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Old 21-09-2011, 21:35   #46
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Re: Who Pays when Accidents Happen

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Originally Posted by s/v Beth View Post
As both an owner and a former charterer, I say the owner has really TINY ones. I cannot imagine blaming anyone but me if something happens and I am in the cockpit.
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Old 21-09-2011, 23:19   #47
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Re: Who Pays when Accidents Happen

Skipper - As we all seem to accept and acknowledge. Yours seems like a grade A a$$hole. Accepting to share costs can be construed by a lawyer as accepting responsibility, my advice FWIW is don't pay anything.
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Old 22-09-2011, 00:04   #48
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Re: Who Pays when Accidents Happen

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legality aside, i am surprised and hope some will elaborate on their opinions on where responsibilities lies in the event the owner is not on the vessel.

if i borrow a friends vessel (or car) and crash it (any action that results in damage) i believe i am responsible for repair said damage and return the vessel in the same condition as when i left the slip.

-steve
If you borrow a friend's car (boat), then that friend has given you permission to use his car (boat). If you have an accident you are not responsible for repair of the damage sustained. The owner is responsible. He gave you permission to operate the car (boat) without placing restrictions on your actions. By giving his permission he assumed responsibility for your actions in HIS vehicle (vessel). If an insurance claim was paid, then his insurance company might subrogate to you (or more likely to your insurance company) for the costs paid by the insurance to effect repairs.

Accidents are just that -- accidents. One does not plan to have an accident. The helmsman did not intentionally damage the boat. However, even if he did cause damage intentionally or through negligence or inability to correctly maneuver, the responsibility ultimately always lies with the skipper/captain.

Drilled through our heads when taking classes for our captains licenses was the fact that the captain and only the captain is responsible for the boat. Always. No exceptions.

Your premise about someone loaning you their boat and them not being aboard brings up a totally different kettle of fish. In that scenario then YOU are the captain/skipper. In that scenario (on a boat) then you become responsible for whatever happens. IMHO, the owner would be responsible for confirming your ability to handle his boat; know whether you are licensed or not; and would have a real problem with his insurance company should an accident occur. I know our insurance policy would not cover the boat under these circumstances. The captain must be named in our policy. We cannot hire a captain without having his name added to our policy for the duration of the time he assumes responsibility as captain of our boat.

Judy
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Old 22-09-2011, 00:59   #49
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Re: Who Pays when Accidents Happen

I would posit that no, in fact the skipper is not always responsible legally.

Google Dinius Bismarck
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Old 22-09-2011, 07:00   #50
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Re: Who Pays when Accidents Happen

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If you borrow a friend's car (boat), then that friend has given you permission to use his car (boat). If you have an accident you are not responsible for repair of the damage sustained. The owner is responsible.
I would disagree with this. If you are operating a borrowed or rented boat or car, you are responsible for damages, as well as for any injuries you might cause in case of an accident.

As far as original post, I would say the owner/captain has responsibility. He was in command. A case of liablity towards the helmsman might exist if helmsman exercised gross negligence or deliberatly did damage, but if exercising ordinary care should not have responsibility.
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Old 22-09-2011, 07:18   #51
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Re: Who Pays when Accidents Happen

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Suppose you're taking a road trip & take turns driving your car. If your buddy has a license & is seemingly competent & sober, when he/she is driving, they are responsible for their actions.
I disagree. I have let friends drive my car a few times in the past and I always assumed that any accident that happened would be up to me to pay for. If I didn't want to submit it to my insurance then I would have to cover it. If my friend offered to cover some of the cost, I wouldn't turn them down. I might even ask if they could help with the cost, but I would certainly not insist that they MUST pay.

In this case, it is the skipper's responsibility. No question.

Having said that, I borrowed a friend's car once and was in an accident. I paid the deductible, because I felt responsible. Legally, I didn't have to pay anything, but ethically I felt that I should. Were I the helmsman in the OP I would have done the same--offered to pay the deductible. Beyond that, I would tell the owner to talk to his insurance company, and if he doesn't want to that is his choice and his bill to foot.
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Old 22-09-2011, 07:22   #52
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Re: Who Pays when Accidents Happen

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I disagree. I have let friends drive my car a few times in the past and I always assumed that any accident that happened would be up to me to pay for. If I didn't want to submit it to my insurance then I would have to cover it. If my friend offered to cover some of the cost, I wouldn't turn them down. I might even ask if they could help with the cost, but I would certainly not insist that they MUST pay.

In this case, it is the skipper's responsibility. No question.

I have let people use my boat, and I have let people use my car. However, we have always had the agreement that if they had an accident that wasn't covered by someone else's insurance, they would have to pay the deductible.

You have to assume that if you have accidents your insurance will go up. If you can't deal with that,don't own a car; don't own a boat. But if I loaned you my car or boat it *would* be with the understanding that you were responsible for the deductible. An obvious exception would be if I had not performed maintenance and a failure because of that maintenance caused the accident. For instance, if I didn't check the chain plates and the mast came down while someone else was sailing my boat, clearly that's my fault.
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Old 22-09-2011, 07:39   #53
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Re: Who Pays when Accidents Happen

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I would disagree with this. If you are operating a borrowed or rented boat or car, you are responsible for damages, as well as for any injuries you might cause in case of an accident.

As far as original post, I would say the owner/captain has responsibility. He was in command. A case of liablity towards the helmsman might exist if helmsman exercised gross negligence or deliberatly did damage, but if exercising ordinary care should not have responsibility.
Big difference between "understood and/or paid crew" and a guest...

I think you would be hard pressed to legally get AND should be ashamed to ask for compensation from a guest.
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Old 22-09-2011, 07:54   #54
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Re: Who Pays when Accidents Happen

I was always under the impression that a captain/owner was not allowed to take money from passengers or guests for any reason without proper licensing from the CG.
Any money that changes hands in this incident is clearly charity, and if that is clear, there is nothing wrong with it.
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Old 22-09-2011, 08:06   #55
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Re: Who Pays when Accidents Happen

I'd be surprised if "this skipper" ever got a crew to sail with him ever again!
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Old 22-09-2011, 08:06   #56
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The captain accepts all risk and responsibility and owes you an apology for any stress or unhappiness caused. Pay nothing and don't go sailing with the pr*ck again not worth the angst or risk of sailing with him.
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Old 22-09-2011, 08:27   #57
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Re: Who Pays when Accidents Happen

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THE INSURANCE COMPANY, unless in California where they would probably blame the helmsman.
Unless they are in Lake County, California, where they would probably imprison the helmsman...

Michael
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Old 22-09-2011, 08:35   #58
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Re: Who Pays when Accidents Happen

As you very well know, the boat in Lake County was sailing at night without lights when it was hit.
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Old 22-09-2011, 08:41   #59
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Re: Who Pays when Accidents Happen

A boat is not a car. In a car, the driver is the driver, regardless of who owns the vehicle. In a boat, the person at the helm is often not the master. To answer the question in the original post by saying, "Well, here's how it's handled in a car" is, at best, naive.

The sad story of Dinius Bismark is not about nautical protocol. It's about police corruption and judicial incompetence.
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Old 22-09-2011, 09:25   #60
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Re: Who Pays when Accidents Happen

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" In a car, the driver is the driver, regardless of who owns the vehicle."

I beg to differ. If someone steals your car and does damage, you will be held responsible.
The case of Dinius Bismark hinges on whether or not his running lights were on, and the fact that he was drunk at the time, and whether or not the boat that hit him was negligent. It's still in the courts as I understand.
He was charged because he was at the helm drunk when someone got killed, and nautical protocol is germane.
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