Our Maritime and Jones Act Lawyers Help Sinking Accident Victims
When a ship sinks, the loss is great, because it usually means the crew was lost at sea or badly injured. If a ship sinks because of a person´s or a company´s negligence or the unseaworthiness of the vessel, the injured parties or the deceased victim´s family members may be able to sue the negligent party and or the owner of the vessel to recover money for their maritime injuries or for wrongful death.The responsible ship owner or operator may try to limit the compensation the injured can receive; experienced legal counsel can make sure the victims of a sinking accident are able to get the full measure of monetary recovery available to bring justice.
Causes of Sinkings
Ships can sink for a variety of reasons. However, certain causes are entirely preventable, and if the person or company responsible for preventing these types of accidents failed to do so, they are responsible for your injuries, and negligent parties can be held accountable in court. Preventable causes include:
- Steering and navigation errors caused by inattention, fatigue or inexperience
- Defective ship construction and design
- Unseaworthy condition of the ship
- Defective parts on the ship
- Non working pumps and alarms
- Non watertight compartments such as doors, covers and holds
- Unstable vessel, lack of stability
- Improper repairs
- Leaking lazerette, propeller, stuffing box, holds
- Failure to follow proper safety procedures
- Failure to use equipment properly
- Fires and explosions
- Improperly loaded cargo
- Improperly trained or unqualified crew
- Failure to heed warnings about inclement weather
A Maritime Attorney Can Help
After a ship sinks and the casualties are counted, hiring experienced legal counsel is an important step toward recovering money for injuries and wrongful deaths. It is very important that you hire an attorney to start the investigation, work with the investigative agencies such as the United States Coast Guard, the harbor master, the Environmental Police and the insurance companies who represent the owner/operator of the vessel or your employer. It is also important that steps are taken to preserve information regarding the vessel by performing an inspection and taking photographs if the vessel is docked or on land, and if the vessel is at the bottom of the ocean, hiring divers or using ROV to take photographs and videos of the vessel. Additionally, since the owner of the vessel has the option to file a Petition for Limitation of Liability, which would allow the owner to limit your recovery to the value of the vessel at the time of the accident, which in many sinkings is zero due to the fact it is sitting on the bottom of the ocean, it is important that you contact the maritime attorneys at Latti & Anderson LLP.
The maritime and Jones Act attorneys at Latti & Anderson LLP have been involved in a number of high profile ship sinking cases, including representing the families in the sinking of the F/V ANDREA GAIL, the story of which became the basis for the movie The Perfect Storm; the sinking of the F/V STARBOUND, which was hit by the tanker M/T VIRGO; the sinking the F/V CAPE FEAR; the sinking of the F/V LADY OF GRACE and the sinking of the F/V COSTA & CORVO.
We have the experience and ability to handle national and international media and present your case to the world. We can help victims receive money for pain and suffering, lost wages, medical expenses, maintenance and cure and more. Contact our maritime trial lawyers to learn how we can help. We serve clients throughout New England across the United States.