Liability of a chase partner.

I was wondering if anyone has given any thought to the liability of having someone going along with you on a chase and something bad happens.
Ive had some people say that they want to go along with me on a chase but I am hesitant due to the thought that because chasing storms can be a very dangerous activity that someone could be hurt for whatever reason. Im afraid of a lawsuit. Does anyone out there make there passengers sign a release before a chase? Just a thought.

Dennis
 
Originally posted by Dennis Gulley
I was wondering if anyone has given any thought to the liability of having someone going along with you on a chase and something bad happens.
Ive had some people say that they want to go along with me on a chase but I am hesitant due to the thought that because chasing storms can be a very dangerous activity that someone could be hurt for whatever reason. Im afraid of a lawsuit. Does anyone out there make there passengers sign a release before a chase? Just a thought.

Dennis

Unless you're charging people to tag along with you, I don't see how that could be a problem. Now.. Those chasing tours? They probably pay an assload in insurance fees as well as make people sign release forms.
 
This is the main reason I won't bring any non-chasers from home with me. I've had many people who were serious about wanting to tag along, but I didn't encourage them. I didn't know them well enough to know if they would turn against me like the McDonald's coffee lady if we happened to be in an accident. I don't plan on having an accident or getting into a bad situation, but then again, who does.

I don't think this is unique to chasing, I'd be nervous about giving someone a ride to the grocery store the way liability issues are these days.

Maybe someday I'll get a lawyer to draft something up for me. I don't want to start a chase tour or anything like that, but there are enough people from home that would go with me that I could split my hotel/fuel costs considerably.
 
I used to take people along all the time. However, someone last year completely ruined that for any future people with some stunts they pulled post chase. This year, the only one's I have taken along besides my wife and chase partner Graham were a couple of people from the station. Had many requests I have turned down.

I will still take anyone that I have taken in the past without issues, but I will be very skeptical of taking anyone new that I am not in some sort of business relationship with that would require me taking them along, or other media people.
 
I have never thought about that when someone chases with me. I would think that someone would have a tough time proving fault in court when they willingly go.

I agree though I'm sure the chase tours have to worry about that and pay out the wazzu for insurance.
 
yes

For NON-TRAINED, inexperienced passengers only, a.ka. Joe Blow... the answer would be YES. I do have them sign a waiver of liability if they are to chase with me. Most general public passengers are not the least bit aware of the many forms and varieties of dangers while chasing from wet roads to lightning to baseball hail to the tornado.

For certified Skywarn spotters, veteran chasers or knowledgable mets, usually, no. Perhaps I should.... but I would trust they would and should understand the risks enough that that should not have to resort to anything for that to be the cas, since they have experience in chasing and know what can happen. Perhaps another "presumptuous statement" here... but I would think any court of law would likely once asking them if they are a chaser or spotter themselves would assume they know the risks im sure...perhaps this is a bit presumptous and I hope I would not have to learn the hard way on this.

As a general rule along that topic I will absolutely not carry a passenger under the age of 18 (considered a minor) with me while chasing. To do so with a good clear concience they would have to sign a parental release form, (signed by the parents in my presence lol), detailed waiver of liability, and other legal forms I dont want to really have to worry about.

Its always best to cover your butt thats for sure. Im anxious to hear others thoughts on this.
 
Re: yes

Originally posted by Jeffrey Miller

For certified Skywarn spotters, veteran chasers or knowledgable mets, usually, no. Perhaps I should.... but I would trust they would and should understand the risks enough that that should not have to resort to anything for that to be the cas, since they have experience in chasing and know what can happen.

And you better KNOW they are what they say they are as well. Some put on quite a front and fool others for a while. The time to find out is NOT on the chase.
 
Liability

I have never made anyone sign a release form when chasing with me but I infact do take few persons with me besides my girlfriend. If I operated a storm tour business I would definitely make signing a waiver etc. a requirement.
 
I don't have a problem taking others from time to time ... if liability is a potential problem and you don't want to have them sign something, then just have them follow in the car behind you. They will be making their own driving choices. If you know each other well enough to judge character and feel comfortable with the person, then the advantages of sharing expense can outweigh other concerns. If there are other valid considerations - sale of photographs or video, for example - these should be worked out and understood in advance. I think with most solo chasers it's more about staying free to make your own decisions out there than it is a legal concern. But driving anywhere doing anything becomes a liability issue these days -
 
Trained Skywarn spotters

Just a warning about some of us -- we may not be well-trained these days. Attend a two-hour class, and you too can download a certificate saying that you are a trained spotter. The NWS wants warm bodies that can tell between scud and wall cloud, who know to actually measure the hail before reporting it, and who stay on the right flank of the storm if at all possible. This means that we know more than the general public, but your standards for a chase partner may be higher.
 
I don't take muggles chasing, they're liabilities. As for other chasers, all my partners (as well as myself) are well-aware of the hazards occasionally associated with chasing storms, and we all take full responsibility for ourselves.
 
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