Find Maritime Injury Lawyer

Find Maritime Injury Lawyer

Maritime Injury

Maritime law, also known as admiralty law, is a specialized area of law that deals with legal issues that arise from shipping, navigation, and commerce on the high seas. It is a complex and often overlapping area of law that involves both federal and international law, as well as the law of individual countries and states.

Maritime law covers a wide range of topics, including shipping contracts, cargo liability, marine insurance, the carriage of goods by sea, and the rights and duties of shipowners and seafarers. It also covers issues related to the construction, operation, and maintenance of vessels, as well as environmental regulations and pollution control.

In addition to these issues, maritime law also addresses disputes that may arise between nations over the use of the oceans and navigable waterways, such as territorial waters and exclusive economic zones. It also includes provisions for the settlement of disputes through international tribunals and other forums.


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History of Maritime Law

Maritime law has a long and rich history that dates back to ancient civilizations. The law of the sea has been shaped by the needs and interests of maritime nations, as well as by the evolution of technology and trade.
One of the earliest known legal codes dealing with maritime law was the Rhodian Sea Law, a set of rules and regulations for shipping and trade that was developed by the ancient Greek city-state of Rhodes in the 3rd century BC. The Rhodian Sea Law established rules for the carriage of goods by sea, as well as provisions for the settlement of disputes between merchants and shipowners.

Over the centuries, maritime law has continued to evolve and adapt to changing circumstances. In the early days of maritime law, the law of the sea was largely a matter of custom and tradition, with different countries and regions developing their own rules and regulations for shipping and commerce on the high seas.

With the growth of international trade and the increasing importance of the oceans as a means of transportation, the need for a more standardized and cohesive system of maritime law became apparent. This led to the development of international conventions and treaties, such as the Brussels Convention of 1910, which established the first set of uniform rules for the carriage of goods by sea.

Key Principles of Maritime Law

Maritime law is based on a number of key principles, including the principle of freedom of the seas, which allows ships to pass freely through international waters; the principle of innocent passage, which allows ships to pass through the territorial waters of other countries without interference; and the principle of continuous voyage, which allows a ship to make stops in multiple ports as part of a single voyage.

Other important principles of maritime law include the principle of limited liability, which limits the liability of shipowners for damages and losses resulting from maritime accidents or incidents; the principle of contributory negligence, which allows for apportionment of fault in cases where multiple parties are found to be at fault; and the principle of unseaworthiness, which holds that a shipowner has a duty to provide a seaworthy vessel for the safe carriage of goods and passengers.

Jurisdiction and Forum Selection in Maritime Cases

One of the key challenges in maritime law is determining which court has jurisdiction over a particular case. In many cases, maritime disputes are resolved in specialized admiralty courts, which have jurisdiction over cases involving shipping, navigation, and commerce on the high seas.

Admiralty courts are typically located in major ports and are staffed by judges who are knowledgeable about the unique issues that arise in the maritime industry. These courts have the authority to hear cases involving shipping contracts, cargo damage and loss, personal injury and death, salvage and tow

Professional Injury

Professional injuries are accidents or negligent harms that are sustained while acting as an employee on or near the open seas. These injuries are most often classified by the specific law that allows the injured party to seek damages. Some specific laws that grant relief to individuals who have suffered a professional maritime injury include:
- The Death on High Seas Act
- The Jones Act
- The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA)
In addition to these specific acts which have detailed descriptions for qualification and compensation, there are also maintenance and cure claims. Maintenance and Cure claims are generally applicable to any accident that occurred while the victim was working but may not have as many benefits as a more tailored legal remedy. It’s important to consult a maritime law attorney to best assess the available paths to justice.

Helping You Find Justice

If you have suffered an accident on the high seas, you may be able to file a maritime injury lawsuit. A maritime injury lawsuit can help you recover compensation for your injuries.

