HomeLibraryMaritime Injury ClaimsThe 1% Rule in Maritime Law Claims

The 1% Rule in Maritime Law Claims


What happens if multiple parties contribute to your injury or accident? Do you have to bring all of these parties into court even if some of them are foreign companies that may not be subject to jurisdiction in the United States?

Fortunately, maritime law provides an excellent rule which helps you as an injured overseas worker. Under maritime law any party that causes or contributes to your accident is “jointly and severally” liable for the damages that you have suffered. What this fancy term means is that the law holds each negligent party responsible for 100% of the damages that you suffered. This is sometimes called the 1% rule because if you prove any party to be at least 1% responsible for your injury, you can collect 100% of your damages from that party. This rule helps overseas maritime workers tremendously.

  • First, the 1% rule helps balance the scales if a foreign company contributes to your accident and you are unable to bring that company to court in the United States. Under the 1% rule, as long as you can bring suit against one responsible party in the United States, the burden then shifts to that responsible party to seek contribution or file a claim against the other responsible parties.
  • Additionally, the 1% rule means that you as an injured overseas worker will not suffer any losses due to “empty chairs” at your trial provided you have at least one responsible party before the jury. In every maritime case companies always point the finger at other companies and try to say that if anyone did anything wrong, it was not them. The 1% rule helps eliminate these types of arguments during your trial.

Maritime law correctly protects you as an overseas maritime worker and correctly punishes any party that is responsible to any degree for your accident. If there is going to be any type of “unfairness” due to damages and injuries caused by foreign third-party companies who are not subject to suit in the United States, that burden is correctly shifted to any remaining responsible party instead of you as the injured maritime worker.



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