Tennessee law provides that the negligent operator of a boat is responsible for injuries or deaths caused by the operator’s conduct.
The boat owner is also held responsible for the acts of the operator if the operator had permission of the owner to use the boat and if the boat owner was not in the business of leasing or selling boats. If the boat owner is in the business of selling or leasing boats, the owner is not liable for the negligence of the operator. However, a boat owner in the business of selling and leasing boats can still be held liable for negligently entrusting the boat to an incompetent driver.
Many boat owners have liability insurance on their boats and this insurance is available to provide compensation to those negligently injured by a boat operator.
As always, it is recommended that one injured by a negligent boat operator (or the family of one who loses his or life in a boating accident) promptly seek the advice on an experienced lawyer to gain a full understanding of the legal rights that arise because of the incident.