Maritime law is a set of rules that regulates commerce on the sea. It deals with a wide variety of issues, from piracy and wake damage to towage contracts and property damage.
The United States is a member of the International Maritime Organization. This organization is responsible for enforcing maritime law. In addition, the International Maritime Organization oversees the registration, licensing, and inspection of ships and their crew.
Maritime law can be broken down into three areas: admiralty, civil, and criminal. Generally, federal courts have original jurisdiction over maritime matters. However, state courts can also hear some maritime cases.
Admiralty is a legal area that deals with claims against ship owners. If a vessel has been damaged, a crew member may file a lawsuit against the owner. They are entitled to receive compensation for their injuries. These awards can be based on the value of the property involved, the risk involved, and other factors.
While admiralty is the most common area of maritime law, there are many other areas. A few examples include the “Doctrine of Unseaworthiness,” which imposes a duty on ship owners to provide equipment and maintenance. Similarly, the “Maximum Medical Cure” obligation requires employers to provide medical care for an injured crew member. Medications, long-term treatments, and wheelchairs are some of the common items used to fulfill this obligation.
Besides resolving maritime disputes, federal courts also hear cases related to piracy. There are also other laws that allow the US government to take action against a foreign country.