Collisions between ships often develop into major casualties with a large number of parties involved. Not seldom the ship owner will limit his global liability under the Brussels Convention of 1957 or the London Convention of 1976/1996. Additionally it is often likely that General Average is declared.
Cargo claims in collision cases are almost always (exception USA) subject to the “both to blame collision clause” which means that the recovery action will have to focus on both vessels, i.e. the carrying (claim in contract) and the non-carrying ship (claim in tort) in proportion to their respective portions of blame in the collision.
As a result of this, recoveries in collision cases may last for years until a court ruling on the apportionment of blame is available, unless positive negotiations take place to settle beforehand.