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  #91  
Old 08-02-2012
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Hmmm, backseat lawyers. Nothing but the best information from sailnet. You'll also need to give your own lawyer a kick in the a$$ to get things going. Just like insurance companies, you need to shop for legal advice. Once again, I reiterate; do not shop the discount aisle.

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  #92  
Old 08-02-2012
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Re: My Boat was Hit Bad

Didn't say that. I'm saying you establish the liability first, then look to how to collect it. If insurance coverage is sufficient, that's great. If not, that doesn't absolve them.
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  #93  
Old 08-02-2012
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Re: My Boat was Hit Bad

I think one thing that is being missed here is that the operator of the other boat (presuming he is to be held 100% at fault, which appears to be the case) is liable for all CK's losses. If the other boat owner's insurance company manages to weasel out of paying up, he is still liable. For instance (and completely hypothetically), let's say that there was a clause in Mr. Powerboater's insurance policy that basically said that he wasn't covered if he operated his boat drunk or at night, and he hit CK's boat at 2am after downing a dozen shots. His insurance Co. might be off the hook, but he certainly isn't. I which case CK may have to sue his butt to get her boat fixed. But then Mr. Powerboater's homeowner's insurance will probably get involved (since that is the asset most likely to be in jeopardy if/when he loses).

More realistically, let's say that Mr. Powerboater's insurance refuses to pay more than $5K for the damages on CK's boat, since they claim that is all it is worth. If CK can prove that her boat is worth more, say $20K, Mr. Powerboater is on the hook for $20K, AS LONG AS CK DOESN'T ACCEPT THE INSURANCE COMPANY'S SETTLEMENT OFFER. Yes, she may ultimately have to take Mr. Powerboater to court over all this if he and his insurance company (or companies, since Mr. Powerboater's homeowner's insurance might come into play here) dig in their heels, but they probably won't over such a relatively small amount.

Bottom line is that if CK sticks to her guns and doesn't settle for less than ALL it takes to "make her financially whole" (i.e., cover all her losses due to Mr. Powerboater's negligence) she will probably eventually be fine. The payout here for the insurance company is far too small for them to spend much of their time and resources fighting a losing battle. Mr. Powerboater and his insurance don't really have much of a defense, as far as I can see. And in this case lawyers' fees (theirs AND hers, as they will have to pay all the lawyers if they lose) could easily top any reasonable payout in no time at all. If they think CK isn't going to cave easily, then they will take the cheaper way out and cave themselves.
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  #94  
Old 08-02-2012
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Re: My Boat was Hit Bad

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingfool View Post
The issue really comes down to what the BoatUS policy says about "loss of use" in this circumstance, and the thread has not addressed this specific fact.
Hmmm. I should think it comes down to the liability of the offending party, who has already admitted fault. He is obligated to provide whatever admiralty law requires. Whether his insurance covers a given expense or not is said party's issue, not Courney's.
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  #95  
Old 08-03-2012
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Re: My Boat was Hit Bad

I'm glad my situation has caused so much awareness and education about the boating insurance industry. I'm under-impressed with BoatUS.

For those keeping score, I started this thread over a week ago, the same day of the boat ramming. BoatUS has yet to contact me regards their plans for my boat. The only communication I've had with them was a few days after the accident, and all correspondence was initiated by me.

Over one week later, my boat still has a hole, extensive deck damage, and a shifted bulkhead. My home was wrecked. I was clearly not at fault. And yet, over one week later, my home still has a hole in it and no word from the guilty party's insurance company. I'm not sure if the boat will be totaled or repaired. Today is Friday, so I won't hear from BoatUS until next week, making it a full two weeks since the accident.

I will do what is necessary to be compensated for this loss. Not only was my home rammed, but my office (I work from my boat!). I've lost productivity, I've lost sleep, I've lost the middle of sailing season. Oh yes, I'm upset. Because, as the first post states, I DIDN'T DO ANYTHING WRONG! Unfair? YES. Unjust? Absolutely! My home was rammed, and yet I'm the one, the innocent party, paying for it in time, stress, and legal fees? Hmmm....

My attorney is on top of this now. Rest assured, I'm not backing down. The longer this continues, the more irritated I become. I will not rollover.
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  #96  
Old 08-04-2012
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Re: My Boat was Hit Bad

I assume you have Mr. Powerboater's insurance carrier and Policy # by now.
I'm not surprised that Boat US (your insurance carrier) has not gotten back to you yet, unless Mr. Powerboater also used Boat US for his insurance. For the record, it would be easier for us to understand if we knew which insurance company he used.
It will take them time to substantiate an estimate for repairs (hire a surveyor, contact boat yards etc.) and this is their busy season as other policy holders have sunk their boats at the dock or driven them up on the rocks.
The best advice I can give is to try to remain philosophical and calm about all of this as it will take more time then you might think for this all to get sorted out (every repair with boats takes 3 times longer and costs twice as much as expected).
If you are feeling impatient then call Mr. Powerboater's marine insurance company and make sure that a claim has been opened against his policy for the damage he did to your boat. Then find out what has (or has not) been done. You may be able to help them by finding a marine surveyor to assess the damage and help move things along, or they may give you the name of the surveyor they want to use. A good survey of the damage is the first step.
The next step would be to find the best yard or company that can do the repairs to your satisfaction. It is a lot like auto insurance once it reaches this point; they'll pay $18K for repairs but you want to use auto shop X who you trust to do good work but will charge $20K. That is where your lawyer friend may come in handy.

I guess I am saying that it is fine to make loud noises about how you were wronged (and you were) but the more even tempered and helpful you can be may help move things along just a little bit faster. After all, the people that work for the insurance company were not the ones who damaged your boat. Their client did and they should respond to that but they personally never did you any harm. Old adage: You'll catch more flies with honey.

