Monday, September 9, 2019

Boating Accidents and Wrongful Death Lawsuits

The accident that occurred on the dive boat, Conception, in California recently has generated substantial attention due to the severity of the fire and the terrible loss of life.  Thirty-four people died when the boat caught on fire and the passengers were trapped inside.  The exact cause of the fire and accident is under investigation.

Cognizant of potential personal injury liability, the owners of the dive boat have filed a lawsuit in federal court stating that they used reasonable care and that the ship was seaworthy.  The lawsuit is an attempt to preempt and limit the owner's liability.  The strategy is based upon maritime law dating to 1851 that requires victims to respond to the lawsuit within a specified amount of time or else relinquish their claim.  The method has been used a number of times before in prominent maritime accidents and has been very effective at limiting liability.

Typically a personal injury lawsuit must be brought within two years in the state of Hawaii.  Hawaii Revised Statute §657-7.  The same two-year time limit applies in California as well.  Other states vary in their and time limits. The lawsuit was widely seen as being in poor taste since the investigation is ongoing and the families are still mourning their loved ones.

If you've been involved in an accident and have been injured, contact an experienced attorney today to protect your rights. 

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