Who is responsible if I broke my back during a boating accident? 33 Answers as of February 20, 2012

Who is the person responsible when someone is tubing? I broke my back in a tubing accident recently. The boat was a rental and the marina has a form the person renting the boat has to sign and they take no responsibility for any liability?

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Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC
Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC | Lacy Fields
I assume that the liability would be shared between you and the driver of the boat. However, there may be a possible action against the marina/rentors. I would need to know more information.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 8/1/2011
David Hoines Law
David Hoines Law | David Hoines
the person driving the boat
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 8/1/2011
David F. Stoddard
David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
Regardless of the form, to hold anyone else liable, you would have to prove that someone was negligent in causing the accident. To do that, you would probably have to show that the equipment was defective, or that someone was operating the boat I a negligent manner. You do not describe how the accident occurred. If the equipment was defective, the marina would probably be liable regardless of what the form says. If the driver of the boat was negligent, that is who you would have to sue.
Answer Applies to: South Carolina
Replied: 7/28/2011
Law Offices of Tom Patton
Law Offices of Tom Patton | Thomas C. Patton
There could be several potentially liable parties. The boat rental company as well as the boat manufacturer or tube manufacturer could be liable if it could be proven that the boat or tube were defective products. Also, the driver of the boat may have been going to fast.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 7/27/2011
Law Offices of Earl K. Straight
Law Offices of Earl K. Straight | Earl K. Straight
The form you are referring to is a waiver or release of liability. Although these forms are not watertight, they are difficult to overcome. The first issue is who is your claim against. Did the rental business provide defective equipment, the boat, the tow rope or the tube? Was the driver going too fast or driving recklessly? The waiver would only protect the rental business, not the driver of the boat. If the equipment was not defective and the boat was being driven properly, there may not be any negligence involved and you would not have a claim against anyone. If you feel there was negligence involved which caused your injury, please contact an attorney to discuss your potential claim.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 7/27/2011
    Wilson & Hajek, LLC
    Wilson & Hajek, LLC | Eddie W. Wilson
    You signed an assignment of the risk form. Without some unusual circumstances surrounding your injury you are probably stuck with the bills.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Ferguson & Ferguson
    Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
    You are responsible based on the facts.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    The Farber Law Group
    The Farber Law Group | Herbert G. Farber
    The boating facility probably had you sign a "Waiver and Release of Liability" in which you acknowledged that there are risks, dangers and hazards when participating in boating activities. You do not say, however, what caused your accident. If for example, a drunken boater ran over the tow line causing your accident, or if the equipment was faulty, you might have grounds for a case. Most personal injury attorneys will review your case at no cost and discuss with you if your case has merits. Be sure to bring the Waiver with you when you meet with the attorney as well as your medical records.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    If someone was negligent and caused your injury then that person is responsible. If you were injured as a natural consequence of tubing then it's your own fault.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    LT Pepper Law
    LT Pepper Law | Luke T. Pepper
    The driver of the boat would be responsible unless you can show that the boat was poorly maintained leading to the accident. Another possibility is the manufacturer of the boat if there was a defect. There is no enough information to make a determination here. I am sorry you were hurt. I hope that you get some help with this issue.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Law Office of Ronald Arthur Lowry
    Law Office of Ronald Arthur Lowry | Ronald Arthur Lowry
    It depends on the facts of what happened. Just because the form says that the marina has no liability does not mean that the marina really doesn't have any liability, though. People and corporations have been sneaking language like that into documents for years. If the marina was, in fact, negligent in some way and that negligence caused your injury the marina still might be liable.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Harris Personal Injury Lawyer
    Harris Personal Injury Lawyer | Philip C. Alexander
    When you voluntarily engage in an activity like boat tubing, you are assuming the risk that an injury could occur. The assumption of the risk defense would completely bar you from pursuing a claim against the boat marina/boat rental place.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Hand and Associates
    Hand and Associates | Ben Hand, Jr.
    This could be rather complicated can you get me some more details.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A.
