Maritime worker on his ship.

What Is the Limitation of Liability Act?

Following certain types of maritime accidents, vessel owners sometimes rely on a law called the Limitation of Liability Act to limit the amount they must pay to injured crewmen, guests, and passengers. If you’ve been injured in a maritime accident, you should familiarize yourself with the information below to determine whether it could impact your ability to recover for your injuries. For additional information on the Limitation of Liability Act, please contact a Louisiana and Gulf of Mexico maritime attorney

How the Limitation of Liability Act Works

Although it is generally disfavored by courts, the Limitation of Liability Act may be used to limit a vessel owner’s damage exposure to the value of the vessel at the conclusion of the voyage on which a passenger on the ship was injured. Unfortunately, in cases in which an accident severely damages a vessel, the value of the vessel may be substantially reduced, thereby drastically limiting the damages available to someone who was injured in the accident. 

Defeating the Limitation of Liability Act

When the owner of a vessel attempts to rely on the Limitation of Liability Act to reduce liability for a plaintiff’s injuries, the injured party’s maritime attorney has several legal options available to defeat this defense. For example, when a plaintiff’s maritime attorney can prove that the vessel owner had prior knowledge of a vessel’s unseaworthy condition, or it can be demonstrated that the owner participated in the negligent act that caused the injury, then the Limitation of Liability Act can be overcome. In addition, even in cases where a vessel owner’s negligence or prior knowledge of unseaworthiness cannot be proven, other factors, such as violations of safety regulations or construction standards, can still be considered by the court to defeat a Limitation of Liability Act defense. However, in order to beat a vessel owner who attempts to assert this defense, it is imperative that an individual who has suffered injuries in a maritime accident contact an experienced Gulf of Mexico and Louisiana maritime attorney for assistance. 

Contact Our Experienced Gulf of Mexico and Louisiana Maritime Attorneys 

If you’ve been injured in a maritime accident of any kind, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries. However, in order to ensure that you aren’t taken advantage of by the party responsible for your injuries, you need an experienced and aggressive team of Louisiana and Gulf of Mexico admiralty and maritime lawyers on your side. At Koch & Schmidt, we have a well-earned reputation throughout Louisiana for providing the victims of maritime accidents with powerful legal representation. Therefore, if you are a seaman, longshoreman, oil rig worker, cruise ship employee, or another maritime industry employee who has been injured in a maritime accident, please contact us as soon as possible for a free evaluation of your case.