Each maritime lawyer at our firm has represented many victims of accidents and injuries at sea, from boating accident victims to cruise ship injury victims to crewmembers who have been wronged by a negligent employer. Recently, our firm was recognized in the media for our work on a limitation of liability case, and we are pleased to announce that we resolved the injury claim in favor of the victim.
The case involved a passenger who was hurt in a motorboat accident. The victim was onboard a rented motorboat and was injured because of the vessel operator’s negligence. Although maritime accident victims may be entitled to large sums of compensation for their pain and suffering, an arcane law, known as the Limitation of Liability Act, allows owners to place a cap on the amount they will compensate victims.
When a limitation of liability case is filed, the owner of the vessel responsible for the collision can file action in Federal Court to limit their liability to the claimant to the total amount equal to the post-collision value of their vessel that was involved in the accident. In the event that the accident involves a vessel of little or no value, such as a jet ski or capsized vessel, the victim will not be able to obtain the recovery they deserve for their injuries. Not only will the victim have to suffer injuries caused by someone else’s negligence, but they will not even be able to recover costs from their medical expenses. Some of these maritime accident victims are unable to fully heal from their injuries, but the negligent vessel owners walk away from the case without any responsibility to the person they hurt.
In this limitation of liability claim, the boat operators filed an action to limit its liability in the incident to the asserted value of the motorboat, which in this case totaled $12,500. However, the injured victim’s damages amounted to hundreds of thousands of dollars. After the limitation action was filed by the boat owners, the victim sought our help to defeat the limitation, which we were able to successfully resolve in favor of the passenger.
Our years of experience representing maritime accident victims have taught us exactly what needs to be done to help those who have been wronged by a vessel operator’s negligence to obtain the justice they deserve, as well as the full amount of compensation they are entitled to. While vessel owners may try to limit the amount they will pay to victims, our attorneys here at Lipcon know better than to give up. These types of cases can be difficult to resolve, but our attorneys are actively involved in maritime litigation with cargo ships, tankers, motorboats, sail boats, cruise lines, and even jet skis, and have been able to recover damages for victims that exceed what they might otherwise be limited to obtaining.