When it comes to maritime accidents, the laws ruling these situations can be complex and confusing. However, this does not mean that you do not deserve to be compensated for your injuries. If you have been injured in a maritime accident, the attorneys at Kolodny Law Firm can help ensure your rights are protected. If you work in the maritime industry, it is important to understand the differences between maritime law and the Law of the Sea before an accident occurs.
What is Maritime Law?
When it comes to these laws, they typically apply to ship owners of private vessels, clients on board the ship, and the employees working on the ship. Many of these laws have been in place for years and include the following:
- Merchant Marine Act of 1928 – This law will protect an injured seaman by giving them the right to file a claim against their employer for negligence. It will also ensure that they are fairly compensated for medical expenses and other damages. This act is more commonly known as the Jones Act.
- Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act – This act is a federal workers’ compensation law that allows dockside workers to sue for compensation for medical bills and disability payments from their employers.
- Death on the High Seas Act – If a sailor is killed over three nautical miles away from land, this allows a relative of the deceased person to file a lawsuit against the employer to receive compensation for funeral costs, loss of emotional support and care, and loss of financial support.
- Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act – This act provides for fair compensation for workers who are injured while working on the outer continental shelf. This typically covers workers of oil rigs, natural gas platforms, and other types of workers who may be working on rigs located off the shore.
What is the Law of the Sea?
This law is a bit more complex than maritime laws because it involves the way that nations act with each other when it comes to water-related issues. Like maritime law, many of the laws are based on other customs and rules, but unlike many maritime laws, the Law of the Sea was only put into place in 1994. Although the U.S. never ratified it, it is still recognized as customary international law with rules that are still followed today. The Law of the Sea handles the following:
- Navigational Rights – This allows other nations to pass through territorial waters. The “innocent passage” doctrine states that the foreign vessels cannot break the laws or harm the nation through whose territorial waters they are traveling.
- Coastal Water Jurisdiction – These laws cover the span of territorial waters as well as laws regarding customs, taxation, pollution, and immigration.
- Natural Resource Ownership – This sets a zone for each nation to explore natural resources such as seafloor deposits and fisheries.
Contact a Maritime Attorney Today
If you have suffered injuries while working on or near the water, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Contact the experienced attorneys at Kolodny Law Firm today to schedule a consultation.