Maritime law and personal injury law aren’t the same. Although they aim to address the same issue, which is recovering a settlement for damages, they both have different applications. If you’re not well versed in legal affairs, a lawyer is necessary to help you navigate through these laws.
After sustaining an injury either at work or offshore, you should consult with an attorney as soon as possible. However, don’t wait too long to get legal support. Filing your claim too late can lower your chances of getting fairly compensated.
What Is Maritime Law?
Personal injury law is straightforward enough. But what is maritime law, and how does it work in the context of injuries? Maritime law refers to the rules and regulations ships and seamen must follow when out in the waters. Maritime law is old and thus can be extremely complex to navigate effectively.
General maritime law has provisions for personal injuries that happen out on the sea. So if you or someone you know got injured as a seaman, they’d need to file their claim in accordance with maritime law.
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Main Differences Between Maritime Law and Personal Injury Law
There are several key differences between maritime law and personal injury law. If you want to file your claim correctly, it’s essential to know the distinguishing factors between both of them. Our lawyers here at Morris Bart explain.
Maritime Law Is Federal Law
Because accidents that happen out on sea don’t happen in any specific state, the laws that apply are federal laws. While there are general federal laws regarding personal injury, the vast majority of statutes for personal injury get decided by the state. Therefore, any injuries that happen offshore will have to get decided under federal law and the Jones Act.
The Jones Act is a federal law that regulates maritime commerce and operations. The Jones Act has many working parts to it and does many things to address offshore injuries. Your attorney will be more knowledgeable at explaining how the act can apply to your specific situation.
Statute of Limitations for Maritime Law
Under U.S. Code Title 46 § 30106, the Jones Act generally provides three years to file a claim for any injuries sustained offshore. In contrast, the statute of limitations for personal injuries depends on the state you live in. Some states offer only two years, while others can offer four or more.
Maritime Law Is Not a Part of Workers’ Compensation
Personal injury law generally also encompasses workers’ compensation cases. If you were injured offshore on a ship, then your injuries can’t get claimed through workers’ compensation. Instead, you will have to rely on the Jones Act to give you the ability to file a claim.
When you file a claim, you can get compensated based on the following factors:
- A claim based on the unseaworthiness of the ship you were on.
- A claim based on maintenance and cure.
- A claim based on negligence from a specific party, namely the employer or owner of the ship.
The best way to figure out how to get started filing your claim is by consulting with an offshore injury lawyer.
Why Should I Talk to a Lawyer to Help Me?
Before you file any claim, be it for personal injury or under maritime law, you should always consult with a lawyer. A lawyer can help you:
- Organize all the evidence pertaining to your case.
- Represent you during negotiations or in court.
- Help you understand the merits of your case as it pertains to the law.
- Answer all your questions and handle all your legal work for you.
Maritime laws and personal injury laws can be complex to understand. If you don’t have extensive experience within these subjects, it’s best to talk to an attorney as soon as possible before your statute of limitations expires. A knowledgeable attorney can help you understand the differences and determine which fits your circumstances best.
Schedule an Appointment With an Experienced Offshore Injury Lawyer Today
While you focus on recovering, the offshore and personal injury lawyers at Morris Bart can help you get started with your claim with a free consultation. So, if you got hurt at work at land or sea, it’s in your best interest to get in touch with solid legal representation today. You can contact our office 24/7 online or over the phone for more information.
Questions?Call (800) 537-8185
to find a Morris Bart office near you.