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What in the world is Limitation of Liability?

If you are ever involved in a serious accident with the boat you own, or you are injured on  or by someone else’s boat, you need to know that there is a strange creature of admiralty law known as Limitation of Liability.  Originally intended for commercial vessels, it has long been applied to private pleasure craft.  This law permits a vessel owner to limit liability following a catastrophe to the value of the vessel at the conclusion of the voyage.  This might be nothing, and in the event of a serious injury is almost always less than the true damages suffered.  Limitation of liability has been found to apply to very tiny “vessels” like jet skis.  State laws in conflict would not prevent application of this admiralty law.