Limitation of Liability Act for Maritime Claims in Houston Texas
The Limitation of Liability Act of 1851 allows a vessel owner to limit its liability to the value of its vessel when loss or damages are incurred. This protection for the owner-operator of a maritime vessel can significantly diminish the value of the personal injury claim of a seaman injured or wrongful death claim of an offshore worker killed during a catastrophic event on navigable waters. Personal injury and wrongful death claims are subject to the Limitation of Liability Act, leaving injured seamen and families of the deceased seamen without fair compensation.
What recourse is available for Limitation of Liability Act maritime claims in Houston, Texas when a ship owner reduces its liability and a seaman can’t adequately financially recover from injuries?
An experienced maritime attorney can defeat the Limitation of Liability Act when it can be shown that the vessel was unseaworthy at the time of the incident and that the owner had knowledge of the ship’s condition. The Unseaworthiness Doctrine holds the vessel owner and ship operator accountable for providing a seaworthy vessel, and makes the owner liable for any injuries that result from poorly maintained equipment or a badly trained crew.
Some examples of an unseaworthy vessel include:
- Worn out equipment and fixtures that need replacement to be in proper working condition
- Missing equipment and fixtures (e.g.no fall protection or other safety equipment on the ship)
- Falling or slipping hazards left unaddressed (e.g. an oil slick that isn’t cleaned or a rope left in a place where other seamen walk)
- Lack of safe access between the ship and the shore, like an unsafe gangway
- Missing warning signs or unreadable posted signs
- Shipowner Negligence
An experienced maritime law lawyer can defeat Limitation of Liability Act maritime claims in Houston, Texas when a shipowner can be found participating in negligent acts that caused the injury. Negligence is defined as acting outside the bounds careful and safe actions. There are many areas of maritime law where the experienced maritime personal injury attorneys at Richard J. Plezia & Associates can look for ship owner negligence:
- Lack of Equipment Maintenance
- Improper Crew Training
- Missing Signage
- Equipment Malfunctions
- Lack of Preparation
- Unsafe Working Conditions
- Shortcuts and Distractions
How Can A Maritime Attorney Help?
Recovering from injuries suffered on a maritime vessel is not the end of your case. While you recover, the Houston maritime attorneys at Richard J. Plezia & Associates will work to make sure that your rights are protected:
- The Right to An Attorney
- The Right to Medical Care or “Cure”
- The Right Not to Talk
- The Right to Recover Damages
We protect these rights while handling your case and holding the negligent parties accountable. Let our attorneys handle shipowners that refuse to fully compensate your injury by using the Limitation of Liability Act.