Many times Florida personal watercraft and motor boat concessionaires rent watercraft without providing the renters with adequate, if any, instruction. Several people renting these vessels have little or no operational experience. This is a recipe for disaster. If you were injured because the rental company did not provide you with sufficient instruction or were injured by someone who rented a watercraft, you may have a claim against the concessionaire.
Florida law states:
A livery may not knowingly lease, hire, or rent a vessel to any person:
When the vessel is equipped with a motor of 10 horsepower or greater, unless the livery provides prerental or preride instruction that includes, but need not be limited to:
- Operational characteristics of the vessel to be rented.
- Safe vessel operation and vessel right-of-way.
- The responsibility of the vessel operator for the safe and proper operation of the vessel.
- Local characteristics of the waterway where the vessel will be operated.
Unless the livery displays boating safety information in a place visible to the renting public.
Should the concessionaire fail to give adequate instruction in accordance with Florida law, it will be found negligent per se. This means the burden is on the concessionaire to not only prove the accident did not happen because of its failure to provide adequate instruction, but the accident could not have happened because of its failure to provide adequate instruction. This burden is nearly impossible to overcome.
The maritime law firm of Brais & Brias has years of experience handling personal watercraft (jet ski) accidents as well as boating accidents. If you were injured because the rental company did not provide you with sufficient instruction or were injured by someone who rented a watercraft, feel free to contract our board certified maritime lawyers.