If I lend a person my boat in return for fixing it, am I liable if someone is injured when using it?

UPDATED: Aug 4, 2011

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If I lend a person my boat in return for fixing it, am I liable if someone is injured when using it?

Asked on August 4, 2011 Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

It depends on the specific facts or situation. If either--

1) The injury is caused by the person to whom you entrusted the boat (a permitted user); or

2) The injury is due to something you did or failed to do (e.g. inadequate maintenance, or putting too large an engine on the boat)

--then you would be liable. If the injury were due to events or forces wholly beyond your control or the control of the permitted user, then you probably would not be liable.

Something to be wary of: boating insurance is not like auto insurance--it may only cover users identified in advanced to the insurer (unlike car insurance, which would cover the occasional friend to whom you loan the car). It is possible that your insurance would not cover you if someone other than those listed on your policy are using or operating the boat. Be sure to double check coverage before lending out the boat to anyone.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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