As soon as the weather permits, people get excited to take their boats out on the water. However, like any other vehicle, boat travel opens the possibility for accidents, with thousands of injuries and hundreds of deaths occurring yearly.
While some collisions or mishaps result from reckless drivers, other incidents may be the fault of poor manufacturing.
When liability for an accident is with the manufacturer
Despite safe operation, a watercraft might malfunction and lead to an accident. Even when a negligent driver is partly to blame, a defect in design or manufacture may mean a boatmaker has some fault.
Different companies often take part in assembling a vessel, so pursuing a lawsuit requires careful consideration to determine the responsible party. For example, an injured person must decide if an issue arose from original equipment or an aftermarket part.
Plaintiffs must make claims against the correct parties if they hope to win their cases. For example, a design defect lays the responsibility at the feet of the engineering plans. A manufacturing defect attributes the fault to how a company made the boat.
Other parties that may be liable for a defective product
A manufacturer may have fulfilled its duty to bring a safe product to market, but another entity in the distribution chain may have caused the defect. For instance, a retailer might resell a craft without proper inspection or install upgrades improperly. Sometimes a repair shop or mechanic may be the reason for a failure due to negligent work.
After a boating accident, witnesses may be quick to put the blame on the operators. However, injured parties should check the condition of the involved vessels to find out if a manufacturer has a measure of responsibility.