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Old 02-18-2015, 08:38 PM   #21
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All the lawyers are swimming under the boats
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Old 02-18-2015, 10:27 PM   #22
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Let's say boat A caught fire due to something negligent like leaving a stove on with bacon in a pan.. and fire investigation report reveals that. Just speculating here. And the subject uninsured boat B catches fire as a result.

Would that require a lawyer? Or could owner B simply file a claim with boat A's insurance?
Gee you guys hate lawyers.
Here at least, B does not normally have direct access to A`s insurance, no privity. A has to make a claim, based on B seeking damages from A. Here B may get direct access if A is dead,can`t be found, bankrupt,etc.
Over there, can`t really say, but the principles are the same. Maybe some local will reply, if he hasn`t been lynched for being a lawyer.
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Old 02-18-2015, 10:48 PM   #23
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At the risk of identifying myself as a lawyer (currently non-practicing), Brucce is correct. B has to seek damages from A, who is then required by his policy to notify his insurance company of the claim for damages. His insurance company will then deal directly with B regarding the claim,
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Old 02-18-2015, 11:03 PM   #24
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OK

Lets say that boat A catches on fire and the fire spreads to my boat, and both boats are lost.

If I did not have insurance (I do though) Couldn't I file a lawsuit abainst owner A claiming that their boat catching fire caused the loss of my boat?

Assuming the lack of an act of god or other external force, wouldn't a cause and effect just need to be proven?

Or do I have to prove that they were negligent, which sounds like I would have to be able to get to the root cause of the original fire, and prove that it was something specific they did or didn't do?
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Old 02-18-2015, 11:12 PM   #25
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All the lawyers are swimming under the boats

Many of them own boats and hire out their hull maintenance to professional divers.
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Old 02-18-2015, 11:26 PM   #26
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Kevin, there used to be case law here (Rylands v Fletcher)that the escape of something dangerous, like fire, grounded an action, but I think it got taken up into the normal law of negligence. So I`d say you need to show something more than there was a fire on A which spread to B. Bad things can happen without negligence. Note there are 2 potential areas of negligence in your example, cause of the fire, and allowing it to spread (escape), ie failing to contain it.
Most fires are the subject of an inquiry(here by a Coroner) or investigation which may provide ammunition. There is a point at which the onus re causation shifts from the claimant(depends on the facts), and a situation where the law says something "speaks for itself" (in Latin, often used for causation, "res ipsa loquitur").
This is Aussie based, just helping out the diminished US lawyer pool. Heard the one about sharks forming a guard of honor for the hearse at the lawyers funeral?
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Old 02-18-2015, 11:46 PM   #27
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Kevin, there used to be case law here (Rylands v Fletcher)that the escape of something dangerous, like fire, grounded an action, but I think it got taken up into the normal law of negligence. So I`d say you need to show something more than there was a fire on A which spread to B. Bad things can happen without negligence. Note there are 2 potential areas of negligence in your example, cause of the fire, and allowing it to spread (escape), ie failing to contain it.
Most fires are the subject of an inquiry(here by a Coroner) or investigation which may provide ammunition. There is a point at which the onus re causation shifts from the claimant(depends on the facts), and a situation where the law says something "speaks for itself" (in Latin, often used for causation, "res ipsa loquitur").
This is Aussie based, just helping out the diminished US lawyer pool. Heard the one about sharks forming a guard of honor for the hearse at the lawyers funeral?
Ok, I think I understand. It could be anything on boat A having nothing to due with neglagance that started the fire.

Thanks!!!
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Old 02-19-2015, 11:15 AM   #28
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Getting money out of boat owner A's insurance for boat owner B's damage might seem to be logical and proper; property damage to others is one reason boat owners even have liability insurance.
Practically speaking, if you are boat owner B and don't have your own insurance, so that your own insurance will pay you and then do the many things that have to be done to get boat owner A's insurance to reimburse them, you have much more difficult task. Boat owner A's insurance company is not going to willy-nilly hand over anything. They'll want proof that your damage was caused by A's fire, including a detailed list of what was damaged, photos, receipts, etc. This assumes boat owner A's insurance is even acknowledging the fire was a peril covered by boat owner A's insurance, which we don't know yet.

The marina owner, as a named insured on boat owner A's policy, is in a much better position. That's why marinas want to be on policies as named insureds: They've already opened the door to filing a claim.

If I was boat owner B, I'd sure want a lawyer's opinion before doing anything in pursuit of owner A's insurance. There is an excellent chance that a regular person like us will accidentally trigger an exception or exclusions or excuse to confuse the issues in the initial letter to the insurance company, like, "Imagine my chagrin at returning home from the bar at 3 a.m. and finding my boat damaged by fire, and me without insurance. I was so afraid it was because I forgot to turn off my gas barbecue. It turns out your client, though, is responsible." Kiss it goodbye, right there, because not only are you a drunk who can't remember important things, you've admitted you've got a hazard on your boat and were not present when the fire occurred. You're vulnerable to an assertion you probably caused your own fire. And you demonstrated a sort of moral insufficiency: You don't even have your own insurance. It's guaranteed boat owner A's insurance company is going to find out whether you've been unable to get insurance (because you're uninsurable) or you're simply remiss; either alternative is not helping you.

Lawyers are very good at analysis, for instance: Would you spend $3,000 to file a tort claim to pursue, but possibly not get, $5,000 in insurance money? Or $5,000 to get $40,000, maybe? They'll lay that out for you and in all probability you can get the initial consultation for no fee at all.

