When you are injured on certain types of boats, whether you are a worker or a passenger, your claims come under the area of law known as “Admiralty or Maritime law. There are special rules that govern injuries under these conditions, and whether this type of law even applies. Here at Wolfe Law Group we want you to know your rights if you’ve been injured on the water so that you can get the compensation that you deserve in an admiralty claim.

Claims under admiralty law generally arise when injury or loss occurs in the following scenarios:

  • Shipping or commerce on navigable waters;
  • Recreational boating or other activities on the water; or
  • Piracy and theft by private groups both in domestic and international waters.

Admiralty claims can arise from situations that occur in any navigable waters, whether “natural” (ocean, rivers, etc.) or “man made” (canals, etc.).

Within the general area of admiralty law there are various laws created by federal legislation that cover different situations. The most commonly used legislation for admiralty claims include:

  • The Longshore and Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act, which provides workers’ compensation benefits for certain maritime workers, most commonly dock workers and employees on stationary floating platforms.
  • The Jones Act, which provides workers’ compensation benefits for personal injury claims by seaman working on qualifying vessels operating in navigable waters.
  • The Death on the High Seas Act, which provides a type of wrongful death relief to surviving families of seaman killed on the job.

The outcome in admiralty cases often depends on which law the admiralty claim is brought under and whether it applies under the facts. Judges will ultimately determine how the claimants and defendants should be classified under the law, and whether the circumstances warrant using one law or another.

Another group of people and claims covered under admiralty law are injured passengers. Shipowners have a duty of reasonable care to provide a safe voyage for passengers, and if their negligence causes injury they can be sued. Cases often arise in the cruise ship industry, and passengers must be aware of which statute of limitations their case falls under so they file a timely claim. The terms of the ticket agreement will usually bind passengers to a one year statute of limitations under Florida law rather than the standard three year statute of limitations in federal admiralty law.

As you can see there are many complicated legal issues that arise with admiralty claims. If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident on the water you should consult with a Louisiana admiralty lawyer. Contact the Wolfe Law Group for your free consultation and case evaluation today.

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Seth Smiley
Seth is an attorney licensed to practice in Louisiana and California. He is the owner and lead attorney at Smiley Law Firm. To speak with Seth fill out the form on this page.
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