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Articles Tagged with “Boat Accident Lawyer”

Complaint for Exoneration from or Limitation of Liablity Lawyer.jpgBrais & Brais’ Maritime & Boating Accident Lawyer News Blog in January 2011 reported on a recreational boat explosion at the Delray Harbor Club Marina in Delray Beach, Florida. This tragic event caused the death of Robert Romanelli and injured two others including the owner. The explosion also resulted in significant damage to nearby boats and docks.

The Limitation of Liablity Act

When presented with a maritime catastrophe which could potentially costs millions of dollars, marine insurance companies often seek the liberal protections of a little known statute called the Limitation of Liability Act. Enacted in 1851, the Limitation of Liability Act allows boat owners to limit their liability for any death, injury or property damage arising from a maritime accident occasioned without the boat owner’s “privity or knowledge” to the post loss value of the boat. In the case of the Delray explosion, the owner claimed the value of the boat after the incident was only $1,000.

Often times after a hurricane or strong ‘Noreaster, many boaters strike unmarked vessels wrecked in the storm. Often times, these collisions cause personal injuries to the passengers and guests onboard the moving boat. The question often becomes, who is responsible? There are 3 possible answers.

The Owner of the Wrecked Vessel

shipwreck.jpgThe obvious first answer is the person who owned the wrecked vessel. The Federal Wreck Removal Statute requires an owner to mark the wrecked vessel immediately and maintain the mark until the wreck is removed. This is a non-delegable duty, meaning if the owner hires someone to mark the vessel and they didn’t, the owner is still liable for any injuries resulting from the failure to mark the wreck. The Federal Wreck Removal Statute also requires the owner to immediately begin removal operations. Should the owner fail to commence removal operations, a person injured by the wrecked vessel may bring a claim against the vessel owner for damages. Like the requirement to mark the sunken vessel, the duty to remove it is also non-delegable.

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