LEGAL GUIDE
Written by attorney Timothy Justin Young | Nov 25, 2012

Offshore Injury Lawyer Explains State Law vs. Maritime Law Applicability

Understanding state law vs. maritime law can be tricky. Each year, thousands of people are killed or seriously injured in offshore accidents. Many accident victims and their families require the counsel of an offshore injury lawyer who handles Gulf Coast accidents to determine which laws apply.

Understanding State Law vs. Maritime Law

Maritime law, also referred to as admiralty law, refers to the rules, regulations and treaties that govern activities in navigable waters. Navigable waters include all bodies of water that can be used for interstate commerce such as lakes, oceans, harbors and waterways.

Generally speaking, when someone suffers an injury due to another’s negligence, state personal injury laws or Workers’ Compensation laws apply. However, if you are a maritime worker and were injured while onboard a vessel at sea, or even if onshore working in the service of the vessel, your case likely will fall under maritime law.

Maritime workers may include deckhands, oil rig workers, harbor workers and barge workers. Maritime law may be applicable to anyone employed on a sea vessel, from janitors to engineers.

There are some relatively grey areas regarding state law vs. maritime law, though. If you need to file an injury claim to recover compensation, it’s best to speak to a maritime personal injury attorney to go over the specifics of your case.

Laws Applicable to Offshore Injury Cases

Under maritime law, these options may apply to personal injury cases affecting maritime workers:

  • The Jones Act – this act applies to any employees injured on a ship due to the employer’s or ship owner’s negligence.
  • The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act – this act applies to those injured between the sea and land, generally for those not legally considered as “seamen," e.g., an employee loading a ship at a Gulf Coast dock.

Note that it’s very important to determine the best options for your claim; the amount of compensation you’re eligible to recover may vary in each of these areas of the law. An offshore injury lawyer on the Gulf Coast can help estimate how much you might be owed.

Filing an Injury Claim after an Accident at Sea

After you’ve received medical attention and your condition has stabilized, begin looking for legal counsel to discuss your claim options. Delaying could result in harming your case, and you might inadvertently overstep the statute of limitations.

Select a Gulf Coast law firm that deals specifically with maritime law and personal injury cases, one that will take the time to review your case carefully and help protect your best interests. Pursuing a claim under federal maritime law may be more advantageous than filing a state personal injury claim. You can discuss the specifics with your offshore injury lawyer about yourGulfCoastaccident claim when you schedule your initial consultation.

Contacting an Offshore Injury Lawyer for Gulf Coast Claims

Maritime law has its own specific set of regulations, laws, customs and procedures, best explained by a legal professional such as an offshore injury lawyer that handles Gulf Coast accident cases. For legal counsel, you can contact our maritime attorneys for a no-cost consultation. Call 1-504-680-4100 to discuss state law vs. maritime law and which applies to your case.

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