We frequently hear about accidents occurring in water bodies, and passengers on boats getting injured. If an accident occurs in or around water, you cannot bring a routine claim. Maritime laws are a separate set of laws meant to govern events on navigable waters as conventional laws do not apply there.
All water bodies used for interstate and international commerce are called navigable waters. Maritime laws deal with matters concerning workers majorly working aboard water vessels, water transportation for people, shipping supplies, commerce, and navigation.
The laws ensure that all the concerned parties such as governments, corporations, and individuals behave in a regulated manner while in a water body. Certain loading and unloading activities of ships despite taking place on land come under the Maritime Law. It oversees the rules regarding carrying out the shipment of goods & people, paying the workers, ensuring the safety of workers & their general well being.
Types of Maritime accidents
Just like road, rail and air accidents, even maritime accidents are of different types. They impact not just humans but also marine creatures as well as the marine ecosystem. There are many scenarios under which accidents could take place in the navigable waters.
Let’s take a look at the different types of Maritime accidents:
Accidents on cruise
Many people love to go on cruises. However, negligence of cruise workers could lead to accidents such as capsizing or fire. The ship could also face major problems due to difficult weather conditions.
Other personal injuries could occur on the cruise such as injury on the tender boat injury, gangway fall, defective equipment, or for any other reason. Also, there could be crimes on a cruise such as sexual assault, intentional harm, etc.
Accidents on a diving support craft
People enthusiastic about deep sea diving could face injuries if the diving support vessel is unfit or the crew is not efficient in handling the entire operation.
The bottom of the ship’s hull could scrape through the ocean-bed causing damage to the ship’s hull and the oceanic area. Such an accident also endangers the life of the workers aboard the ship.
Explosions on cargo ships
Most accidents on cargo ships and crude oil tankers are caused due to explosions and lead to tremendous loses. In many cases, the blasts are a result of workers’ negligence.
Accidents during commercial fishing
A commercial fishing expedition could go wrong due to many reasons including unfavorable weather conditions. The fishermen could face fatal injuries when such accidents happen.
Tugboats help ships enter docks. Visibility issues or human errors could lead to mishaps such as hitting the dock or another boat.
Accidents due to crane operations
Accidents during marine crane operations could lead to crane operators losing their lives or suffering a long-term physical handicap. Workers’ negligence or fault equipment could be the cause of such accidents.
Ships are constructed and assembled on the shipyard. The workers there face the danger of injuries from welding and fitting accidents. Constant inhaling of poisonous fumes is another type of shipyard accident.
Know when you require an Admiralty and Maritime Lawyer
Maritime Law is complex, and its statute of limitations are different. Injured passengers and seamen should seek guidance from an Admiralty and Maritime Lawyer specializing in the Maritime Law and having the experience to protect their rights.
If you have caused damage or injured someone or crashed your boat, you should hire an Admiralty and Maritime Lawyer to represent you in the court of law. Also, if you have suffered injuries or you are a victim of a maritime mishap, you need an Admiralty and Maritime Lawyer to negotiate settlements on your behalf.
The lawyer helps in determining if maritime law applies to your legal issue depending on where it occurred and how it affected commercial activities on the water. For example, your ship spills waste or pollutants in the water.
If you are a worker on the navigable waters, also called Jones Act seamen, and have sustained an injury on or near water, the lawyer can help you secure compensation. He attorney can help you request maintenance & cure, file a claim for unseaworthiness, or file a claim under the Jones Act asserting the negligence of your employer.
Filing of Jones Act Claims
The Jones Act covers all injuries sustained by seamen working in the service of a vessel in navigation, whether on or off the vessel, at the time of injury. Here vessel refers to crew boats, tanker boats, fishing boats, tugboats, dredges, offshore oil rigs, barges, etc. At times, people do not know that the Jones Act is protecting them.
You need to file a claim under the Jones Act or Maritime Law if you have suffered an injury while working on or near water and you want to recover lost wages and other damages. You need an Admiralty and Maritime Lawyer, also called Jones Act Lawyer, having experience in successfully handling your type of cases.
The lawyer will ask you to collect various types of documents to support your case. You should furnish your medical information, accident report, any written communication received from your employer to your attorney. It will be highly helpful if you could provide pictures from your accident and anything else concerning your case.
You must contact an appropriate lawyer as soon as possible and refrain from giving any statements or admitting your fault. If you are uncomfortable about anything related to your case, speak to your attorney.
The lawyer will help you claim for damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, lost earning capacity, pain & suffering, mental anguish, and disfigurement. The attorney will file your case with the appropriate court within the applicable statute of limitations, demonstrate your status as a seaman when the injury occurred, determine appropriate legal remedies for your quick financial recovery, and proving that your injury resulted from the negligence of your employer.
Even if you are a victim or someone has brought a case against you, Admiralty and Maritime Lawyer can help you navigate the heavy currents of maritime law. LawTally provides a list of all the Admiral and Maritime Attorneys near you. You can use its smart search options to find the most suitable lawyer in your geographic area quickly.
Since the laws for land and water are different, contact a suitable lawyer to know which laws are applicable in your case.