Charleston Boating and Watercraft Accident Lawyers
South Carolina has prime access to some of the finest coastal waters in the country, in addition to miles of excellent inland waterways. Although most people are capable of obeying the law and safely operating their vessels while on the water, the negligence or recklessness of even a single person can have catastrophic results. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a boating or watercraft accident, you should consider discussing the accident with one of our experienced maritime attorneys.
Maritime law has developed a number of unique legal concepts over time, the intricacies of which many lawyers without maritime experience simply don’t understand. Joint and several liability, pure comparative negligence, seaworthiness doctrine, pre-judgment interest, and responsibility for the burden of proof under the Pennsylvania Rule are just a few examples of the unique aspects of general maritime law. As such, it is in your best interest to use a maritime lawyer who is experienced with this area of law.
Out on the water, boat operators are expected to follow many laws not unlike those that drivers must follow when they get behind the wheel of a car. For instance, boat operators must observe the Rules of the Road, may not operate their vessel while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, may not operate the boat in a manner that is reckless, and may not exceed certain speeds while within designated areas. Our team can help you evaluate your claim and chart a course following serious boating accidents.
Jet skis present an excellent opportunity for fun on the water, but serious injury can result when they are operated by someone who fails to exercise good judgment or follow the law. If you or a loved one has been injured in a jet ski accident, you should speak with a lawyer to navigate the complicated waters that lie ahead.
Owners and operators of yachts must take reasonable care to ensure that their guests and crew are safe for the duration of their voyage, whether it is a simple day trip or a more prolonged journey on the open ocean. In the event that an accident occurs on a yacht as the foreseeable result of negligence or for any other safety violation, the injured party may have a civil cause of action against the owner or operator of the yacht. Our maritime attorneys can assist you in determining the best course of action.
Our Experience with Admiralty and Maritime Matters
Our lawyers have represented recreational and commercial vessel owners and operators, maritime businesses, and major insurance carriers with respect to bodily injury and property damage claims in state and federal court. Admiralty and maritime matters are a significant portion of Sam Clawson, Jr.’s legal practice.
Education, training, and experience are crucial considerations when selecting an admiralty and maritime attorney to represent you. Sam Clawson, Jr. attended SUNY Maritime College at Fort Schuyler, graduating with a Master of Science in International Transportation Management and a Merchant Marine deck officer’s license issued by the United States Coast Guard. Sam then spent several years working as a professional mariner for Maersk Line Limited, sailing as an officer on a nearly 1,000 foot long container ship as it traveled from the East Coast and Gulf Coast of the United States across the Atlantic Ocean to Europe.
Sam currently holds United States Coast Guard licenses as a Second Mate Any Gross Tons Oceans and as a Master Not More Than One Hundred Tons Near Coastal, allowing him to sail as an officer on any size ship in the world. This commercial sailing experience, with thousands of hours spend navigating from the bridges and working on the decks of ships, has provided Sam with a solid knowledge base of commercial vessel operations that has benefitted his admiralty and maritime practice.
Sam Clawson, Jr. has also served as an Adjunct Professor in the Naval Science Department at The Citadel, instructing senior Naval ROTC cadets in terrestrial navigation and the nautical Rules of the Road. Navigation and collision avoidance are inarguably the two key components of vessel operation. Sam led these cadets in classroom lectures, laboratory exercises and practical exercises aboard vessels in Charleston harbor. This teaching experience has allowed Sam to develop the skills necessary to explain these unique concepts to novice audiences with no prior maritime experience, which has also benefitted his admiralty and maritime practice.
Sam Clawson, Jr. also has local knowledge of the waters of the South Carolina Lowcountry. He has fished, sailed, steamed, and represented clients from the Savannah River to Little River Inlet and virtually all points between. Whether it was on the deck of his first boat, a classic 17 foot Boston Whaler Montauk, or the fly bridge of a charter boat, Sam has a solid working knowledge of small vessel operations in this area. These experiences have allowed Sam to gain important local knowledge and the ability to apply it in the representation of clients, which has again benefitted his admiralty and maritime practice.
Sam Clawson, Jr. represents both plaintiffs and defendants in admiralty and maritime claims involving accidents that occur on the water and result in serious bodily injury or death. This includes injuries sustained on a variety of vessels, such as commercial ships, yachts, recreational boats, pleasure boats, jet skis, wave runners, and personal water craft of all types.
Maritime Expert Witness
Sam Clawson, Jr. is also available to work as a consultant or expert witness in the areas of maritime safety, maritime operations, vessel navigation, collision avoidance, Rules of the Road, and standards of care for vessels of all sizes arising out of vessel operations, collisions, allisions, and groundings. Sam Clawson, Jr.’s Curriculum Vitae and Fee Structure for consulting and expert witness work are available upon request.
Consult with a Boating Accident Lawyer in Charleston
If you were injured in a boat accident that was caused by the negligence or recklessness of another person or party, our legal team at Clawson and Staubes, LLC: Injury Group is available to assist you with the evaluation and pursuit of your claims. Call us today at (843) 720-0810 to learn more about what we are prepared to do to help you through this difficult time.The inclusion of specific practice areas on the Clawson & Staubes: Injury Group website is informational in nature and is not an exhaustive listing of the areas of law in which the attorneys at Clawson and Staubes practice. Nothing contained in this website is intended to compare the type or quality of our services to the type or quality of any other lawyer or law firm’s services or to imply specialization or certification by any organization not previously approved by the South Carolina or North Carolina State Bar Board of Legal Specialization.