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Maritime Law and contractor protections

On Behalf of | Mar 28, 2022 | Maritime Accidents

Maritime Law covers accidents on boats or vessels on the open water in New York, New York, and beyond. Natural factors include wind and turbulent waves, and human factors include lack of training or equipment maintenance oversight. Equipment failures may be natural or human factors during accidents. Contractors often get hurt on the open water, but most don’t realize that they have legal remedies to protect themselves.

What is Maritime Law?

There are special laws that protect workers in maritime jobs. The laws protect employees or contractors. The special laws that govern issues and private disputes at sea are Maritime Laws. The broad spectrum of regulations and rules that govern navigation and commerce on open water is Maritime Law. The laws cover national and international legislation for bodies of water and customs regulations.

There are many regulations for employment issues and rights for contractors and employees. Maritime-related accidents and insurance claims are under Maritime Law. There are regulations for the fishing industry and how to deal with vessel stowaways. There are regulations for transportation and property protection at sea and shipwrecks and salvage of any vessels. People think that maritime workplace injuries are the same as other workplace injuries. Maritime injuries are under different legal jurisdictions while special laws protect injured, maritime workers.

The Jones Act

The Jones Act protects the rights of employees and contractors at sea. A worker should be a seaman, and the illness or injury should happen on a vessel. The three rights are crew negligence, maintenance and cure and unseaworthiness. Crew negligence is an employer failing to provide a safe place to work. Maintenance and cure require the employer to offer medical care and wages. Unseaworthiness claims come from the equipment being unable to perform the intended function. A vessel doesn’t have to be inoperable, but the crew can’t safely operate it.

Investigations into Jones Act claims are unique to the individual. Each type of claim has a different statute of limitations. A general rule is for workers to file a claim within three years if they want protection. Other statutes associated with Maritime Laws have a unique statute of limitations.