Northern Michigan Maritime Lawyers
What is Maritime Law?
Simply put, maritime law applies when a worker is injured at sea. It can apply to legal situations that involve ships, insurance claims, and civil claims at sea. A maritime injury on the open water can allow the worker to be eligible to file a claim under the Jones Act or Longshore and Harbormen’s Act. The statute of limitations in maritime law says that there is a maximum period of time that a maritime worker has to file a claim before their legal rights are surrendered.
What is the Jones Act?
The Jones Act is known also as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920. The primary purpose is to afford legal protections to maritime workers who are injured at sea. The Jones Act says that a sailor who sustains a personal injury while employed can seek damages from their employer, including claims against the owner of the vessel in reference to the vessel’s safety and potential owner negligence.
Am I Covered by the Jones Act?
If you spend 30 or more percent of your time working onboard a vessel on navigable waters, you are covered under the Jones Act.
How Can I Take Action Under the Jones Act?
The Jones Act allows the maritime personal injury claim to be taken in federal or state court, and a jury trial is also allowed. Without the Jones Act, maritime law does not give this right.
What Types of Maritime Personal Injury Claims Can I Make?
- Sunken vessels
- Dangerous ship conditions
- Design defects
- Damage to, or complete loss of, vessel due to inadequate construction
- Co-worker negligence
- Injury due to lack of regular maintenance on equipment
- Lack of adequate safety training for seamen
How Does Maritime Law Differ from Other Personal Injury Lawsuits?
Besides the Jones Act, maritime law has very few codified statutes, which leaves the very concept of maritime law to rest upon precedents and case law. This is why it’s important to make sure your lawyer has generous knowledge of maritime law.
How Our Northern Michigan Maritime Attorneys Can Help
It is important to seek counsel for a maritime injury as soon as you are able or you may lose your chance for compensation. The Michigan personal injury attorneys at Smith & Johnson have a deep understanding of building a strong maritime injury case. Compensation as a result of maritime injury can help cover expenses for medical bills, emotional suffering and loss of pay.