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boat accident / need lawyer or advice

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Old 03-06-2008, 10:26 AM
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I'm not criticizing anyone for going after the rental company. I'm saying that i think the rental company would be found not liable based on some of the facts here and some assumptions i have made on my own.

Personally, i would want to recoup as much of my money as i could. If i felt the rental company was guilty of some sort of neglect, then i would go after the rental company. But chances are, they've covered their own rear ends in the contract they had the renter sign. Not that contracts are the end-all-be-all but it makes things difficult in placing liability.
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Old 03-06-2008, 11:28 AM
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I would think that unhooking all the running lights could be considered a little extream.... Just thinking like a lawer now..
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Old 03-06-2008, 11:35 AM
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My point on the the lights though is that IF the contract states, the boat is NOT to be used after dusk or in inclimate weather, it is still the fault of the driver who made the decision to operate the boat at a time that violates the contract regardless of whether the lights were disconnected.
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Old 03-06-2008, 11:39 AM
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Rob,

I hope I'm not steering you're thread away from its original intention. If so, let me know and i'll drop it. I'm really just trying to help by giving my two cents from my experience with rental companies even if its only worth one cent.
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Old 03-06-2008, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shore Thing View Post
My point on the the lights though is that IF the contract states, the boat is NOT to be used after dusk or in inclimate weather, it is still the fault of the driver who made the decision to operate the boat at a time that violates the contract regardless of whether the lights were disconnected.
My problem with the "not to be used" arguement is that it was a 2 day overnight rental. The renter can't forsee all the events of a day, maybe they traveled to far during the day, and could not make it back to their dock before dark. What are they supposed to do? The rental company was not going to have care and control of that boat overnight, they are responsible to make sure it is able to be operated safely at night, by removing the lights, they put their renter in a potentially unsafe vessel. This in no way excuses the a$$hat who was driving the boat drunk at night.
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Old 03-06-2008, 12:52 PM
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im all good with this thread , i just hope no else has to go through theese things , unfortunately the ins, co are getting away more and more , thus probably why they dont regulate their boats .not check them . they dont care about providing a safe boating environment for others , there in it for the money and ther swift lawyers will continue to screw decent people like us , to insure the bottom dollar , as far as i see , if i owned a rental co , my boats would be legal and beyond , i dont know why , theese lawyers just come up with some upserd reason to avoid coverage , its not only here , its everywhere . heck who trys to get in accident whats next you , im not liable cause you missed that red light ! Then everone has to spend all the money on lawyers , and then get half or worse in the end . the american people are and will continue to get phucket over . just my two cents on ins !!!
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Old 03-06-2008, 12:54 PM
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We didn't allow overnight rentals. So i'm not sure how the contract would be set up for the rental agency.

But...

If you're headlights broke in your car and it got dark, would you continue to drive in the dark without lights or would you pull over somewhere and call for assistance? I know what a policeman would tell ya if he caught you driving without headlights.
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Old 03-06-2008, 01:31 PM
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I would think the rental Co. is fully responsible! By disabling the lights, they made the boat illegal to boat day or night according to the coast guard and sate regulations.

The coast guard says boats have to have nav lights for operation between sunset and sunrise OR in times of restricted visibility. By placing a boat on the water you agree to the rules.

If you were pulled over for a safety inspection by the sheriff, dnr, or coast guard you would be required to turn on your lights and show that they work. If they dont work you can still get a ticket because if fog or a dark thunder storm rolled through you would not have nav lights. They are suppose to work day or night. That is straight from a MI (Ottawa county) sheriff.

Wisconsin is different but it looks like they have the same basic rules as Michigans DNR boating hand book.

This is the dnr site for Wisconsin it says the same thing about visibility at the top of the nav lights section.:
http://www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/es/en...ation%20Lights
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Old 03-06-2008, 02:32 PM
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If the law states that you have to have operational running lights at all times, then yes, i would definitely say the rental company is liable. I don't believe that is how the law is read here in md though. I don't know the wisconsin laws. But if there is a law like that, then there must be exemptions. I'd be interested to know what those exemptions are. jet skis are not expected to have nav lights. john boats are not expected to have nav lights, etc.
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Old 03-06-2008, 04:23 PM
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I may have missed in here somewhere, but isn't the 'captain' of the vessel ultimately responsible for the 'safe' operation of the vessel, rented or not? I'm not sure where Maritime Law would prevail here. Just a thought/question.
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