You don’t have to be miles out to sea to have the protection of admiralty law. The tradition of rules covering activities on ships and the water goes back thousands of years, but the modern versions are more than extensions of history. American admiralty law is there specifically to protect American workers with jobs that help keep the country’s trade and transport moving.
How does admiralty law apply?
The name makes it sound like these are laws for the navy, but it refers to a country’s responsibility to its sailors and laborers at sea. When ships and vessels are U.S. flagged, U.S. law applies on board. Since vessels may be outside a U.S. state’s territory, admiralty law takes over.
Where does admiralty law apply?
Where a vessel or worker is does matter, but the nature of their work matters more. Work that has to do with commercial maritime trade may lead to admiralty jurisdiction if a worker is injured on board.
What about workers in maritime trade that aren’t at sea?
Work that supports trade may also come under admiralty law. Workers may file maritime claims if they experience problems on interstate trade corridors like major rivers and lakes or even docks where trade is facilitated.
How can a person file an admiralty claim?
The process is similar to workers’ compensation claims in a U.S. state. Although workers may manage to gather the evidence and submit a claim, it is often advisable to work with a lawyer on this process. Legal representation is often helpful when injured workers are looking for help with recovery.