe injuries, or death. Recent statistics show that drowning is the cause of three out of four boating accidents deaths.


Many South Carolinians love being out on their boat. However, every year thousands of people are injured or killed due to boating accidents. According to the Coast Guard, the top causes of boating accidents are:

Intoxication: Alcohol is the number one cause of death in boating accidents.

Driver Distraction: While people are boating to have fun, boat operators still have a duty of care. Inattention and/or distraction is one of the leading causes of South Carolina boating accidents.

Inadequate and/or Improper Lookout: Just as with driver distraction, failing to keep an eye on other boats, or the surroundings and being in a South Carolina boat accident could cause the boat driver and/or their lookout to be responsible for any deaths or injuries as a result.

Mechanical Failure: Boats themselves are quite complex and should be constructed safely and maintained regularly. If a defective part causes a South Carolina boat accident, the manufacturer of the equipment may be liable. Additionally, the boat owner could be held liable for failure to maintain the boat properly which led to the mechanical failure.

Speeding: It’s exciting to go fast in a bot, but it makes it hard for the driver or lookout to keep an eye on their surroundings. Speeding can end up with devastating crashes with another boat, swimmers, kayakers, and other objects.

Inexperienced Drivers – People get trained to drive cars. If someone is going to operate a boat, they should get proper training.

Failure to Obey Boating Rules: Just like driving on the roads have rules, so does driving a boat. Boat owners should take a boating safety class to learn the rules of the water.

Storms: Storms can cause high waves, strong winds, and in some cases, even waterspouts. If a storm is approaching, boaters should seek a safe harbor.

Fire: Things such as failing to run blower motors when appropriate, electrical issues, and carelessness can all cause boats to either explode or catch on fire.

Improper Ventilation: Before starting a boat with inboard engines, it’s important to run your blower motor to clear out any fumes, especially if you are refueling

Failure to Anchor Boat Properly: Not anchoring properly can cause your boat to drift into swimmers or other boats causing injuries.

Many times, boat drivers could have prevented a South Carolina boating accident by following the law and using a reasonable amount of care. When a boater doesn’t act in a responsible manner, they may be held legally liable for any injuries.


Every boater in South Carolina and elsewhere, has a duty to follow all boating safety rules and to use reasonable caution when operating their boat. The boat operator’s duty applies to their passengers and other people on the water.

You will have to show that the boater was more careless than another boater would have been in the same situation, and that the boater was in violation of safety laws in order to receive compensation for your injuries.

In most cases, South Carolina boaters will have insurance to cover any damages they may cause so you shouldn’t hesitate to bring a claim.


There are various situations in which you may be able to file a claim for compensation when you’ve been in a South Carolina boating accident. They include:

If you were a passenger who was injured in a South Carolina boating accident because the operator of the boat was drunk

If you were the operator or passenger of a boat who was injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence.

If you were a South Carolina boater or passenger that was injured due to a defect in the boat or boat parts. You may pursue a claim for product liability against the manufacturer or seller of the defective part.

If you were injured due to negligent boat maintenance.

If you were a South Carolina water skier and injured due to the operator of the boat who behaved in a careless or negligent manner.

If your spouse or other close family member was killed in a South Carolina boat accident due to the boat operator’s negligence.


In South Carolina and elsewhere are classified as maritime claims. Cases that involve boating violations can be argued in either federal or state court. If your South Carolina boating accident claim is successful, you may receive compensation for pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost income etc.

Because maritime claims involve both International and United States laws, it’s important that you work with an experienced boat accident lawyer.

South Carolina has amazing bodies of water and sea. At the Charleston, South Carolina offices of the Hopkins Law Firm, our boat accident attorneys can evaluate the facts surrounding your individual matter and aggressively fight for maximum compensation for your injuries. We understand how devastating South Carolina boat accidents can be, and we’re here to help you and hold the responsible party(s) accountable for their actions.

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Don’t discuss your injury case with the other party or with the insurance company until you have a powerful legal advocate on your side. Call us at 843-894-2377 or reach us by email. Our team offers a free consultation and won’t charge attorneys’ fees unless we help you recover money in a settlement or trial.

Hopkins Law Firm
Hopkins Law Firm

We Are Here to Help

Contact Hopkins Law Firm, LLC, at 843-894-2377. If you would like more information about your specific case, you can meet with an attorney from our Charleston team. We will listen to your story, let you know what we can do, and how we can help. You may also email us with a detailed description of your case and we will reach back out to you. We are your local attorneys and we are here to help.