As weather improves across the state, more and more people are taking their recreational vehicles out of storage. Boats and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are becoming more and more common sights on South Carolina’s waterways and fields. But, as with any kind of conveyance, accidents do happen. It is important to remember how much damage these pleasure crafts can cause, and how to avoid being the one stuck with the bill.
Boating Accidents in South Carolina
Boating accidents are the most common type of mishaps that occur with recreational vehicles, with almost one hundred occurring in one year (according to the most recent available data). Not unlike automobile accidents, most boating accidents occur due to negligence or inexperience. Boats can be very unpredictable, and someone can very easily underestimate the level of control it takes to keep one from becoming dangerous. Some of the most common factors that can lead to boating accidents include:
- Captain’s error or inexperience.
- Equipment failure and/or failure to notice it.
- Substance abuse (boating while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a crime, in the same manner as driving a car while intoxicated).
- Bad weather or water conditions, and/or failure to appreciate the danger of bad weather, among others.
Boating accidents do have one significant disadvantage when compared to automobile accidents; usually, when one exits an automobile, they are reasonably safe. If you have to leave a boat, you may be in open water, which obviously creates more problems than it solves. If a boat owner or operator is negligent, the stakes are arguably higher even than in a car accident. If you can prove that the harm you suffered is a direct result of the owner/operator’s conduct, which breached the legal duty of care they owed to you as a passenger, however, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, pain and suffering.
All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are another leading cause of accidents with recreational vehicles. While South Carolina does have specified places where ATVs may be used, there is little to no other regulation, nor is there any state agency that specifically oversees ATV use. That does not, however, mean that you have no recourse if you are injured in an ATV accident.
The most common claim in ATV litigation is product liability. Product liability contains three different theories on which a claim could be based. One is design defect, where the product is alleged to have been defective from the very beginning; the second is manufacturing defect, where a problem occurs with a limited section of a product run. The third is called ‘failure to warn,’ wherein a seller or manufacturer does not provide adequate warning of foreseeable harm that could happen with the use of a certain product. ATVs have been the subject of several product liability claims, most notably those made by Yamaha, but as of this writing no cases precedent have occurred in South Carolina.
Contact A Professional For Help
An accident on a recreational vehicle seems like adding insult to injury; it can ruin your summer as well as create massive confusion and instability in your life. Having an experienced personal injury attorney on your side can make a difference. The North Charleston accident attorneys at Callihan & Syracuse will work with you to ensure that you have the best chance possible to recover for your injuries. Contact us today for a free consultation.