Maritime claims against employers and more for violations are appropriate in a variety of situations. However, there are a ton of regulatory requirements when it comes to filing maritime and admiralty claims, and failure to meet these time requirements can keep you from filing a successful claim.
Whether you are an injured seaman, the family member of a seaman, or another entity, time is not on your side. It is vital that you do not delay in contacting an attorney who will actively pursue your rights.
What Statutes Apply?
The enactments of the Suits in Admiralty Act, Public Vessels Act, and Federal Tort claims Act, the U.S. waived their sovereign immunity regarding some maritime claims. The Public Vessels Act offers some remedies against the government for injuries and damages that arise out of operation of some of their public vessels. When it comes to private shipowners, the Suites in Admiralty Act imposes the same liability for incidents that happen on their vessels. Jury trials are not permitted under the SIAA or PVA.
It is mandatory to file an administrative claim if the Extension of Admiralty Act or Clarification Act apply. The Clarification Act applies to crew members and officers that are employed on foreign flag or U.S. vessels as employees of the U.S. through Maritime Administration. When filing a claim under this act, the government has two months to act on the claim, otherwise the claim is denied.
The Extension of Admiralty Act states that the jurisdiction includes damage or injury cases to property or people that were caused by a vessel on navigable waters, even if the damage or injury occurs on land. In this case, the government has six months to act on the claim, otherwise it will be denied and SIAA or PVA will provide the exclusive remedy. Both statutes provide a two-year statute of limitations and a suit cannot be filed until all required administrative remedies have been exhausted.
My Claim Does Not Fall into These Categories
If your claim does not fall under the SIAA or PVA, the Federal Tort Claims Act may offer a remedy outside of admiralty jurisdiction. However, if a claim is filed under the act when it should have been filed under SIAA or PVA, it will likely be dismissed. The presumed or actual denial of an administrative claim is a prerequisite to a suit under the FTCA. A suit must be filed within six months of the date of the mailing of the denial and must also be filed within six years of the accrual of the right of action unless the claimant is disabled or beyond the seas, which decreases the time to three years after the disability stops.
Contact an Experienced Maritime Law Attorney Today
If you have been injured in a maritime accident or due to the negligence of your employer, contact the attorneys at Kolodny Law Firm today to schedule a consultation. We specialize in maritime law and understand the deadlines and regulations that will have jurisdiction over your claim.