When accidents happen at sea, they fall under a different set of rules than on land. This set of rules is referred to as “maritime” or “admiralty” law. One of the more unique aspects of admiralty or maritime law is that the owner of a sea vessel can limit their liability to the value of that vessel. A ship’s owner can do this even after their ship sinks or is destroyed. This is possible due to an act known as the Limitation of Liability Act of 1851. In order to invoke this act, a ship’s owner need only prove that the cause of the ships demise was beyond their “privity and knowledge” or of no fault of their own.
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