Marine Casualty Investigation Attorneys in American Samoa
Representing Companies Operating in the Pacific
If your company conducts any part of its business operations at sea, you are exposed to incidents that lead to marine injury, property damage, and even the loss of life. Our admiralty/maritime attorneys are experienced in representing business owners whose operations take place at sea, such as commercial fishing fleets and cargo vessel owners. These operations carry inherent risk to seafaring vessels and their crews. Should an accident occur that results in a marine casualty nearly anywhere in the Pacific, Mooney Wieland is prepared to help your company defend its interests in a casualty investigation mounted by state, territorial, and/or federal authorities.
The United States Coast Guard (USCG) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) have statutory mandates to investigate casualties involving US-flagged vessels because the information learned can be used to protect other mariners from harm. These investigations, however, can lead to civil or even criminal charges against vessel owners, charterers, managers, employers, officers, and other operators if it is found that they failed to comply with the myriad and complex safety training, vessel maintenance, navigational, or other duties under US law and regulations. Our job as your marine casualty investigation attorneys in American Samoa is to protect your interests throughout the investigation process and respond to any legal action that may result.
Oftentimes, we also simultaneously preserve our own evidence in anticipation of an admiralty/maritime tort lawsuit or Jones Act claim related to the marine casualty, including sworn witness statements, photographs and audio-visual evidence, and navigational and other data that can be used in your defense.
The Primary Purpose of USCG Casualty Investigations
When it comes to investigating seaman injuries, deaths, or vessel damage that occur at sea, the USCG, NTSB, and other governmental agencies are primarily concerned with evaluating a casualty incident to identify how it occurred and whether or not a violation of federal laws or regulations contributed to the incident.
These investigations are intended to determine whether certain policies or practices in place contributed to an injury or loss of life at sea and may herald a change in regulations to better protect mariners. While a USCG or NTSB casualty investigation does not function to determine civil liability in personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits between private litigants, the evidence collected during a casualty investigation may simultaneously be preserved and used in civil admiralty/maritime litigation. Engaging a legal representative as soon as a marine casualty occurs is imperative to protect your interests and mitigate your potential civil liability down the road.
Private Casualty Investigations Can Minimize Your Liability
As soon as you become aware of an injury, death, or other casualty that occurred at sea during one of your business operations, contact our marine casualty investigation attorneys in American Samoa. Mooney Wieland can help you mitigate your liability by proactively evaluating all of the factors that contributed to the incident and, if a maritime tort claim or Jones Act claim ensues, step in to defend your interests.