Clearwater Boat Rental Accident Lawyer
Owning a boat is a huge investment of time and money. For that reason, many occasional and recreational boaters decide to rent a boat instead. Rental boats provide many of the same benefits as boat ownership without the hassle and expense.
But what happens when a rental boat is involved in an accident? Is the rental company liable for any injuries? What about the renter? An experienced Clearwater boat rental accident lawyer can help you in answering these questions. Florida maritime law attorney Frank D. Butler has nearly three decades of experience in representing clients injured in boating accidents. His team can review your case and advise you on who may be legally responsible for your financial losses stemming from a preventable boating accident.
When Are Rental Companies Liable for Boat Accidents in Florida?
Unlike individuals who own and use a boat on a regular basis, many rental boat operators are inexperienced. Beyond some basic safety certification, there are few licensing requirements to even operate a boat in Florida. This means that it is not uncommon for an immature operator to cause an accident while behind the controls of a rental boat.
Boat rental companies commonly have their customers sign a waiver as a condition of the rental. Such waivers purport to absolve the rental company of any legal liability should the customer cause an accident. Do not assume, however, that the mere existence of such a waiver prevents you from suing the rental company. This is just one reason it is important to talk to a qualified boat rental accident lawyer before taking any formal legal action.
Indeed, there are many cases where a boat rental company’s negligence was a significant contributing factor in an accident. Here are just a few examples:
- The boat was unsafe to operate due to a mechanical issue.
- The boat did not contain appropriate safety equipment, such as life jackets or working fire extinguishers.
- The boat was rented to someone not legally eligible to rent a boat in the first place.
- The boat was rented to a customer who was visibly intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.
- The rental company allowed more people to occupy the boat than was safe for a vessel of that type.
- The rental company failed to warn or advise customers of any known potential safety hazards.
Of course, even if the rental company is not legally responsible for an accident, the person who rented the boat may still be held accountable. A person who operates a boat in an unsafe manner can be sued and ordered to pay damages the same as someone who causes a car accident due to reckless driving.
Contact Attorney Frank D. Butler Today
Accidents involving rental boats often raise a number of complicated factual and legal issues that need to be resolved before the victims receive any compensation. If you are one of those victims, it is therefore in your best interest to work with a qualified Clearwater rental boat accident lawyer. Contact the offices of Frank D. Butler, P.A., today to schedule an initial consultation with a member of our staff.