Long Beach Admiralty Lawyers
Admiralty Law / Maritime Law is an international law that dates back to ancient Greece and, although it has been updated to conform to modern times, is still the basis by which all countries govern and control transportation on water. The regulations relating to Admiralty law are extremely complex but generally encompass any vessel that is in navigable waters.
A vessel, according to Admiralty law, is defined as a watercraft or other contrivance capable of being used as a means of transportation over water. This includes pleasure craft as well as commercial vessels and may include offshore oil derricks, barges, drilling rigs, etc. The vessel must also be in navigable waters. Navigable waters refer to oceans and their adjacent harbors and any other body of water, salt or fresh, that can be traveled interstate. For example: the Great Lakes are navigable waters whereas your local lake may not be.
To further complicate matters, an employee of a vessel who is injured while working on that vessel will often be covered under the "Jones Act" (Merchant Marine Act), or under the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act, rather than workers' compensation.
If you have been injured on the water, it is important that you consult with a maritime law attorney who is experienced in Admiralty law. You will need to determine under what jurisdiction your claim can be filed. For example:
- Were you on a recreational vessel or commercial vessel?
- Were you in navigable waters when the incident occurred?
- Were you working on the vessel or were you a passenger?
Was there negligence involved at the time of the incident? Please note: Admiralty law does not always necessitate negligence.
If your claim does not apply to Admiralty law, you may be able to file for recovery against your losses in State court. If you have suffered damages as a result of an injury in a pleasure craft, and you are not in navigable waters, you may be able to file a claim against the pleasure craft's owner if you can prove negligence on the part of the owner. In order to prove negligence, you must prove the following:
- Negligence - The operator failed to use due care.
- Causation - The negligence of the operator caused the accident.
- Damages - You suffered damages as a result of the accident.
It's your right.