What Is General Maritime Law?

The Jones Act outlines remedies for injured crew members of vessels, while general maritime law governs how the Jones Act is applied in individual cases. Mastery of this area of law is essential for effectively representing injured offshore workers, as it comprises court-made common law specific to maritime contexts.

General maritime law extends beyond the Jones Act, granting additional rights and damages to seamen and providing a basis for claims by family members of deceased maritime workers. It also compensates non-seamen injured in maritime settings or activities, encompassing common law remedies for maritime-related incidents.

This body of law interprets how damages are assessed and what constitutes contributory negligence. Generally, the statute of limitations for general maritime claims is three years, although certain circumstances may shorten this period. Hence, consulting a knowledgeable admiralty and maritime lawyer about injuries is crucial.

Noteworthy aspects of general maritime law include claims for maintenance and cure, unearned wages, and vessel unseaworthiness. It permits strict liability for product liability claims and offers causes of action for wrongful death and negligence for non-seamen injured on navigable waterways. General maritime claims encompass actions by Jones Act seamen and longshoremen against responsible third parties for negligence leading to injury or death.

If you’ve sustained injuries while aboard a vessel, whether as a crew member, subcontractor, or passenger engaged in maritime activity, contact the experienced General Maritime Law Attorneys at Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P. to discuss your claim and learn about your legal rights. You can reach us by email at info@smslegal.com or by phone at (800) 551-7149.

The Maritime Attorney Difference

Maritime and offshore accidents are governed by a distinct set of laws compared to other personal injury or workers’ compensation claims. Specific maritime laws, including the Jones Act, the Longshoremen and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, and general maritime laws, dictate these claims. To fully benefit from the protections offered by these laws, it’s essential to have an attorney who comprehends the intricacies of each.

If you’ve sustained injuries while working on a vessel, offshore, or in one of the nation’s numerous ports, contact the Maritime attorneys at Schechter, Shaffer, and Harris today for a free consultation. Our experienced offshore injury lawyers have handled cases across the Gulf of Mexico coastal region, including Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida, and have represented clients from all 50 states of the United States.

We possess years of experience representing crew members working on inland waters such as the Mississippi River, Ohio River, Kentucky River, the Great Lakes, Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, Lake Huron, and many others. Furthermore, we have handled cases globally, including countries as distant as Ukraine and Israel. Routinely, we represent clients from Central American countries such as Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua, as well as from Colombia, Venezuela, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Romania, Croatia, England, Ireland, Spain, the Netherlands, Russia, China, Mexico, and Brazil.

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