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Old 25-05-2012, 11:36   #16
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Re: my 26 westerly rammed by 35 intrepid

Perhaps JayCall can confirm but in my somewhat limited experience with lawyers, if you have one working on a contingency fee basis they will ask for a significant percentage of the potential award.

I think an initial consultation is certainly warranted and would probably be free or no more than a couple hundred.

I also think it quite likely the insurance company will total your boat. Looking at the extent of the damage and the hours at a yard to repair it I'm thinking the yard bill could exceed $12K.

The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
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Old 25-05-2012, 11:51   #17
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Re: my 26 westerly rammed by 35 intrepid

Reminds me when a friend/attorney asked me once......are you sure you are not hurt?

They will likely want to total your boat. It sucks.

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Old 25-05-2012, 12:06   #18
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Re: my 26 westerly rammed by 35 intrepid

I was devastated to read your story. The boat is your pride and joy and that sadly doesn't get a monetary value.
On a more positive note, you say he hit you at about 45 knots. Many more expensive boats would now be at the bottom of the ocean. That speaks volumes for the build quality of the Westerly.
hope it all sorts out to your benefit and your boat is back on the water soonest.
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Old 25-05-2012, 12:14   #19
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Re: my 26 westerly rammed by 35 intrepid

His insurance company will cut you a check. If the driver of the powerboat was drinking, he will have hell to pay. Otherwise, it was an accident. The first thing you need to do is get an estimate for the repairs.
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Old 25-05-2012, 12:20   #20
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Re: my 26 westerly rammed by 35 intrepid

I would just try to deal with the insurance company first. If it is not going well then hire a lawyer.
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Old 25-05-2012, 14:01   #21
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Re: my 26 westerly rammed by 35 intrepid

+1 on getting an initial quote.

+1 on getting a lawyer (or at least a free consult) - even if only so you can say to people (the insurers) "I have to run that by my lawyers - Messrs Catchit, Killit & Eatit "......won't be a magic cure, but IMO starts off on the right foot by indicating you won't be fobbed off by warm words and vague (non) promises - playing for time (so you lose the will to fight or to live!) is a well worn path......
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Old 25-05-2012, 14:05   #22
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Re: my 26 westerly rammed by 35 intrepid

I cant believe what i am reading here and lets turn this around for a minute, what if dave c collied with your boat/yacht and was fully liable for the collision and damage to your vessel and lets say he caused 50 k damage and Guess what he is not insured I wonder how some of you would react to this i know how i would and if printed on the moderators would ban me and may be i would get banged up by the cops who knows but it pees me of when those who dont have insurance which adds to the cost of those who do
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Old 25-05-2012, 15:06   #23
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Re: my 26 westerly rammed by 35 intrepid

He was issued a ticket because the authorities deemed him th wrongdoer.
Dont get a lawyer yet. Once you lawyer up, so will his insurance company. I had a similar situation with my truck. The other guy was in the wrong. My truck was totaled. His insurance company kept calling me and asking if I was OK. They wanted to know how much I paid for the truck, which I bought second hand. In less than a week they offered me $1,000 more than I paid for my truck. I guess they were happy I didn't claim any medical injuries.
Deal with the insurance company direct and see what happens. As soon as you use the lawyer word ar any word starting with the letter "L", you broke all lines of communication.
If your old boat is only worth about $12K, no lawyer will take the case unless you pay out of pocket.
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Old 25-05-2012, 15:17   #24
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Re: my 26 westerly rammed by 35 intrepid

TonyB +1
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Old 25-05-2012, 15:29   #25
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Re: my 26 westerly rammed by 35 intrepid

sorry to hear ye were hit.
now-- who was in right of way or whatever ye wan tto call it, and why didnt that soul give way to the other.....insisting on right of way is just as bad as not recognising it. one does whatever one can do to avoid collision, even to giving up YOUR ri8ght of way.
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Old 25-05-2012, 15:31   #26
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Re: my 26 westerly rammed by 35 intrepid


