In case you are unfamiliar with the term, “Notice of Claim” (NCL) refers to a formal document that outlines a legal dispute. If there was an incident, a lawyer might submit this form to the Coast Guard to initiate a claim for a lawsuit against you. If you are the ship’s captain, you are legally responsible for any harm to your vessel. Injury attorneys are the primary users of the NCL, and the form serves as the first step in helping injured clients get legal counsel.
No one might get an NCL unless they were the one in charge during the incident that warranted it. You can only have one if the owner is also on board, and you can only have one if you are the owner but aren’t. Evidence of injury or property damage must be submitted to the NCL. If a claim is filed, the plaintiff’s legal office will send you a letter informing you about the occurrence. Here’s some information you’ll find helpful:
It’s a Mandatory Requirement for Certain Vessels
It might be challenging to decipher the National Coast Guard rule and understand what is expected of you as a vessel owner. Confusion sometimes arises because the legislation is conditional and only applies to specific boats and situations. Any ship with a gross tonnage of more than 300 tons is required to carry the NCL, which mandates that the ship be built to specific safety standards and have certain safety equipment and a certain number of lifeboats.
Those over 12 must fill out the Notice of Claim for their flight. The NCL is severely enforced, and the repercussions for non-compliance may be severe. Not only do you risk losing your captain’s license, but you might also face fines for criminal negligence if an accident occurs on board.
The Notice of Claim Helps Protect Our Waterways
You should be aware of the Notice of Claim if you own a recreational boat. It must be visible from the water for all recreational boats using public waterways. The Notice of Claim has nothing to do with the registration number, despite the common misconception. It’s a warning sign that prevents pollution in our water supply. As a legal document, the Notice of Claim serves to alert you to your role in maintaining the quality of our waterways and preventing pollution.
You are responsible for assisting in maintaining the quality and safety of public waterways at all times. The Notice of Claim serves to remind all waterway users of their need to do so safely and responsibly. If your ship has issues discovered during your inspection, a Notice of Claim may help get you a complete examination.
There are Different Levels of NLC Certification
Various tiers of NLC accreditation share common foundational standards while providing increasingly finer-grained details. In the United States, for instance, you may get a certificate as a fundamental or intermediate NLC inspector. Because of their shared familiarity with fundamentals like lifeline connections and safe practices, both credentials are categorized as “basic.”
An intermediate inspector has a greater understanding of the standards for dual-hulled boats, which is the fundamental distinction between a basic and an intermediate certification. An intermediate inspector must know how to check dual-hulled ships and know Norsok requirements and lifelines. Moreover, an essential inspector merely has to take part in a training class, whereas an intermediate inspector must pass a written exam.
Vessel Operators Face Significant Fines for Violating NLC Requirements
Anybody can submit a Notice of Claim. If you’ve ever been involved in a collision with another ship or boat, you could be familiar with it. A Notice of Claim is a formal demand made by the vessel operator to the person or organization the operator holds responsible for an accident. Any allegations typically include a request for an explanation and an offer of financial compensation. Usually, whoever sustained the injury on the boat is the one to start the procedure.
Suppose someone other than the boat’s owner or operator submits a Notice of Claim. In that case, it is that person’s responsibility to provide proof of injury or damage to themselves or their property, such as witness testimonies, medical or other professional reports, pictures, and invoices. To receive compensation for their injuries, accident victims can file a Notice of Claim with the insurance provider of the party at fault.
Maintaining a claim notice on board is a good idea in case of a legal dispute over ownership or a search by police authorities. The Maritime Documentation Center can issue or renew your information of claim quickly and easily by mail, phone, or online. But don’t wait until there’s an emergency—contact Maritime Documentation Center today at (800)-535-8570 for more information.