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liability issue fishing/boating

Old 11-26-2020, 06:43 AM
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Default liability issue fishing/boating

I quit taking anybody fishing on my boat because of the liability
I am thinking one of my friends die even from natural causes, their relatives are going to sue.
Do you guys ever think about this?
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11-26-2020, 06:45 AM
KBH
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No
Old 11-26-2020, 06:45 AM
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No
Old 11-26-2020, 06:45 AM
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Originally Posted by ron3604 View Post
I quit taking anybody fishing on my boat because of the liability
I am thinking one of my friends die even from natural causes, their relatives are going to sue.
Do you guys ever think about this?
Your over thinking it. I won’t take strangers out for the same kind of reasons but if your not taking friends and family because that your really missing out on some of the major joys of boating. One of my favorite things is getting someone hooked up catching fish that isn’t used to it they are so appreciative
Old 11-26-2020, 06:52 AM
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I do think about that from time to time. I was much more worried about it when I was running charters... I've had a few people take a couple of nasty falls in rough weather. Never had a problem though.
Old 11-26-2020, 06:53 AM
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Originally Posted by ron3604 View Post
I quit taking anybody fishing on my boat because of the liability
I am thinking one of my friends die even from natural causes, their relatives are going to sue.
Do you guys ever think about this?
I don't worry about that at all. You still need to live in this litigious society, don't make life lonely by choice. Some of my best memories are taking friends and family out fishing. Worth the little risk there is.
Old 11-26-2020, 06:55 AM
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I don't worry about it, that's why I have Insurance.
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Old 11-26-2020, 06:55 AM
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Insurance can help rest your mind a bit
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Old 11-26-2020, 07:27 AM
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Insurance.

If you are married, it would possibly help to have the boat only in your name to shield any joint assets.

A big part of the boating fun for me is taking out others so they can share in that fun.
Old 11-26-2020, 07:42 AM
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Do you take other people in your car? Much higher risk as far as I'm concerned. I almost never fish alone so much more fun with a friend or 2.
Old 11-26-2020, 07:45 AM
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Using your theory of liability, then, I guess nobody is allowed to visit your home?

Get some insurance and get on with your life.
Old 11-26-2020, 07:48 AM
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I am more worried about myself dropping dead and hope that my friends can get back to ramp.
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Old 11-26-2020, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by ron3604 View Post
I quit taking anybody fishing on my boat because of the liability
I am thinking one of my friends die even from natural causes, their relatives are going to sue.
Do you guys ever think about this?
have them sign a liability waiver? will cover some events but not all, negligence can't be waived.

do you have safety equipment aboard?

know cpr?

aed?

long story short, dont be paranoid.
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Old 11-26-2020, 08:10 AM
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I never take people I don’t know. I have enough family that always want to go, there’s never any room
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Old 11-26-2020, 08:12 AM
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We have all our boats insured. I worry more about having an incident at the fault of someone without insurance. Believe there is a clause in our policies though, that limit the 3rd party to immediate family members only. Pretty sure guests aren't covered in that event.
Old 11-26-2020, 08:21 AM
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I've now heard just about everything.
Old 11-26-2020, 08:23 AM
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I am going to bet most of you have not read your policies and understand what they cover and don't cover as well as most don't have enough insurance (umbrella on top) to cover a major injury or death of a guest.
Old 11-26-2020, 08:25 AM
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Have a very sue happy friend. He came on the boat exactly once. His older daughter was doing some stupid shit and hurt herself... he knew if he litigated the medical expenses it would be the end of our friendship and the thought did cross his mind.
Old 11-26-2020, 08:26 AM
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You’ve got me thinking now. My best friend writes my homeowners. His wife writes the cars and boat. Hmmmmmm I smell a conspiracy theory.
Old 11-26-2020, 08:39 AM
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Why the hell have a boat if you can't enjoy it with your friends? I hate fishing by myself, rarely if ever go alone, what's the point?

I pay State Farm A CRAP TON OF $$$ every year and have for decades. If/when something happens, that's what they are for. (And yes, I've used them twice over the last few years once my kids started driving. One was a MAJOR accident with air evac involved and follow up surgeries. It helps to sleep at night knowing you have things covered and somebody other than family pulling for you and giving advice.) Heck yeah I hope, pray and plan for no problems BUT prudence means you stay prepared for such.

If you don't have the $$$ for proper insurance coverage to protect yourself/assets then you might not have enough $$$ to PROPERLY participate in activities like boating! Believe me, all the bitching and grumbling about insurance premiums is a moot point when ambulance's are on the scene, law enforcement is asking questions and your friends (ESPECIALLY their kids!) are lying injured in a hospital bed!!! Those premiums are tiny compared to the grief and headache after an accident.

Umbrella's are your friend!!! CHEAPEST COVERAGE & PEACE OF MIND you'll EVER spend a dime on!!!
Old 11-26-2020, 08:49 AM
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Have a good insurance policy and an excess policy. That's for starters.

I'm a lawyer in CA, so maybe other states would be a little different but generally no because maritime law ks federal and looks pretty similar across the jurisdictional waterways.

Just because someone gets hurt on your boat doesn't mean you're automatically liable. That's not to say you won't get sued though. The basic elements of negligence are (1) Duty (2) Breach (3) actual causation (4) Proximate Cause, (5) Damages. If you beat back any one of those, you'll not be liable.

As a captain, you almost assuredly have a duty to your passengers. Breaching that duty is a little harder. Drunk boating, driving too fast at night, operating at unsafe speeds in rough seas, no float plan, no life jackets, etc can all be breaches of duty--even if they're somewhat subjective.

Actual causation is what it sounds like. Just because someone got hurt on your boat doesn't mean you caused it. Maybe someone had a stroke on board, that's not your fault (but not having a radio to call on 16 might be).

Proximate causation requires the injury to be foreseeable, even if it was actually caused by your breach of duty. Maybe you go too close to some Orcas, someone fell over, and then the Orcas decided to drown your guest. Not super foreseeable even though you caused it. That's be a fun case to litigate, an enterprising plaintiffs attorney would argue that they're called killer whales for a reason so it was totally foreseeable.

Damages is an easy one. If they just got a scrape, probably no damages. If they lost an arm due to the killer whales...different story.

That doesn't get into any assumption of risk or conparitovr negligence issues (like was your guest super drunk?)

Get insurance. Don't be negligent. Make sure your guests behave too. Have fun!

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