Injuries often occur on the high seas, rivers, and lakes. The injured party may be left with questions regarding the type of claim they can bring and what jurisdiction their injury falls within. Is this state jurisdiction, federal jurisdiction, or even international waters? These injuries fall within the general rubric of maritime law which will cover maritime workers who suffer injuries offshore, or even on-shore in limited circumstances. This specialized law differs from traditional state and federal law, and therefore an experienced maritime law attorney is necessary if you have received these types of injuries.
What is Maritime Law?
Maritime law is a broad type of law that offers relief for injuries and other disputes which occur offshore. This may include disputes regarding the trade of goods via vessels, injuries to passengers or workers on ships, or offshore oil rig accidents. Depending on the type of injury, a different type of federal law may govern the action. Therefore, it is important to consult an experienced maritime law attorney after receiving an injury offshore.
The United States Constitution grants federal courts jurisdiction over regulations and disputes relating to admiralty and maritime matters. Courts which specifically deal with maritime matters remain separate from traditional state jurisdictional courts. State courts can hear admiralty and maritime cases when the case concerns a local matter although the state court must apply federal law (and state law in limited cases). Maritime injuries can fall within several federal Acts which provide recovery options to injured parties depending on the scope of the accident and the extent of the injuries. Therefore, while state acts may provide further coverage for personal injury matters, a claim brought for an offshore incident must be brought within specific federal acts which sometimes may limit liability.
Coverage of Maritime Law
Maritime law involves a unique blend of state and federal law, and has therefore emerged as a specific niche of law. Sailors and more recently, oil rig workers, now look to maritime and admiralty courts for redress for any injuries which occur in the nearby state and federal waters. The increased production of offshore oil rigs has led to a slew of new workers out in the nearby Gulf of Mexico compared to historic numbers of workers. Additionally, many workers who remain on land but devote their entire career to specific offshore projects may fall within maritime law recovery actions. Some federal laws have additionally evolved over time to cover airline accidents which occur over federal waters and therefore relatives of victims may bring an action within maritime law.
Malley Law Firm | Houston Maritime Lawyer
If you have been injured while engaged in a maritime activity, do not hesitate to contact experienced maritime law attorney Tony Malley. It is important to contact a maritime attorney as soon as possible prior to signing any documents from the party which caused your injuries. Many of these larger companies will attempt to take advantage of people who do not fully understand the recovery options available under maritime law. Tony Malley has years of experience handling different times of maritime law injuries, ranging from offshore oil rig injuries, to contract disputes onboard vessels. Contact our Texas offices today for your initial free consultation.