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Admiralty law and maritime law are often used interchangeably to refer to the type of law that covers injuries and accidents which occur offshore. These injuries can include anything ranging from a serious injury to a worker caused by vessel operator negligence, to the loss of goods being transported by vessel. Federal laws have evolved over time to provide for recovery options for offshore workers who are past the reach of state personal injury and workers’ compensation laws. If you have been injured in an offshore accident, your injuries may fall within one of the applicable admiralty law federal statutes.
FEDERAL STATUTES UNDER ADMIRALTY LAW
Admiralty law has developed over time with the assistance of the United States Congress and federal courts. Congress has passed and expanded many statutes pertaining to admiralty law, including the following:
- Jones Act
- Death on the High Seas Act
- Admiralty Extension Act
- Limitation of Liability Act
- Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
- Public Vessels Act
These Acts provide a form of recovery for many workers and employees injured during the course of the employment. The history of these Acts trace back to a time where many workers along the coast sought employment aboard vessels. This was often their livelihood and way of life for their families. Prior to the implementation of these federal Acts, the injury or death of a sailor often had dire repercussions for the worker’s family. The admiralty Acts now in existence offer financial damages for injured seamen and offshore workers.
The Acts which fall within admiralty law now provide a source of recovery for families of injured workers. However, many of these Acts also provide for set limitations depending on the type of accident at issue. Over the years, many federal courts have considered the limitations posed by these Acts and have worked to expand the Acts to adequately provide for support for injured workers, although several of the admiralty law acts only provide financial compensation for the injury, rather than other traditional forms of recovery such as pain and suffering.
It is important that you explore all options after receiving an injury offshore and to keep in mind that you should not be responsible for your injuries if you were not the cause of the accident. It is additionally important that you consult with a maritime attorney prior to speaking to a representative from your company or an insurance adjuster regarding your injuries. A discussion with insurance adjusters may impact your ability to bring a claim for your injuries later on.
MALLEY LAW FIRM | HOUSTON ADMIRALTY LAWYER
If you or a loved one have been injured in an offshore accident, it is important to understand which federal act the injury falls within, as well as the level of recovery that is available for the injury. Tony Malley is an experienced admiralty law attorney with years of experience in assisting clients receive the compensation they deserve for their injuries. Admiralty law is a different subset of federal law and often involves a more thorough understanding of the laws’ histories compared to traditional state workers’ compensation actions. Contact our Texas offices today for your initial free consultation.