I empathize with anyone in the position of boat owner B, but it's an uphill fight and a lawyer consultation is probably the smartest move.
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Old 02-19-2015, 11:23 AM   #29
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Oh, and the trigger for boat owner A's own coverage, including liability insurance for damage to the property of others, isn't negligence, it's simply whether the condition triggering coverage was sudden, accidental, and occurred within the period covered by the policy. One reason insurance exists is because people have accidents, behave stupidly, and produce unintended consequences, eg., run out of gas, lose way, get picked up by the tide, and slam into Donald Trump's yacht. You might feel like a gormless chump, but your insurance probably has you covered.
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Old 02-19-2015, 11:31 AM   #30
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Getting money out of boat owner A's insurance for boat owner B's damage might seem to be logical and proper; property damage to others is one reason boat owners even have liability insurance.
Practically speaking, if you are boat owner B and don't have your own insurance, so that your own insurance will pay you and then do the many things that have to be done to get boat owner A's insurance to reimburse them, you have much more difficult task. Boat owner A's insurance company is not going to willy-nilly hand over anything. They'll want proof that your damage was caused by A's fire, including a detailed list of what was damaged, photos, receipts, etc. This assumes boat owner A's insurance is even acknowledging the fire was a peril covered by boat owner A's insurance, which we don't know yet.

The marina owner, as a named insured on boat owner A's policy, is in a much better position. That's why marinas want to be on policies as named insureds: They've already opened the door to filing a claim.

If I was boat owner B, I'd sure want a lawyer's opinion before doing anything in pursuit of owner A's insurance. There is an excellent chance that a regular person like us will accidentally trigger an exception or exclusions or excuse to confuse the issues in the initial letter to the insurance company, like, "Imagine my chagrin at returning home from the bar at 3 a.m. and finding my boat damaged by fire, and me without insurance. I was so afraid it was because I forgot to turn off my gas barbecue. It turns out your client, though, is responsible." Kiss it goodbye, right there, because not only are you a drunk who can't remember important things, you've admitted you've got a hazard on your boat and were not present when the fire occurred. You're vulnerable to an assertion you probably caused your own fire. And you demonstrated a sort of moral insufficiency: You don't even have your own insurance. It's guaranteed boat owner A's insurance company is going to find out whether you've been unable to get insurance (because you're uninsurable) or you're simply remiss; either alternative is not helping you.

Lawyers are very good at analysis, for instance: Would you spend $3,000 to file a tort claim to pursue, but possibly not get, $5,000 in insurance money? Or $5,000 to get $40,000, maybe? They'll lay that out for you and in all probability you can get the initial consultation for no fee at all.

I empathize with anyone in the position of boat owner B, but it's an uphill fight and a lawyer consultation is probably the smartest move.
See, thats the way (from your post) that I thought the system worked.

You prove that a fire on boat A (regardless of cause) damaged your boat, then boat A's owner is liable for your damages.

But...

it appears thats not how the system really works.

You have to prove that boat A's owner was negligent, and his negligence caused the fire which resulted in damage to your boat, to establish boat A's owners liability for your damages.

The mere fact that boat A had a fire and your boat was destroyed, does not appear to create liability.

I spent allot of time last night considering this concept of liability. Lets imagine that boat A's fire was due to an electric heater causing an electrical fire on the boat.

In that case was boat A's owner automatically negligent? Not really. If it could be shown that boat A's owner should have conducted more through inspections of the electrical conductors then it's possible boat A's owner could be negligent, but if boat A's owner was using for example the heater within the heaters intended application, and using the boats electrical system within its intended application, then boat A's owner wasn't really negligent.

So, the thing I learned is that you need full coverage insurance because the issue of who owes who is not quite as simple as a "this caused that" concept.
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Old 02-19-2015, 12:26 PM   #31
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Oh, and the trigger for boat owner A's own coverage, including liability insurance for damage to the property of others, isn't negligence, it's simply whether the condition triggering coverage was sudden, accidental, and occurred within the period covered by the policy. One reason insurance exists is because people have accidents, behave stupidly, and produce unintended consequences, eg., run out of gas, lose way, get picked up by the tide, and slam into Donald Trump's yacht. You might feel like a gormless chump, but your insurance probably has you covered.
Spot on.

The only thing I can think of that would cause the insurance's liability coverage not to pay out on boat B is if the fire was intentionally set by the owner. That being said boat owner B still may have to file suit to get the insurance company to consider the claim. If B files suit against A then they have to investigate and consider the claim.
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Old 02-19-2015, 01:36 PM   #32
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What do you call 100 lawyers at the bottom of the ocean?
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Old 02-19-2015, 01:51 PM   #33
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What do you call 100 lawyers at the bottom of the ocean?
If you would have said 1000 I would have said a good start, but I don't know what 100 would be. Honorable mention maybe?
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Old 02-19-2015, 01:54 PM   #34
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It's fun to talk and joke about lawyers (I have several in my family) until you need one. Then they are the smartest, nicest, most honorable saints on earth.
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Old 02-19-2015, 02:13 PM   #35
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What do you call 100 lawyers at the bottom of the ocean?
Gross Benelovence...
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Old 02-19-2015, 03:40 PM   #36
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Old 02-19-2015, 05:41 PM   #37
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It's fun to talk and joke about lawyers (I have several in my family) until you need one. Then they are the smartest, nicest, most honorable saints on earth.
If they were the smartest, nicest and most honorable saints, they would not be lawyers, And if they were, they would never win a case.
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Old 02-19-2015, 05:48 PM   #38
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Oh I would assume that beyond damages to the other boat there is damage to the marina, and environmental costs to contend with also.


PS- If anyone wanted to order a TF shirt time is quickly running out. PM me if interested, don't hijack this thread.
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Old 02-19-2015, 05:58 PM   #39
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Greetings,
Mr. NM. "...don't hijack this thread." Um...the lawyer thread or the T-shirt thread?

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Old 02-19-2015, 06:01 PM   #40
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