Got out of town on a boat, goin' to southern islands,

Sailin' a reach before a following sea.

She was makin' for the trades on the outside,

On the downhill run to Papaete

- “Southern Cross” by Crosby, Stills & Nash

Fact: Most Maritime Accidents are caused by Human Error.

The American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) informs us that the leading cause of maritime accidents in the U.S. is human error; the dominant factor being "failure to assess the situation" in an adequate manner. According to the ASB, 50% of all maritime accidents are "initiated by human error". A further 30% of all maritime accidents occur due to "failures of humans to avoid an accident". This means that 30% of maritime accidents could have been avoided but the human operator did not make the right decision(s) and therefore caused an accident that could have been avoided. The Canadian Transportation Safety Board (TSB Canada) reports that 84% of all maritime accidents are caused by human error.

The United States Coast Guard (USCG) investigates most maritime accidents. But they only focus on accidents involving commercial and passenger vessels, freighters, tankers, tugboats and supply vessels. The USCG does not investigate accidents involving barges, recreational boats, ferries, fishing vessels, offshore installations, military vessels, or research training vessels.

According to the ASB, the major factors in maritime accidents are task omission, situation assessment and awareness and lack of knowledge or skills. The least responsible factors are uncharted navigation and substance abuse. The ASB reports that out of 71,470 maritime accidents in its database for accidents occurring between 1991 and 2000, human error was primarily responsible for 46% of the accidents, with weather conditions playing the major role in only 16% of all cases.

Fact: Human Error and resulting liability are difficult things to ascertain.

Attorneys investigating the root cause of a maritime accident would have to examine the following:


  •  Was human error the main cause of the accident or did human error contribute in some way to the accident; either by failure to avoid the accident or by actions which increased the severity of the accident or both?
  • Were human responses to conditions appropriate to avoid the accident or reduce the severity of the accident?
  •  Did human error occur that influenced mitigation of the consequences of the accident?


Fact: Only a small percentage of Maritime Accidents are caused by non-human factors.

In the end, only 20% of all maritime accidents are due to external events or conditions, or are due to mechanical failures. 45% of all shipping accidents are primarily due to human error - meaning that humans initiated the chain of events leading to the accident. And another 35% of maritime accidents are initiated by events or situations other than human error, but where humans failed to respond adequately to those threats.

Fact: Determining human error involves extensive investigation, expert witnesses and time.

When attorneys have to determine who is to blame in a "human error" case, it can take a long time and cost a lot of money. Attorneys have to determine who is ultimately responsible - the person in charge of the ship, the owner or operator of the ship, the weather, a combination of all elements or any other possible cause.

Fact: Protracted lawsuits cost money and resources.

It is easy to see why maritime litigation can be a lengthy process and this can significantly impact the finances of both the plaintiff and the law firm handling the case.  When this happens Nationwide Litigation Funding can provide non-recourse funding to the law firm and the plaintiff.  The net effect is that the firm can continue with business as usual without tying up vital expansion funds long term and the plaintiff’s benefit is that they can receive funds to pay for medical bills and living expenses during a protracted legal settlement and that’s where our lawsuit settlement funding can make all the difference in the world.

Non-Recourse Funding Is A Win-Win For Plaintiffs And Law Firms.

Non-recourse funding is not considered to be “lawsuit funding loan” because if the case goes against you it doesn’t have to be paid back.  While the validity and value of the claim are important the evaluations used to determine a funding are different as opposed to a bank.  Our primary sources are private investors, hedge funds and other similar institutions. The defense knows that with non-recourse lawsuit settlement funding in place a plaintiff is in for the long term if necessary; it changes the whole complexion of the case.




Got out of town on a boat, goin' to southern islands,

Sailin' a reach before a following sea.

She was makin' for the trades on the outside,

On the downhill run to Papaete

- “Southern Cross” by Crosby, Stills & Nash

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