Seafarers and offshore workers face daily dangers while on the job, such as fires, explosions, gas leaks, falling objects, and extreme weather conditions. Maritime law is there to protect these workers and ensure they get proper compensation, including maintenance and cure, if they get injured.
Understanding maritime law can be complex, and many workers are unsure about which laws apply to their injury claims. Unfortunately, some workers accept inadequate compensation from their employers, which they can’t change later. That’s why it’s crucial to consult an experienced maritime attorney if you’ve been injured offshore.
Maritime law, also known as admiralty law, includes regulations that apply to maritime workers, employers, and individuals injured at sea. These laws cover accidents on the high seas, such as oil platform accidents, dredge accidents, and cargo ship accidents. The “high seas” refer to waters beyond a country’s territorial boundaries. Additionally, maritime law applies to territorial waters within 12 miles of the shoreline.
Originally, maritime laws only covered accidents on the high seas, but they now extend to include all “navigable” waters in the United States. Navigable waters include bodies of water that facilitate trade between states or foreign countries. So, any water body that supports commerce with another state or nation is subject to maritime law. Even bodies of water connected to navigable waters fall under maritime law, regardless of their direct connection to other states or countries. Bodies of water enclosed by land, or “land-locked” waters, are governed by state law rather than federal maritime law.
Maritime law has evolved significantly, extending its reach from accidents on the high seas to include all “navigable waters” within the United States. Defining navigable waters can be complex, relying on legal precedents to offer clearer definitions.
Federal law governs all maritime injuries, granting federal courts jurisdiction over personal injury and property damage cases on navigable waters. State courts may exercise discretion concerning compensation processes for victims. The overlap between state and federal maritime law can be confusing, leaving workers uncertain about whether to file claims in Texas state courts. Our maritime lawyers can provide guidance on your injury case and help you navigate state or federal court options.
Maritime injury cases and property damage cases rely on various acts and principles developed over many years. These legal principles outline compensation rights, medical expense coverage, and jurisdiction for claims. Key maritime law acts in Texas include:
Injured maritime workers have various rights under maritime law, including:
Houston maritime lawyers at The Rodney Jones Law Group P.C. understand the complexities of maritime law and are prepared to assist you in securing the compensation you deserve. We can help you file claims under various maritime laws, including the Jones Act, maintenance and cure, unseaworthiness claims, and negligence claims. By consulting with our experienced attorneys, you can enhance your chances of obtaining fair compensation. Contact us at 832-377-5529 to discuss your case and explore our Houston maritime law services.