Having done a lesser repair to my own boat it seems to me that you are looking at at least 1 month of being hauled out on jack stands. Knowing what I think I do about the flakiness of marine 'professionals' and how busy they are with other clients jobs you would be really lucky to find someone who could spend an entire week devoted to your damaged deck house. You might consider finding a place to stay on land by the week or even for a full month (or more - hope not!). Hopefully my perceptions are a bit out of whack but the marine repair business is not exactly as well run as the auto repair business.

I hope I am wrong about this. I am just suggesting that it might not all get 'made whole' in a week or two.

More reasons to be pi$$ed off and lose sleep, I know. Sorry about that.

When our boat had a hole in the hull/deck joint on the port bow, jib in tatters, bow pulpit crushed ... due in part to our own negligence, I did the fiberglass repairs myself as I could not find anyone available who could commit to doing it quickly. I sub-contracted a new roller furler and we bought a new bow pulpit and installed it ourselves. It took about 1 month to do it all.

I really do wish you the best of luck with this 'process'.
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  #97  
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Re: My Boat was Hit Bad

Courtney,

I am very glad to hear you have an attorney who is on top of the situation. The key to a satisfactory outcome is to be proactive. Especially, be proactive with BoatUS -- the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Civil, but firm is the right approach, IMO.

My heart broke when I read your first post. We love the same boat model. There but for the grace of God go we all. DaWIFE and I wish you the best as you work to resolve your conundrum.

Tom
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Last edited by dacap06; 08-04-2012 at 09:42 AM.
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  #98  
Old 08-04-2012
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Re: My Boat was Hit Bad

CK,
Have you considered grinding it down and doing the glass work yourself and sending him the bill? I've done work simular to that on the hook with a little honda generator and a grinder, Curtain off the v berth with some plasic, get a little shop vac and a fan. The glass work is a lot like the paper machet' (sp?) we did in grade school. I've seen lesser people tackle bigger projects. Use west system products for easier mixing, less fumes and better bonding. You can probably borrow most of the tool's from sympathetic sailors. Document the work and save the recipts. Some times to get a ball rolling we have to pick it up and throw it.
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  #99  
Old 08-04-2012
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Re: My Boat was Hit Bad

"I DIDN'T DO ANYTHING WRONG! "
CK, I'm thinking of suing my school system, because they failed to mention "The world is not a fair place" back when I was in grade school. Runs contrary to the whole Superman-Metropolis-mom and apple pie thing, but there it is.

You DID contact your state insurance commission, right? Because they should have told you that the other guy's insurer typically has 30 days in which to respond to your formal claim, and if they fail to respond within that time period--they lose the right to appeal or contest the damage amount.

That will vary with state law but 30 days is typical. And you have to prove when they were first contacted. Many insurers will play the game of waiting 29 days and then sending out a letter, stalling as long as they can to avoid a payout.

And sometimes that can be a good thing for you, because IF you know the local laws, sometimes the insurer slips up on the timing and simply has to pay you without question as a result.

Your attorney will be familiar with all this, but it helps if someone clues you in to how the game is played. If you've gotten repair estimates, he should also be able to make a good guess as to questions of repairing or totalling, and who gets to make that decision how.

Capt-
"doing the glass work yourself" that can be a very bad idea when dealing with insurers. They typically pay only for "professional" repairs and parts. So if a shop puts in 30 hours of labor and bills for it, they pay. But if you put in the same 30 hours? You get nothing. If they're paying estimated costs, based on someone's estimate, that's something else again. But the devil is indeed in the details, and there's a reason great whites won't touch insurers.

Last edited by hellosailor; 08-04-2012 at 10:47 AM.
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Old 08-04-2012
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Re: My Boat was Hit Bad

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
"I DIDN'T DO ANYTHING WRONG! "
CK, I'm thinking of suing my school system, because they failed to mention "The world is not a fair place" back when I was in grade school. Runs contrary to the whole Superman-Metropolis-mom and apple pie thing, but there it is.
What?????? You mean the world isn't fair?!

This is a frustrating problem, folks, and it's not getting better. I'm doing my absolute best to approach this problem as level-headed and as logical as possible. I'm going through the motions, taking it step by step, not over-reacting. I love and appreciate all the great legal and insurance advice that this forum has given, and I am grateful for the support from my fellow sailors and liveaboards. Truly. However, I'm not soliciting lessons on life's unfairness, or how to keep it all in perspective (I am keeping it in perspective). I know many of you are trying to make me feel better, and I understand that. Is having a hole in my home the worst possible thing to ever happen to me in the history of the world? Of course not, it isn't close. But it's a problem that needs solving nonetheless, and so far the people responsible for the incident, and thus the ones responsible for solving the problem, have been...well not very timely (I'm being decent in my word choice when describing these people). And that's frustrating. It's maddening. I'm not sure anyone would react differently than what I'm doing now. I guess I'm writing as I live: honestly. If that bothers you, I'm sorry. Be glad that you're not my mother, imagine all the cheerleading she has to do! Right now the only way this situation gets better is if it's fixed. It's hard to take my mind off having a hole in my home. I'm feeling frustrated, I'm feeling upset, displaced, out of sorts, because my home and haven has been damaged. Believe me, I'd much rather be cheery and upbeat, making jokes.

It's been nearly two weeks since the incident, it'll take at least two weeks to have the boat fixed. Living in the Pacific Northwest means my weather window is quite limited. Meanwhile, summer is disappearing and a wet and cold winter is coming closer. I'm on a clock.

At this rate it looks like I won't hear back from BoatUS, the ramming party's insurance company, until next week. I'll post again when I know more.

Peace out,
Courtney
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