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The Young Firm
400 Poydras Street, Suite 2090
New Orleans, Louisiana 70130

Toll Free: (504) 608-6308
Facsimile: (504) 680-4101

Read About Personal Injury Law in our Legal Blog

The Blame Game: Negligence Under Maritime Law

By Timothy Young on July 29, 2013

In maritime law, a person is considered liable for all damages caused by their negligence.  In other words, they are responsible for not doing what a “reasonable” person would have done under the same conditions. This is called the “reasonable person test” and it is used in most state-based claims.  Proving negligence under maritime law involves convincing a judge and/or jury that the defendant failed to take action that should have been taken, or by proving that the defendant did not apply proper safety measures.  To recover damages in a maritime law case, you must prove this negligence.

Additionally, maritime law allows for comparative fault against the plaintiff.  The defendant will try to assert that the plaintiff in the suit was, at least in part, responsible for his or her own accident.  If they are successful, the damages of the plaintiff will be lowered by that percentage of fault.  For example, if the judge rules that the plaintiff was responsible for 30% of his or her own injuries, then 30% will be deducted from the damages he or she is eligible to receive.

It is very important to name all parties that may have had a role in your offshore injury as defendants in your maritime case.  If a company other than the defendant was responsible for any part of your injury or accident but that company is not named in the suit, the defendant could attempt to transfer the blame to that third party.  If they succeed, your damages could be reduced by the percentage of blame placed on the third party.

You should understand that your company and any third party involved in your accident will do everything they can to accept as little blame as possible for your injuries.  If you have been injured, give yourself the best advantage available, and contact a maritime lawyer at The Young Firm today for a free consultation.  We are here to answer all your questions and to ensure that you receive all damages to which you are entitled.

For more information about your rights as a maritime worker, download our free publications here.

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