How Does The Law Protect Me?

Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A

Maritime law protects you if you are a seaman who works on a vessel or if you work on an offshore oil rig. If you are traveling on a cruise ship or other boat in navigable waterways, maritime law could protect you. Maritime law is a broad body of law that applies to marine commerce and to individuals who are offshore on commercial ships or personal watercrafts.

Because many different statutes make up maritime law, it is important that anyone hurt at sea or offshore consult with an experienced maritime lawyer.

How Does Maritime Law Protect You?

Maritime law, or admiralty law, aims to regulate and govern activities that occur at sea. If you engage in any activities at sea, maritime law is probably working in some way to keep you safe and secure your rights if something goes wrong.

Different acts and treaties that are a part of maritime law provide varying types of protection to those who are at sea. One of the most important maritime laws is the Jones Act, which ensures that workers are provided for if something happens to them while they are performing their jobs.

Working on a vessel that travels on navigable waterways can be stressful and dangerous. Some seamen become overworked, while others may suffer harm due to the unseaworthiness of the vessel they are traveling on. With very few exceptions, regardless of the reasons for a seaman’s injury or illness seamen are be entitled to maintenance and cure benefits under The Jones Act. These can provide for medical care and basic living expenses, such as room and board. If the employer’s negligence was a cause of the injury or illness, additional damages can also be available.

The Jones Act differs from standard workers’ compensation benefits in many ways, in large part because its focus is to protect workers in dangerous and physically demanding jobs on vessels that travel in open waters. Standard workers’ comp protects workers by giving them medical and disability benefits but also protects employers by limiting an employee’s right to sue for compensation for pain and other non-economic losses.

The Jones Act guarantees workers some basic benefits for job-related illness or injury even without employer negligence, while allowing for broader compensation if an employer fails to provide appropriate protections to their employees while at the call of the vessel and when traveling to it, for its benefit or on their way back home.

Maritime law can also govern injury claims made when offshore on a cruise ship or boat, when participating in excursions organized by a cruise line, and when you are otherwise harmed in international waters. The Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2010, for example, establishes important rules that, among other things, protect passengers who are victims of cruise ship sexual assault.

Getting Help from a Maritime Injury Lawyer

Understanding how maritime law protects you requires in-depth knowledge of a complicated body of laws. You need to work with a maritime injury lawyer who knows the law and who has extensive experience within this specific legal field.

Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A. is here to help you ensure that you take full advantage of all of the protections that maritime law provides to you. Give us a call today to learn more.