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Understanding cause of action

It may be easy to assume that any time you are injured in Manhattan, the potential for assigning liability exists. Many come to us here at Tabak Mellusi & Shisha LLP with this mindset, only to be disappointed to learn that in order to pursue a claim, you must first have cause of action. While cause of action requirements can often be quite general, it is still helpful to understand the concept behind them in order to be sure in knowing if you do or do not have legal recourse in a certain situation. 

According to the Cornell Law School, "cause of action" is defined as "a set of predefined factual elements that allow for a legal remedy." This implies that in order to seek benefits under a statute such as the Longshore Act, you must meet its specific qualification requirements. Per the act itself, only those injuries or accidents that occurred upon navigable waters of the U.S. qualify for compensation. For the purposes of this Act, "navigable waters" is meant to include: 

  • Piers, wharfs and terminals
  • Dry docks, building ways and marine railway stations
  • Areas used by employers for loading, unloading, repairing, dismantling or building vessels 

The state of New York has its own definition of cause of action in workplace and personal injury cases. However, whenever federal and state laws conflict on a case, federal standards supersede those of the state. Thus, in cases involving maritime or port injuries, the cause of action standard evaluated will be that which is set forth by the Longshore Act. You can discover more about rights to coverage for maritime injuries by continuing to explore our site. 

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