The Ins and Outs of Maritime Law

Maritime regulations and laws are essential in dealing with numerous legal elements of maritime activities. These rules and regulations predate the United States Constitution and have significant worldwide ramifications.

When it comes to shipping, navigation, maritime trade, towage, maritime liens, and other areas of marine companies and activities, maritime laws offer the appropriate legal framework.

When an accident occurs aboard a ship, employees or those who are wounded might seek a variety of compensation. Maintenance and cure benefits cover living expenditures as well as medical charges. 

The Jones Act compensates employees who can demonstrate that their injuries were caused by the carelessness of another party. The Longshore and Harbor Employees’ Compensation Act provides compensation to workers injured on navigable waterways in or in nearby areas such as cargo unloading, ship repair, or decks. The Death on the High Seas Conduct compensates victims of marine accidents caused by an unlawful act, omission, or default that occur more than three miles from the United States’ coast. 

Marine laws govern passengers onboard a cruise ship or other boats in the event of harm, in addition to dealing with maritime rights and compensation paid to those wounded. If a passenger on a cruise ship or other vessel is hurt, they may initiate a lawsuit or claim against the shipowner or its personnel for negligence. 

The legal processes and fundamentals of maritime law vary significantly from those of “land-based” laws or litigation. When admiralty or maritime legislation applies, the consequences of litigation are often shocking to non-maritime attorneys and legal practitioners. 

The Basic Principles of Marine Law

If an issue is subject to maritime jurisdiction, federal maritime laws take precedence over state laws. The admiralty laws will apply in the case of a tort in navigable waterways. 

If there is a contractual disagreement or a commercial connection that is inextricably linked to marine trade, maritime rules are extremely likely to regulate the private relationship or contract. 

Although the bulk of maritime matters are heard by federal courts, the 1789 Congressional Act, often called the “Save the Suitors” provision, empowers state courts to decide specific maritime disputes. Contact this Houston maritime injuries office for more information.

International Marine Law

A distinct code governs marine regulations and legislation in various nations across the globe.

There are several international agreements and treaties concerning:

  • Claims for insurance
  • Cargo ship civil disputes
  • Piracy affecting shipowners, seamen, and passengers

The majority of these treaties are published by the United Nations via the International Maritime Organization. Countries that have ratified the treaties have the authority to enforce international marine legislation.

If you need help with a naval or maritime problem, please consult a competent and experienced maritime lawyer.