Maritime Liability Law and Legal Definition

Maritime liability provides that the owner and master of a vessel are liable for personal injury to a passenger or damage to a passenger's baggage caused by a neglect or failure to comply. A person may bring a civil action against a master, mate, engineer, or pilot of a vessel, and recover damages, for personal injury or loss caused by the master or mates of the ship due to:

1. negligence or willful misconduct; or

2.neglect or refusal to obey the laws governing the navigation of vessels.

However, the federal statute 46 USCS § 30503 states that if a shipper of an item named in contained in a parcel, package, or trunk, loads the item as freight or baggage on a vessel, without at the time of loading giving to the person receiving the item a written notice of the true character and value of the item and having that information entered on the bill of lading, the owner and master of the vessel are not liable as carriers. The owner and master are not liable beyond the value entered on the bill of lading.