Maritime law is the body of laws that govern the activity of ships and other marine vessels. Admiralty courts are separate, but their jurisdiction has expanded. They handle disputes involving all activities that occur on the high seas or in navigable waters. For example, the rules that apply to accidents in marine vessels are quite different from those that apply to land-based vehicles. A court can find that a ship or its crew was negligent if it is liable for an injury to a civilian.
Maritime law is a branch of injury law that covers various types of marine work and provides federal compensation protection for victims. However, many people assume that maritime law doesn’t affect them, and they never seek compensation for an injury or death that occurs on the job. This is not necessarily true, as maritime law covers clerical office workers as well as crane operators. For more information about the legal protections offered under admiralty law, visit the American Society of Maritime Law’s website.
The purpose of maritime law is to protect the interests of maritime companies. It regulates the carriage of goods and the recovery of property. A boat may be in a legal dispute if a ship or crew member has committed an act that may cause a vessel to capsize. In a broader sense, however, the rules of maritime law apply to all aspects of marine business, from criminal activity to towage contracts. For instance, a vessel can be held liable for its own damages if another ship is stranded on a shore.