Maritime law is a branch of the law that regulates private entities on domestic and international waters. It covers navigable waters, which include rivers, lakes, and bays.
Maritime law is a complex area that is rarely understood by those not trained in the field. Those who run afoul of maritime law can find themselves in financial hot water. If you or someone you know has been injured in an offshore accident, you should seek out a maritime lawyer.
One important aspect of maritime law is joint and several liability. This law allows many parties to be held responsible for a single act instead of just one.
The Jones Act is a statute that allows seamen to sue their employers for negligence. Seamen are entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost earnings, and pain and suffering. They are also eligible for punitive damages.
Another important component of maritime law is the Death on High Seas Act (DOHSA). This act provides recovery damages for deaths of maritime workers. Specifically, DOHSA applies to a worker who dies while working more than three nautical miles from the shore.
Another important aspect of maritime law is the use of a “cure” obligation. A cure obligation is an obligation to provide treatment for an injury. This obligation may be for short-term treatments, such as pain medications, or for long-term treatments, such as rehabilitative devices.
Unlike land-based disputes, most maritime claims must be brought in state or federal courts. However, a few claims are only available in the federal courts.