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Who Is Liable For A Defective Boating Accident?


Most cases of boating accidents in Florida are caused by negligence or recklessness of someone driving the vessel, but in some cases an accident is caused by a defect in the vessel parts or equipment. When this occurs, it is important that you contact the experienced Delray Beach personal injury lawyers at Earnhart Law to help determine who is responsible and get you the compensation you need. To learn more, contact our office today.

Vessel Owner/Operator

One of the most common liable parties in a boating accident is the vessel owner or operator, even when the accident is caused by a defect in the vessel. Boat owners and operators have a duty to regularly maintain and inspect their vessel for defects, and when they fail to do so they are liable for any injuries that occur because of that defect. If the boat is owned by a larger company, that entity can also be held liable for any accidents caused by defect.

Boat Manufacturer

In many cases of defective boating accidents, the boat manufacturer is partially or wholly held responsible for the accident. Boat defects can happen with the manufacturer in two different ways: design and manufacturing defects. A design defect is one that is inherent in the idea for a boat part or equipment, while a manufacturing defect occurs when there is a mistake in the creation of the part on the product line when the design of the idea is sound. Regardless of whether the defect occurred in the design or manufacture of the vessel, if the boat is allowed to be sold and used by the manufacturer with defective parts they can be held responsible for any accidents that result.

Boat Retailer

The retailer where the boat was purchased could also be a liable party in an accident caused by a defect. This is particularly true if the boat is not new and resold without inspection. In other cases, a retailer may install upgrades to the vessel improperly, resulting in a defect in the boat. Failure to inspect and negligent installation of other equipment can both result in liability if that results in an accident on the water.

Mechanic or Repair Shop

Finally, if the owner or operator of the boat took their vessel in for maintenance, and the mechanic or repair shop failed to properly repair a defective part they may be held liable for any accidents that result. A mechanic or repair shop can also be responsible in an accident if their negligent work caused the defect while inspecting or repairing other aspects of the vessel. Maintaining records of boat maintenance and repair can be incredibly helpful in identifying whether mechanics or repair shops hold some level of responsibility for an accident caused by a vessel defect. To learn more about who may be liable in a defective boat crash, talk to our office today.

Talk to Our Office Today

No one expects to be involved in a boating accident, especially one that is caused by a defect in the vessel. If you or someone you know has been injured in a boating accident in Delray Beach, the experienced personal injury attorneys at Earnhart Law are here to help. Call the office or contact us today to schedule a free consultation of your claims.

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