Also known as maritime law, admiralty law is the law which governs nautical navigation and shipping. There are many examples of these types of laws being used as far back as they early 1000s and the Roman and Byzantine era.
The history of Admiralty laws in the United States dates back to the British Colonies as Eleanor of Aquitaine established maritime conventions on the island of Oleron in 1160 and later on throughout England.
During the American Revolutionary War admiralty courts played a role in the rising tension between the British Parliament and American Colonies. The Proclamation of 1763 issued in October of 1763 was established in an effort to try to organize and regulate trade, settlement, and land purchases in the west. The Stamp Act of 1765 was one of the more contested acts that involved maritime law.
Colonists argued that cases were being unfairly tried without a jury and evidence standards were weaker. Cases involving U.S cities were being tried in Europe and many colonists disliked that cases were being tried simply by a judge rather a jury. Eventually a resolution for the Stamp Act was found and passed but nonetheless it gave America their first introduction into admiralty law.
Currently in the United States the Federal Courts have jurisdiction over all admiralty and maritime actions.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident on the seas, the victim may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and more.
For a free, no-obligation evaluation of your accident claim, fill out the ‘FREE CASE REVIEW’ form to your right.
What Is Maintenance and Cure?
There are many reasons why a person may be injured while onboard a vessel on the high seas. According to the maritime international organization (IMO) more than 180 casualties were reported in 2011; the number of deaths is actually only about one-third of the number of casualties of 2010.
When a worker is injured on a ship, maritime law provides a specific type of “workers’ compensation” called maintenance and cure.
Maintenance and cure covers a seaman’s day-to-day living expenses and cure covers medical costs. An employer is supposed to pay maintenance and cure until the worker is fit to return to work or until additional treatment may not help them. Cure includes long-term treatments such as pain medication or the use of a prostheses and the coverage is discontinued when additional treatment may not help the individual, for example, if they have been exposed to certain toxins that may lead to a fatal disease or condition.
This type of coverage extends until competition of the journey even if the seamen has been left on-shore to recover from their injuries and are no longer on the ship.
Duty of Shipowners
While it is expected that a shipowner will take care of their employees, they also owe a duty of reasonable care to passengers injured on their vessel. Injured victims though in some cases may have to bring a suit forward within 6 months of the injury and as late as two years after the incident occurred. However, it is also important to note that limitations may be noted on passenger tickets about what the limit for filing a claim is.
Maritime law has established a three-year statute of limitations for personal injury and wrongful death cases. If a passenger on a cruise ship wants to file a claim they must do so in the allotted time and be able to prove that the shipowner was negligent. If a worker is injured the cause of the injury could lead to establishing who is at fault including the shipowner, employer, or shipping company.
Maritime law also allows a shipowner to limit its liability by using the Limitation of Shipowner’s Liability Act. This act limits the liability of the owner to the value of the vessel and its pending freight meaning that how much those injured may claim could be limited.
Just as with any case it is important for all parties injured to have as many details as possible about the accident including witness testimonials, pictures, descriptions of what happened, and so on. Using a knowledgeable maritime lawyer can help you, or your loved ones, fight for the MAXIMUM amount of compensation they deserve.
Contact our Savannah Admiralty Law Attorneys Today
At The Eichholz Law Firm we believe that those who have caused serious personal injuries while on board a maritime vessel should be held responsible for their actions. Whether you were a worker onboard a shipping vessel, a passenger on a cruise line, or anywhere where maritime law is applied, the victim may be eligible to make a claim against the party responsible for the accident.
With more than 37 years of combined legal experience, our knowledgeable team of attorneys are here to help injury victims throughout the state of Georgia. Our main office is located in Savannah, Georgia but we are also pleased to serve the following areas:
We also assist injury victims in the Hilton Head an Beaufort, South Carolina areas. To find out how we may be able to help you with an admiralty law claim, contact us at (866) 947-7449 ((866) 947-7449) for a no-cost, no-obligation initial consolation about your case.
If you prefer to reach us online, simply fill out the ‘FREE CASE REVIEW ‘ form located at the top right hand corner this page – it’s 100% FREE and strictly confidential.