Accidents involving seafaring vessels often lead result in serious injuries and fatalities. Victims of boating accidents are entitled to monetary recovery for their injuries from at fault parties. However the right to compensation will be voided if a claim is not filed in time. Below is information regarding the statute of limitations for civil claims resulting from accidents taking place in navigable waterways, lakes, seas, territorial waters such as manmade lake, rivers, and international waters. If you have any further legal questions regarding boating accident claims contact our law firm toll free at (855)385-2529 or online here. Maritime Law – Statute of Lamination’s for Jones Act Jurisdiction: Some boating accidents fall under the jurisdiction established by the Jones Acts. 45 U.S.C. § 56 of the Jones Acts places a three year statute of limitations for filing a civil lawsuit for damages, “regardless of the state law where the injury occurred.” More on the Jones Act here. State and Federal Laws – Statute of Limitations: In the United States state’s decide the time limitations for filing a lawsuit in civil court. For example in the state of California is permitted 2 years from the date of an accident to file a claim. Federal cases will most likely abide by the statute of limitations of the state where the incident leading to the civil action took place. Statute of Limitations – Filing a Lawsuit Against a Government Agency: Generally government agencies have immunity over civil claims for damages. However over several decades different states have waived immunity but have placed stringent restrictions on injured parties attempting to receive recovery in the court of law. For example in the state of California a plaintiff seeking recovery against a government entitled must file a claim with the public agency within six months from the date of the accident. Suites in Admiralty Act – SIAA: Civil lawsuits caused by accident or other incidence which take place on a United States federal government vessel must be filed within two years from the date of the incident. More on the SIAA here. Exceptions to Statute of Limitations – Tolling of a Statute: In certain circumstances courts will allow for a halting (or tolling) of the statute of limitations. Different jurisdictions will have special tolling rules, however some of the most common instances where courts across various jurisdiction may allow for a tolling are as follows.
- Mental or physical incapacitation
- Minor status – injured party is under the age of 18
- Injury did not manifest itself until sometime after the incident