WHAT DOES A MARITIME LAWYER DO?
The most frequent query about attorneys for maritime law is, ” What is a maritime lawyer or maritime attorney , and what do they do?” in times of maritime injury
The term ” Maritime Attorney ” refers to a Maritime Lawyer who can be described as an attorney who specializes in boating and maritime injury accidents in commercial and recreational marine activities. The naval lawyers are not just protecting seamen injured at work. However, maritime attorneys also defend those involved in accidents involving recreational boats that cause injuries.
The kinds of tasks maritime attorneys can undertake may include:
- Presenting cases to courts.
- Drafting agreements and documents.
- Dealing with complaints regarding injuries or illnesses caused by sea vessels or vessels and companies that dump hazardous waste into the ocean.
WHAT IS MARITIME LAW?
The oldest branch of law in the world, maritime law, also known as admiralty law, pre-dates the constitution. The term “maritime law” can be classified as “law that relates to commerce and navigation on the high seas and other navigable waters administered by the admiralty courts.” The law of maritime generally covers the local law of U.S. law as well as international law. These laws establish the rules for the law of torts, injuries, and contracts and every other crime that occurs close to navigable waters, on the body of navigable water, or within a body of navigable water.
WHAT DOES A MARITIME LAWYER NEED TO KNOW?
The law governing maritime matters can be highly complicated as well. Attorneys practicing maritime law should be familiar with federal, international, and state laws. Furthermore, a maritime attorney must be aware of Marine insurance, pollution, and compensation for employees (Jones Act), to mention some. Lawyers who practice in the maritime field must know the laws against corruption in foreign countries and the rules against bribery as laid out in The United States Department of Justice.
WHAT IS THE JONES ACT?
The Jones Act is a law established through the Merchant Marine Act of 1920 that regulates the shipping of goods within the United States. This Jones Act is most relevant for those who work on ships and suffer injuries. The fundamentals of the law ensure that the employer is accountable for the worker injured while working at sea. The worker covered under the Jones Act is entitled not only to suffering and pain suffered after the accident but also to the loss of earnings caused by accident.
COMPENSATION CLAIMS FOR A MARITIME INJURY
An injury case involving maritime accidents is comparable to a workers’ compensation claim; however, the main distinction is the settlement for maritime injuries tends to be more substantial in contrast. This is because working on vessels puts people at greater risk than most other types of work. The larger settlement is a way to compensate for this risk. Suppose you sustained an injury to your ship during your work (and meet the definition of a seaman in the Jones Act). In that case, you could be paid for the loss of income (present as well as future) as well as healthcare expenses as well as loss of your abilities (both mental and physical), and any other treatments or rehabilitation, as well as psychological and physical pain and additional costs in connection with the injury.
WHO IS COVERED UNDER THE JONES ACT?
The Jones Act covers seaman who suffers injuries while on the job. To be considered a seaman, the worker must be aboard a navigation vessel for at least 30 percent of the time. That means an employee could spend 70 percent of the time on land, but even if the employee is spending 30 percent of his time on the vessel, he’s still covered by the Jones Act.
COMMON CAUSES OF MARITIME INJURY
While maritime law encompasses a wide variety of areas, there are unavoidable maritime accidents that are more prevalent than others. Most incidents that happen at sea are slip and fall-related injuries. As per OSHA, this kind of injury is responsible for less than 40 percent of all maritime injuries. Because any ship is likely to contain many wet surfaces, this shouldn’t be unexpected. Still, employers must make every effort to ensure that their employees are trained to prevent injury from falling and slipping. Other kinds of injuries can result from exposure to toxic chemicals and respiratory toxic substances, working within tight areas, lifting heavy objects performing repetitive movements when working and in proximity to machinery that could cause injury ( CDC, 2020).
WHAT SHOULD I DO AFTER A MARITIME INJURY?
The first step following any injury, not just an maritime injury from a ship, is to seek medical attention. No matter the level of pain and suffering you’re experiencing, you should be documented to be prepared even if you’re considering filing an action. There is no way to have any idea of what the long-term implications of your injuries could be, and should you decide to pursue a lawsuit later on, in the future, you have the right to sue. Additionally, you should be aware of your injuries’ severity. An expert medical professional is the best person to determine the extent of your injuries.
Following the incident, if you have the opportunity, you should take photos of the vessel and the work site where you suffered injuries. If you can snap pictures on your own and cannot, ensure you have a coworker who can take photos for you. Even if you aren’t planning to file an action for your maritime accident, you’re taking precautions just in the event. Make sure that photos of the cause of the injury, the environment, and any equipment or equipment employed before the accident are taken.