A broad area of law involving shipping accidents, oil spills, injured seamen or passengers and much more. The sheer variety of issues that come under maritime law means you need experienced maritime lawyers on your side to protect your interests.
This category of law involves the law pertaining to shipping, ocean bills of lading and marine insurance. Generally maritime cases are argued in the admiralty court.
The 1958 Geneva Convention and the Montego Bay Convention elevated ship registration to an international level, whereas before it was basically domestic law. This has made it easier for states to control ships registering under their flags, and they are obliged to exercise administrative, technical and social controls.
It also has the power to impose fines on a ship owner for violations. Maritime law has many issues to consider, such as the right of salvage and the duty of maintenance and cure. The latter obligation requires the shipowner to pay a seaman’s basic living expenses while he is recovering from an injury or illness, even if he is not yet able to work. The obligation continues until the seaman is either restored to health or dead.
Another issue concerns the rights of workers in ports, harbors, docks and shipyards. This is sometimes included under injury law, but it is very important in its own right because the stringent protections provided by maritime law are often abused by unscrupulous companies. For example, the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act ensures that all workers in these areas have full federal compensation protection.