Maritime Law and Admiralty

The Complexity of Maritime Law

Maritime law, also referred to as admiralty law, governs navigation and shipping. Maritime laws in existence today are an elaborate web of domestic and international statutes. In the past, maritime law in the U.S. only applied to American tidal waters but now it extends to all waters navigable within the United States for interstate or foreign commerce. Maritime law differs from common law and these complex cases demand the expertise of a maritime law attorney.

Maritime Law covers accidents that relate to:

  • Shipping and Commerce
  • Waters, including canals
  • Seamen
  • Navigation and Towage
  • Wharves, docks and piers
  • Insurance and Maritime liens
  • Recreation on the water
  • Piracy

A Maritime Injury Demands a Maritime Law Attorney

Maritime lawyers most often deal with maritime cases involving injuries. Unlike workers compensation laws, maritime law is specific to workers on navigable waters and the high seas. Employers are required to maintain reasonably safe working conditions and are liable for unsafe conditions and the negligence of any officers, agents or employees.

The Cause of Action Under Maritime Law

Maritime attorneys find that the cause of action is usually based in negligence, but seamen may also recover maintenance and cure (payments for room and board and medical costs resulting from illness) for lack of seaworthiness. Generally, the Uniform Statue of Limitations for bringing a claim for injury or death on navigable waters during a maritime activity is three years from the date of the incident. However, depending on the circumstances of your maritime injury and the state in which you reside or the location where the incident occurred, that statute of limitations can be shorter than three years. This is why it is important for you to contact a maritime attorney immediately to learn your legal rights.

If you of or your loved one have been injured while working at sea you must contact an experienced maritime law attorney now!

Money Damages Awarded Under Maritime Law

Financial recovery can include:

  • Personal property damage
  • Present and future medical bills
  • Mental pain and suffering damages
  • Lost past and future wages
  • Permanent impairment/disfigurement
  • Punitive damages
  • Wrongful death damages
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

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Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis
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