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What are the basics of tort claims in maritime law?

On Behalf of | Sep 20, 2021 | Admiralty And Maritime Law, Blog

Due to the differences between life and work on land and sea, a separate set of laws – maritime law – determines compensation and how legal matters get handled in terms of work on the water.

Maritime tort law refers to the damages of a property or the injuries of a person that happened while in the navigable waters where admiralty holds the jurisdiction. This sets the basis for tort claims, which often occur due to the risky nature of maritime jobs.

LHWCA and the Jones Act

The U.S. Department of Labor discusses the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA), which serves seamen and dock workers who face injuries due to their jobs. It essentially acts as a workers’ compensation plan, potentially providing injured workers with compensation or state benefits.

This is just one of several ways that maritime law will categorize injuries. They break up these categories based on where the injury happened, what conditions led to it, who suffered from the injury or how many people suffered, and the damage that happened due to said injury.

The Jones Act is another category, which covers injuries caused by a third party or the employer while on the job. Though the injured worker holds the burden of proof, standards to establish fault in these cases is often lower than in most personal injury cases. Claims can include wage loss, medical care and pain and suffering damages.

Maintenance and cure

Finally, you have maintenance and cure. This is a requirement in some cases, which asks for employers to provide coverage for living expenses while their workers recover from an on-the-job injury.

If you decide to fight for compensation, consider contacting legal help, too. They can work you through the situation while choosing optimal options.