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A. | Christopher J. Roberts
    This would be a difficult case. For one thing, activities like tubing carry inherent risk. Not every injury is someone's fault. Unless the boating company did something negligent (e.g., your injury resulted from poor maintenance on the boat or they rented to someone who was dangerous), they are probably not liable. I would need to know more about what caused your injury. If it was just a fluke occurrence from an activity that you voluntarily engaged in, it would be very difficult to pin any responsibility on the rental company. As far as whether the release is valid, it comes down to two major issues: 1) did the rental company use the correct waiver language in the release (if they did not, it's not worth the paper it's written on), and 2) even if the waiver is otherwise enforceable, did the rental company do anything beyond mere negligence that could constitute an exception. You could potentially bring suit against the person driving the boat if they were reckless.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/20/2012
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law | Gary Moore
    For someone else to be liable to compensate for your injuries there must be a violation of a duty of care, supported by proven facts. In other words, the owner of the boat is not liable to compensate you for your injuries mereby because you were injured using the rent boat. The owner's negligence must be proven. I need much more information to properly answer your question.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Anderson & Bliven P.C.
    Anderson & Bliven P.C. | Scott Anderson
    The recreational use statute limits liability for the resort. However, it is up to the person operating the boat to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances. If that person was drinking and driving carelessly you may have a claim. Also you may want to review the rental contract to see if extra insurance was paid for as part of the contract then that insurance may be liable for the boat operators negligence. Your negligence will be compared to that of the boat operator so that should also be considered. The defendants must be at least 50.1% at fault for you to recover.
    Answer Applies to: Montana
    Replied: 7/26/2011
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    No one is automatically liable for an injury. You must prove someone's negligence who (carelessness) caused your injury.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 7/26/2011
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
    It would depend on how the accident happened, whether someone did something careless that caused it to happen. It is possible that the waiver might protect the marina from liability, but it is also possible that the waiver could be invalidated.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/26/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    The driver of the boat would be liable, I assume. The marina, maybe. There may even be homeowners coverage available to the driver of the boat.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/26/2011
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo | Mark Leonardo
    Tubing has the inherent risk of injury, including a back injury. The rental company had you sign a waiver that would likely hold up in court. Unless there is some negligent conduct by a third party, this is one of those accidents that has no litigation potential.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/26/2011
    Lyle B. Masnikoff and Associates
    Lyle B. Masnikoff and Associates | Lyle B. Masnikoff
    Need more details. Call person injury attorney
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
    No one is "responsible" unless someone was negligent. Negligence is defined legally in Florida as the failure to use reasonable care, which again is defined as failing to do something which a reasonable person would do, or doing something which a reasonable person would not do. Neither the operator nor the owner of the boat would be responsible in the absence of negligence.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/26/2011
    The Lucky Law Firm, PLC
    The Lucky Law Firm, PLC | Robert Morrison Lucky
    Unless you can prove that someone acted negligently (or perhaps intentionally) which resulted in your injury, then it is likely that no one is responsible for your damages. So sorry to hear about your injury and wish you the best.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 7/26/2011
    Joel H. Schwartz, P.C.
    Joel H. Schwartz, P.C. | Steven A. Schwartz
    I think you would have a hard time making a claim against anyone or any entity other than the boat driver. In order to make a claim against the driver, you would need to show that the driver was negligent, that is, that he or she drove the boat in a careless manner to cause your injury. Unfortunately, when tubing (or other water sports when you are pulled), accidents do happen and it is not necessarily the fault of the driver. One can fall in a bad way and be hurt as a result of that and not necessarily any wrong doing. I would need to have more details to be able to properly assess this matter.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 7/26/2011
    The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C.
    The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C. | Josh Lamborn
    The question of who is responsible comes down to who caused the injury. That is not a question of law, but a question of fact that will depend on how the injury happened. How did the accident happen? Were you using the tube appropriately or were you doing something reckless that caused you to be thrown from the tube? Was the driver of the boat going the recommended speed or going too fast? If you rented the boat from a company that had nothing to do with the accident other than to rent the equipment and the equipment was in good working order and did not malfunction, it is hard for me to see where the renter would be liable for your injury. However, I would need to know all of the facts to make that determination. I suggest that you visit a personal injury attorney in your area and discuss the case in detail with him or her.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/26/2011
    William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law
    William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law | William C. Gosnell
    The operator of the rental boat.
    Answer Applies to: Tennessee
    Replied: 7/26/2011
    Allen Murphy Law
    Allen Murphy Law | W. Riley Allen
    The driver of the boat if he was careless. If he was not, it may just be considered an accident with no one at fault.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/26/2011
    Patrick M Lamar Attorney
    Patrick M Lamar Attorney | Patrick M Lamar
    That is a new one. I would imagine the driver would be the person you would look at but homeowner's insurance may have an exclusion for this type of activity. Also, it depends on the accident, it would have to have been pretty egregious action on the driver's part which caused you to get injured.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 7/26/2011
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