Manitu, One thing you can count on on the web is you'll get someone's opinion. May be right, partially right or totally wrong. In Boatman 61s case, he's totally wrong. About the only way you could be at fault in the original posters case is if the boat was illegally tied to a no mooring
location and obstructing the fairway. Our legal system is pretty f****d up but not that f'd up.
law applies, the 'General Prudential Rule' is in effect. That states that you have to make reasonable efforts to avoid a collision or other act injurious to another person. The courts assign a percentage of blame and assess an amount that reflects that percentage. In Boatman61 accident
, he could have been partially responsible because he wasn't maintaining a watch. He would be only minimally responsible and the French boat would have to pay most of the costs. If the French boat admitted changing course without looking, they'd probably still be a 100% at fault even though he was below when they collided.
In civil litigation, there is 'Joint and Several Liability' that is entirely different than marine
law. In 'Joint and Several Liability' anyone who is found to be at fault, no matter how little, is fully responsible for any damages that others at fault don't cover. That's why the ambulance chasers try and sue the State or City in auto accidents cause they know they have deep pockets and will pay 100% of the award
even if the driver was 99% at fault. The question is where do you go from regular civil jurisdiction to marine. Does being tied up at a marina put you in regular civil realm or are you under marine jurisdiction. Have to ask a lawyer who'd possibly have to go to trial for a judge to make the determination. It's not about right or wrong but how good a lawyer you've got.
The easiest way for an insurance company to make money
is not pay claims. Some try to do that as a matter of course. Looks like you got lucky and were injured by someone insured with a company that will try and to the 'right thing'. Doubt that $35,000 for your boat is the 'right thing', however. Get everything in writing or email
as Boatman61 says. I'd back up the email
to print just to be safe. Justices look at the written word, don't even want to hear about verbal communication unless there is corroboration.