Some weeks ago a friend and I were preparing to jam on guitars out at the end of his dock. This took place about 3 in the morning and both of us were pretty buzzed. My friend handed me his prized $4000 guitar and told me to follow him. Little did I know that that I was supposed to have followed his EXACT steps because it turns out the dock had loose boards, one of which I stepped on and fell into the muddy marsh below. The guitar sustained considerable damage and my "friend" proceeded to go berserk. For a few moments I feared for my life. For a guitar of this caliber, the cost to repair it is substantial. Although I was holding the guitar when it was damaged, it seems to me that my friend should shoulder some of the responsibility for allowing me to hold the guitar while inebriated, much less carry it across a dilapidated dock in the dark of night. Is there any way to determine what percentage of responsibility is mine?
Hello, I am happy to answer your question.
I think under the circumstances you can consider this property damage to have resulted from an accident. You did not intentionally damage his guitar.
In the end, the problem for him will be that he has no insurance coverage for that guitar. As his friend, and someone who wants to do the right thing and maintain your relationship, you should probably offer to pay a portion of the money it will cost to either replace or repair it. I understand this is tough to swallow, but put yourself in his shoes. You were both a little buzzed so you were both equally making some decisions which lead to the guitar getting damaged.
Again, i don't see that this is your fault, but I would offer him something, half? 1/3? Maybe start by offering 1/3 and see if he is upset and then move to half.
I hope it works out.
10 years of legal experience in various fields of law.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).