What Should I Do If I Am Injured In A Boating Accident In South Carolina?

South Carolina offers stunning coastal waterways and numerous bodies of water that are perfect for recreational boating activities such as fishing, waterskiing, and cruising. Unfortunately, accidents can happen on the water, and if you find yourself injured in a boating accident in South Carolina, there are certain steps you should take.

Assess the Situation

Before anything else, assess the situation and ensure that you and other passengers are safe. If there are any serious injuries, seek medical attention immediately. Call 911 or the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) emergency hotline at (800) 922-5431.

Document the Scene

When it is safe to do so, take pictures of the scene before any boats are moved. Get photographs of the boats involved, any visible injuries, and any other damage. Make notes of the weather conditions, time of day, and any other relevant details.

Exchange Information

Make sure that you exchange information with all of the parties involved in the boating accident, including name, address, phone number, and insurance information. When exchanging information, be polite, but avoid making any statements admitting fault or liability.

Report the Accident

All boating accidents that result in injuries, death, or significant property damage must be reported to the SCDNR within 24 hours. If someone is killed or missing, or if the accident resulted in a total loss of a vessel, the operator or owner needs to report the accident as soon as possible.

Seek Medical Attention

Even if you do not feel like you are seriously injured, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Injuries caused by boating accidents may not be immediately apparent and can worsen over time if left untreated. See a doctor and get a professional opinion on your injuries.

Notify Your Insurance Company

Contact your insurance company to report the accident as soon as possible. Inform your agent of any injuries or property damage sustained during the accident. Keep all documents and medical records related to the accident, which can be used as evidence in any claims processing.

Consult with an Experienced Attorney

If you have been injured in a boating accident, it is a good idea to consult with an experienced attorney who specializes in maritime law. An attorney can advise you on your rights and options when it comes to recovering damages and filing a personal injury claim.


Being involved in a boating accident can be a traumatic experience. By following these steps, you can ensure that you protect your rights and legal options. If you, or a loved one, have been injured in a boating accident in South Carolina, seek medical attention and contact a knowledgeable attorney as soon as possible.

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