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Everything to Know About Houston Maritime Attorney
Have you heard about houston maritime attorney? It is usually referred to as an admiralty attorney, deals with legal matters relating to American maritime law, particularly in Houston. Lawyers who practice on ships operate differently from lawyers who practice on land. This distinction is brought forth by the peculiarity of maritime disputes.
People, commodities, and ships all travel on them from one location to another and frequently between different jurisdictions within the nation. Over the years, maritime law has changed to meet the needs of ship owners, crew members, cargo owners, port operators, and other maritime businesses. Here are some essential and interesting things to know about houston maritime attorney.
About Maritime Law
A houston maritime attorney works under regulation of America’s maritime law. Maritime Law is defined as a broad corpus of statutes, protocols, common law principles, and regulations. The United States Constitution, centuries-old common law, federal statutes, international treaties, and occasionally even state law are just a few of the various sources of marine law. The idea of “uniformity,” often known as “uniformity in admiralty,” is crucial to maritime law. The application of maritime law is encouraged to be uniform across the country by Congress and the numerous courts in the country.
What Kind of Cases Do Maritime Lawyer Works On?
Compared to general attorneys, houston maritime attorneys are specialists, which means they have specialized training and experience in marine law. Many maritime attorneys only deal with maritime issues. Maritime lawyers frequently handle disputes in large geographic areas since maritime law should be uniform in both state and federal courts. When a case has a marine element, maritime lawyers occasionally collaborate with generalist lawyers.
Despite the fact that maritime law is a legal specialty in and of itself, practitioners still carve out specific areas of expertise. The following are some situations that maritime attorneys have handled:
Personal Injury Cases
Working on the water surface can be more dangerous compared to working on land. It is also clearly shown by the statistics: On the sea, working, commuting, and having fun can all be risky. According to the Coast Guard, there were 5,265 recreational boating incidents in 2020 alone, resulting in 3,191 injuries and 767 fatalities. Additionally, despite stricter safety regulations for professional mariners, workplace accidents continue to rank among the most frequent in the nation.
For instance, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, commercial fishing accounts for 117 deaths on average per 100,000 workers, compared to four deaths per 100,000 workers across all other U.S. occupations. The lesson? There are numerous injuries caused by the marine transportation sector. The following are typical topics houston maritime attorney deal with:
- Crewmember injuries
- Vessel passenger injury, and
- Longshoreman, Stevedore, and Harbor Worker injuries.
Under maritime law, there is a distinction between professional mariners and passengers/pleasure boaters when it comes to injury compensation. instances of crewmember injuries could include:
- The Jones Act: A “Jones Act Seaman” is one who is required to assist in the operation of a commercial vessel while on the job. The Jones Act, generally known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, is therefore applicable to the mariner. Seamen have a right to a secure workplace under the Jones Act. Under the Jones Act, a seaman may bring a claim against his or her employer for monetary damages in the event of an employer’s negligence leading to a crewmember harm.
- Unseaworthiness: A commercial seaman who sustains injuries may potentially bring a legal lawsuit against negligent vessel owners. An old admiralty rule called the “doctrine of unseaworthiness” mandates that a vessel’s owner must supply a ship and crew that are suitable for the mission they are supposed to serve. Only seafarers have access to the unsuitability cause of action.
- Maintenance and Cure: It’s quote shocking to learn that commercial mariners are not covered by traditional workers’ compensation plans. An injured seaman is instead entitled to “maintenance and cure.” Maintenance and cure are a no-fault remedy brought on by a workplace injury, similar to workers’ compensation. While cure refers to the payment of medical bills related to the injury or illness, maintenance refers to the daily stipend provided to the seafarer to assist with living expenses. Up until they reach their greatest level of medical improvement, the injured seafarers receive benefits.
Vessel Passenger Injuries
Passengers on injured vessels are not entitled to maintenance and cure, unseaworthiness, or Jones Act claims. Instead, they can sue for negligence under standard marine law. Negligence is defined similarly under maritime law and most state legislation. Duty, breach, cause, and damages are the required factors. Passengers are entitled to reasonable care from vessel owners under the circumstances. The vessel owner may be held accountable by an insurance provider or a judge if they fail to uphold that duty and passengers get hurt.
Longshoreman, Stevendore, and Harbor Worker Injury
State law is responsible for the majority of injuries sustained ashore, whereas maritime law covers those hurt while aboard a vessel on most commercial waterways. What about the employees who service ships at the dock and load/unload cargo who are amphibious? Do they have salt or not? The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA), which is administered by the US Department of Labor and covers the majority of amphibious workers, was created by Congress to close the wage gap between maritime and non-maritime workers.
Longshoremen are not permitted to sue their employers for injuries sustained while on the job, just like most state workers’ compensation systems. However, under LHWCA section 905(b), LHWCA workers may have the right to bring legal action against negligent third parties, including the vessel owner. Section 905(b) may also permit a limited claim against an employer acting as a vessel owner in specific situations. This field of law is complicated. However, the houston maritime attorney will assist and accompany you throughout the process.