Also known as maritime law, admiralty law refers to the governance of activities and offenses which occur over bodies of water. As its name suggests, admiralty law governs international maritime occurrences and governs the relationships between individuals or entities which conduct business or other dealings at sea.
Because transportation and business on the water is one of the earliest recorded methods of trade in history, admiralty law has been recognized by various cultures and peoples for hundreds of years. In the constitution, the Seventh Amendment, which outlines the right to a trial by jury, specifies situations that fall under admiralty law.
The Mississippi River and Gulf of Mexico, as an example, are governable bodies of water. Activities and offenses that occur in these areas, too, fall under the jurisdiction of admiralty law. Lake Charles and the ports of New Orleans and Baton Rouge all have navigable waters that are also governed by this body of legislation.
In many cases, the dealings and activities of offshore workers and their employers are also governed by admiralty law. Statistics approximate 50 offshore workers are injured each year while on the job, and each of those cases will be governed by admiralty law, adding to the importance of finding legal representation with a strong background in maritime cases.
The attorneys of Simien & Simien believe that offshore workers deserve fair and competent representation in court to fight for their rights in the event of an accident. Our law firm understands the pain and anguish that can result from another person’s negligence, and if you or a loved one has been injured offshore, you may be eligible for compensation that can help you recover from your injuries.
To find out how we can help, just fill out the “Free Case Evaluation” form located on the top, right side of this page. The details of your case will always remain confidential and there is never any obligation to proceed. The review is 100% FREE.
Important Features of Admiralty Law
An offshore worker is protected through admiralty law on several different levels. The following is a breakdown of the prominent aspects of admiralty law as it applies to an offshore worker:
- Maintenance and Cure: The ship owner, or employer, has a right to offer “cure,” or medical care, to a worker until they reach the maximum amount of health possible in their situation. This is at no cost to the employee and can include any medicines or medical devices necessary to reach the appropriate point in the seaman’s health.
- Passenger Personal Injuries: Passengers aboard a vessel are due to be treated with a “reasonable amount of care” by the ship owner or employer, and if they are not the employer is practicing negligence. Generally, the statute of limitations in this instance is three years, although claims against cruise lines must be filed within one.
- Salvage or Treasure Salvage: Any property lost at sea is subject to a reward by the finder, although this is not the case with saving a life. Rescuing a fellow seaman is a duty of any mariner.
- Maritime Liens and Mortgages: Any worker who is owed wages from the ship that employs them is considered to have a lien on that ship to guarantee payment. A ship will either be arrested or seized in order to enforce this lien.
An important piece of legislation which protects the offshore worker is the Jones Act. The conditions that many maritime employees experience can be dangerous and accidents can occur, resulting in serious injury or death to the worker. Under the Jones Act, the negligence of ship owners, employers or other responsible parties will be held accountable if it resulted in injury to their worker.
Contacting Our Baton Rouge Admiralty Law Attorneys
Accidents that happen at sea can be extremely difficult circumstances for not only the injury victim but also for their family members and other dependents. The factors involved in admiralty law litigation can be confusing and outside the realm of what law firms who are inexperienced in maritime law understand.
The entire legal team at Simien & Simien understands the obstacles that many injury victims face after an accident. We always fight for the MAXIMUM amount of compensation eligible to our clients.
With offices located in Baton Rouge and Lake Charles, LA we provide comprehensive legal counsel to injury victims throughout Louisiana, including:
- Baton Rouge
- Lake Charles
- …and most of the towns and suburbs that surround these areas.
To find out how we could help you, simply fill out the 100% FREE and strictly confidential “Case Evaluation” form at the top of the page or call us Toll Free at (800) 374-8422. We have intake staff ready to take your call and after some brief, initial questions about the nature of your inquiry, you will be quickly connected to one of our highly skilled attorneys.