A Brief History of Maritime and Admiralty Law

Both terms – Maritime law and shipping law – can be used in the same sentence. Importantly, offshore accidents are governed by maritime law, commonly known as admiralty law. Almost always, maritime workers follow the rules related to their profession. Although there are other sources for these laws, the Constitution contains most of the general maritime law in the United States. Below is a list of the most important laws, rules and regulations required in marine injury claims.

maritime law

What is Maintenance and cure in maritime law

Maintenance and cure are two important components in conditions governed by the Jones Law. Maintenance is a payment your company has to make when you get sick or injured. The purpose of the retainer is to cover the land-based living expenses of the charging employee. However, many maritime businesses try to limit these payments. Working with a knowledgeable maritime attorney can increase your chances of obtaining a larger maintenance payment in your case.

When you have an accident at work, your company is required to provide medical treatment for you. This is known as therapy. In short, it provides the treatment you need for recovery.

Still an important question. How long do treatment and maintenance effects last? These benefits are generally available to marine and port construction workers until they achieve their maximum medical improvement (MMI).

Your injury, illness or condition will stop healing at MMI. Once you reach your maximum level of medical improvement, your employer will no longer be required to cover additional medical expenses and treatment. For your case, we strongly recommend dealing with a knowledgeable maritime attorney. We will ensure that all your legal privileges and rights are upheld.

Houston, Galveston and Gulf Coast Texas Admiralty and Maritime Lawyers

Maritime law, sometimes called admiralty law, is a set of laws that apply to maritime workers, employers and injured persons. Generally, the laws govern all marine accidents and incidents occurring in the deep sea, such as oil platform accidents, dredge accidents and cargo ship accidents. ‘High seas’ refers to waters outside the territorial waters of a country or state. The law of the sea also applies to territorial waters within 12 miles of the coast.

Maritime law serves as one of the oldest laws in the country, and as such, is constantly changing. Traditionally, the law of the sea only applies to accidents and incidents on the high seas; However, it now applies to all “navigable waters” in the United States. Defining navigable waters under the law can sometimes be confusing, and the law we use today relies on past cases in an attempt to provide a clear definition.

Currently, navigable waters are defined as waters that “may serve as continuous highways over which commerce may be carried on or carried on with other states or foreign nations”. Therefore, if a water body enables trade or commerce with another state or foreign country, it is governed by maritime law. Bodies of water that are part of larger “navigable waters” will also be governed by maritime law, even if they are not directly adjacent to another state or country.

As such, a body of water that is surrounded by a large piece of land, or ‘land-locked’, will be governed by state law rather than federal maritime law.

Where Maritime cases are heard in Houston, Texas

Texas state Maritime law is based entirely on federal law, as provided by Article III Section 2 of the United States Constitution. As such, federal courts have jurisdiction over all cases involving personal injury and property damage on navigable waters. State courts may exercise their discretion with respect to the process of awarding compensation to victims.

Although federal law governs all Maritime injuries, injured workers and seamen may be entitled to bring maritime claims in state and federal courts in Houston. Injured maritime workers can bring a personal injury claim under the Jones Act in Texas state courts, and offshore oil rig workers can also bring a federal law case in state court.

The cross-over between state and federal maritime law can be confusing, and often workers are unsure whether they can bring a claim in Texas state court. One of our law firm’s maritime attorneys can advise you on your injury case and help you take your case to state or federal court.

What Types of Accidents Need a Houston Marine Lawyer

As we said earlier, there are many different types of cases that fall under the jurisdiction of Maritime law. Our Houston Maritime attorneys have handled many Maritime cases such as the following.

  • Cruise ship accidents
  • Cargo ship accidents
  • Commercial boating and fishing accidents
  • Wrongful death cases
  • Injuries to oil and gas workers
  • Shipyard accidents
  • ship’s crew
  • Jack-up rig accidents
  • Deckhand injuries
  • Dredge accidents

Many cases handled by Maritime lawyers result in serious and serious injuries. For example, if two giant ships meet, the consequences for shipping companies and their vulnerable workforces can be devastating. Because of the wide range of damages, it is important for victims to engage with a skilled maritime attorney from start to finish of their case.

Experienced Houston Marine Injury Attorney

If you or someone you love is injured in an offshore accident, you may be entitled to compensation. A knowledgeable Marine injury attorney can help you determine whether you or a loved one is eligible for compensation. Get in touch today.

We are confident that, with our considerable knowledge, we will be able to guide you in this complex area of law and help you obtain compensation. To defend your rights, call us at 713-622-7271 or fill out our secure online form for a free case review. Once you enter into an attorney-client relationship, any personal information you share with us will be kept private.

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