If you are involved in a maritime accident lawsuit involving negligence, you need to understand how to prove your case. Whether you are the defendant or the plaintiff, negligence is a difficult thing to show, but a good Atlanta maritime lawyer can help maximize your chance of winning this case.
Negligence by Maritime Laws
There is an interesting aspect of the maritime law world that assesses the risk of activity versus actual negligence. For example, many acts are inherently risky in the marine industry, such as using a gangway or taking people out for a cruise. As a result, who are pursuing this case must be aware that they take a certain inherent risk simply by being on a boat.
However, that assumption of risk is overruled if the person being sued behaved in a way that was not reasonably safe. For example, if they failed to properly tie down the boat or otherwise ignored important safety standards, they were likely negligent. The idea here is that their behavior increased the risk of the activity beyond its natural level.
Examples of Typical Negligence
Proving negligence in this kind of cases requires showing that the defendant behaved in a way that put the health and well-being of the plaintiff at risk. Their behaviors must go beyond the assumption of risk created by normal maritime activities and move into the realm of negligence. What is important to remember is that negligence is not always an active act.
For example, an injury caused by a rope snapping during a delicate transfer can be considered negligence if it is shown that the plaintiff knew it was frayed and did not replace it. In this case, the plaintiff’s lack of action is negligence because they knew about a dangerous situation and did nothing to manage it. Other forms of neglect may be more active, such as refusing to provide passengers with life preservers.
The trickiest part of proving negligence is showing that the plaintiff was aware of the problem and did not fix it. If the boat rusted in a hard-to-reach area and the plaintiff had reasonably not inspected that area, this may not be negligence if it bursts and the boat sinks. Eyewitness testimony is crucial here, as is records of the plaintiff’s inspection and repair schedule.
As you can see, proving negligence in cases like this is tricky, but possible. It may require a lot of work and the help of an Atlanta maritime lawyer. Professionals like this are trained for the unique demands of maritime law. They can help sort through the confusion between risk and negligence and create a case that you can win without much difficulty.