Many legal issues that occur on land can also occur on the water, such as workers’ compensation, criminal offenses, personal injury, or employment issues. However, when they occur on the water, admiralty law often applies special legal rules. Admiralty law, or maritime law, regulates shipping, navigation, commerce, towage, recreational boating, and piracy by private entities on domestic and international waters. It covers both natural and man-made navigable waters, such as rivers and canals. It also covers persons and contracts related to maritime activities, such as seamen, shipping insurance contracts, and maritime liens.
Admiralty law, also known as Maritime and Jones Act law, is a broad body of law that includes injuries sustained by seamen while they are on-board vessels that can include ocean-going ships, barges, tugs, or rigs. Today’s U.S. maritime law is based on very old laws and traditions. It is a very complicated area of the law, and can even be confusing for seasoned attorneys. That is why if you have been injured or lost a loved one in a maritime accident, you need the help of an experienced maritime attorney.
Given the rigorous nature of seamen’s work, common injuries may include damage to the neck, head, and back, as well as broken bones and brain or spinal cord injuries. There are specific laws designed to cover the injured workers’ medical costs, provide compensation during the time the injured worker is not capable of working, and, in appropriate cases, provide compensation for future lost wages. Seamen are also entitled to damages for pain and suffering.
Often, insurance companies try to pay the least amount of compensation to pay slowly—or both. This is unfair and can hurt a family whose breadwinner is unable to work and draw a paycheck. You need effective, accomplished legal counsel to help you resolve your claim in a timely and successful manner.
If you’ve been injured offshore, contact Smith and Smith today! Serving Carthage, Leake County and all of Central Mississippi.