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Dealing with accidents with rented watercraft

After a long, hard week of work in Manhattan, a weekend boating excursion is often in order. Yet what if you do not own a watercraft? Renting a sailboat, motorboat or jet ski is a popular option, yet what if you are involved in an accident when using such equipment? Who is going to help pay for or compensate you for any expenses that arise from such an incident? We here at Tabak Mellusi & Shisha LLP have seen enough of such scenarios to know that multiple options may be available to you. 

The first (and most obvious) is is the accident was the fault of another boater. You would then be able to seek compensation from said boater's insurance provider. In the event that the other boater is not insured, you could potentially initiate legal action to recover funds to help pay for your expenses. 

Typically, when your rent a watercraft, the craft's owners will have you sign a waiver absolving them of any liability if you are involved in an accident. With such a waiver in place, your options for recourse may be limited. Liability waivers on a leased craft, however, usually will not apply to cases where an accident was due to a defect with the craft. If that is the case, the craft owner may then be held liable. 

A final option that may be available to you is your homeowner's insurance. Per the Insurance Journal, you may be covered for accidents in leased vehicles or craft depending on the circumstances of your accident. Coverage limitations may be in place addressing the size or type of craft that you rent; your insurance agent should be able to provide you with such details. 

More information on dealing with boating accidents can be found here on our site. 

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