I understand your point and agree that all should have insurance or at least sufficient assets to be self-insured. However, the OP was not the party at fault here, so at least in this instance, it is a moot point. Hopefully the incident will convince him of the need to insure his vessel.
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Old 25-05-2012, 16:45   #27
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Document all correspondence and your recollection of what transpired. Have a friend lawyer. insurance adjuster, erc... Draft a letter.this would be cordial but describes your position estimated losses etc. losses can include a wide range. get estimates for repair and replacement. Squeaky wheel gets greased with insurance companies. Don't assume they are paying attention. Make them pay attention. Document every phone call. Record who you spoke with. Think about unintentional expenses buying a new boat.. Cross t's dot I's.
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Old 25-05-2012, 21:05   #28
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Originally Posted by JayCall
As an attorney, I have to agree with Dennis G on initiating suit, at least in the beginning. To be awarded $$, you have to have measurable damages. From your post, your damages are limited to teh damage to your boat. That said, it may pay you to talk to a maritime attorney, an initial consult should cost nothing or very little, nd he/she can give yo good direction. Insunace companies are pretty ruthless and their goal is to settle the matter for as little as possible. Their adjustor will probably contact you and offer you a settlement on the spot, along with an agreement that will close out your ability to pursue the matter any further. That will, trust me, will, be a lowball offer. Refuse it. They will suggest a repair facility to use to get an estimate. Do not use it initially. If you have a boatyard you trust, take your boat there now, ASAP, and get a detailed written estimate. The standard should be to put your boat back in the condition it was in before the accident. I will guarantee that your estimate will be higher than the first offer and higher than an estimate from an insurance company recommended yard. They will try to tell you you have to use their yard-not true! You have no obligation to do so.

This is the point at which an attorney can be very helpful. You want them to pay your higher estimate and they want to pay the least amount. A good atorney can reconcile that disparity better and more quickly than you can.

Good luck!
Great advice.

You are at a disadvantage when dealling with insurance company. They screw people for a living. You make a claim a couple of times in your life.

Don't worry about the appearance of escalating by you getting a lawyer. By definition the insurance company is already lawyered up.

Get your own independant quote from the yard you expect will do the work.

If the insurance company says, "use this other yard and we will fix the boat and pay the yard directly." I would consider it if the yard was reputable. This is how a vehicle claim was settled for me. I didn't have a lawyer and the shop did a great job. I never saw a bill.

Sometimes insurance companies will have pre-arrangements like this and it ensures that you are made whole without either gouging them or dealilng with any cost overrun your yard may have.

There is realy no point in being vindictive towards the other boater - yes he is an idiot, we all agree. Better to focus on your boat and really any injury you might have. His $12,000 claim and associated rate increase or cancellation, citation and BUI (if any) will be punishment enough...
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Old 25-05-2012, 21:34   #29
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Re: my 26 westerly rammed by 35 intrepid

You don't need a lawyer right away, you can get one later if you need one, just don't sign anything unless you're satisfied. As soon as you get a lawyer it will take WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYY longer to get anything done, the insurance company will never talk to you again, only to your lawyer, so to get an answer to anything will be 3-4-5 days going through both lawyers to you and back again. You can give them a chance to fix the boat first and see how it goes. Arm yourself with information first. Get an estimate from the boatyard that you want to do the work. Get at least 5 comparable values on boats just like yours, the insurance company will not pay more to fix your boat than it's worth.
Good luck.
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Old 26-05-2012, 09:01   #30
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Re: my 26 westerly rammed by 35 intrepid

Thanks all for taking the time to respond and help, it is much appreciated. I believe all the advice given was good even the guy who blamed me for not having insurance. I will have insurance in the future after this. I have been operating boats since 1984 and other then running aground have never needed it. I used to believe in personal responsibility but no longer do. When I started boating there was no GPS and seamanship was your insurance. These are definately different times as most boaters could not get anywhere without GPS. I will get an estimate this week from some boat yards here in Ft Lauderdale, we have some of the best, then wait until the accident report comes out and contact the insurance company myself and let them know I just want the boat to pre-accident condition. I will tell them it would be better for both if no lawyers were involved. This plan was hatched from all of your ideas so once again thank you. I will post in a few weeks when I get info from the insurance company and as this story progresses since this info can help others in this situation.

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