In order to achieve this best outcome, however, you will need an attorney who has the expertise and resources to take your case all the way. That’s why you should contact Attorney at Law. By partnering with AAL, you will be able to avoid slogging through the quagmire of unscrupulous lawyers looking to exploit your case.

At AAL we only partner with the best firms in your area, helping you find the best attorney for your case. Don’t wait, contact AAL today for a free no-obligation consultation and begin your journey to justice.

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Maritime Injury Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is maritime law?

Maritime law, also known as admiralty law, is a body of legal rules that govern ships, shipping, or actions occurring on “navigable waters.” Navigable waters are any waters that are used to transport people or perform commerce. 

Maritime law is administered by the U.S. government in waters controlled by the United States. This is in contrast to the maritime laws of other sovereign nations, or the internationally recognized Law of the Sea that rules over waters outside the domain of any nation.

2. What does maritime and admiralty law cover?

Maritime and admiralty law govern a number of rules and regulations for aquatic vessels and activities within their jurisdiction. Any injuries or deaths that occur on a ship are the domain of maritime law along with any criminal activities occurring on the ocean. Additionally, any insurance claims for cargo or ships lost at sea would fall under the domain of maritime law. There are also maritime laws handling the filing of civil lawsuits.

3. What are common maritime injuries?

In general there are two types of maritime injuries: professional and civilian. Professional injuries apply to anyone who was working as a laborer on the ocean and suffered some injury. By contrast, civilian injuries occur to individuals who are clients, guests, or other individuals on the ocean for reasons other than the performance of their jobs. An example of a civilian injury would be a slip and fall that occurred on a cruise ship.

Professional injuries are most often classified by the kind of law that they are using to claim compensation. Death on High Seas Act claims are benefits that can be claimed by the estate of a worker who died as the result of a wrongful act, neglect or default that occurred more than three miles from shore. Jones Act claims award benefits to workers who prove that their injury occurred while on the job due to the negligence of another person.  Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) claims can be filed by individuals who either work on navigable waters or in an area near navigable waters such as a harbor. Finally, there are Maintenance and Cure claims which are generally applicable to any accident that occurred while the victim was working. Each claim type has distinct advantages and disadvantages as well as a specific statute of limitations.

4. How is maritime jurisdiction determined?

According to the Justice Department, maritime law applies to any incident occurring on navigable waters, on any vessel belonging in any part to the U.S. or a citizen of the U.S., or on a vessel belonging to a corporation created under the laws of the United States. This means that any body of water that can support commerce and either crosses state boundaries or empties into the ocean counts as navigable and any vessel traveling on those waters is under the jurisdiction of maritime law.

This gives the U.S. government broad authority over waterways within its domain. In some cases, states may assert that they have jurisdiction over a case occurring within its borders. In those cases, the judge will examine which entity has better standing to claim jurisdiction.

5. How does maritime law differ from other areas of law?

Maritime law is a distinct area of law that is separate from other areas of law such as criminal law, contract law, and tort law. It is governed by a combination of federal and international law, as well as the laws of individual countries and states.

6. Who enforces maritime law?

Maritime law is enforced by a variety of agencies and organizations, including national navies, coast guards, and other law enforcement agencies. International organizations such as the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the International Labor Organization (ILO) also play a role in enforcing maritime law.

7. What types of cases are typically heard in maritime court?

Maritime courts handle a wide range of cases, including disputes over shipping contracts, cargo damage and loss, personal injury and death, salvage and towage, and environmental damage. In addition to these types of cases, maritime courts also hear cases involving piracy, smuggling, and other crimes on the high seas.

8. What is the role of admiralty lawyers in maritime law?

Admiralty lawyers play a key role in the field of maritime law, representing clients in a wide range of cases that arise in the shipping and maritime industry. Admiralty lawyers may represent shipowners, cargo owners, insurance companies, and other parties with an interest in a maritime dispute. They may also represent individuals who have been injured on a vessel, or who have lost a loved one in a maritime accident.

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