What Is General Maritime Law?

Before the Jones Act, general maritime law was created from court decisions that determined the rights of seamen. This is also commonly referred to as "admiralty law" and is used to govern all offshore questions, injuries, and offenses. Cases that fall under maritime law can range from passenger ship accidents to fisherman injuries, covering nearly any type of maritime accident.

If you believe you have a case under this “common law,” reach out to Arnold & Itkin today. We have secured positive results for injured offshore workers time and time again.

When you hire us, you get the following:

  • Confidence in the billions of dollars we've won for our clients
  • Compassionate and caring counsel every step of your case
  • Proven success as both litigators and negotiators
  • National recognition from legal professionals and peers.

Make sure your general maritime law case is in good hands. Contact our offshore injury lawyers for a free consultation.

Understanding General Maritime Law

Admiralty law, or general maritime law, is different from the law of the sea. The law of the sea is international law dealing with coastal waters and international relations. While the Jones Act is a more specified law governing offshore workers and seamen, general maritime law deals with maintenance and cure, personal injury cases, and even piracy. Maintenance and cure states that the employer of a vessel or offshore company is responsible for the wellbeing of their employees, and if an employee is injured while working for them, the company is responsible for paying their medical and rehabilitation bills. Ship owners also have the responsibility of caring for their passengers, including doing everything possible to prevent accidents from occurring.

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What Benefits Are Provided & Who Can Pursue a Claim?

Under general maritime law, seaman are owed transportation, wages, room and board, and medical services for the duration of their voyage. Additionally, if a vessel is deemed to be unseaworthy, an injured maritime worker could pursue a claim against the ship’s owner. A ship owner has a strict duty to provide a seaworthy vessel to the seaman aboard their vessel according to general maritime law. As federal common law, general maritime law allows for much more broad reasons for bringing claims. For example, it can cover non-seaman such as cruise ship passengers.

If you want to move forward with a claim under general maritime law, make sure you:

  • Document any evidence of your injuries or illness.
  • Keep track of related medical bills and expenses.
  • Make a list of potential witnesses when possible.
  • Connect with a lawyer who understands your case.

A non-seaman will need to bring a claim for negligence against a ship owner while a seaman will just need to prove that they were injured on the job and are employed by the owner.

Think You Have an Admiralty Law Case? Call Arnold & Itkin Now.

If you have a question or concern regarding maritime law being able to cover your injury or illness, then you should defer to a legal professional who is familiar with the maritime industry. The team at Arnold & Itkin has been advocating for injured offshore and maritime workers for years. In that time, we have been highly successful, recovery more than a billion dollars for injury victims across the country.

We founded our firm to help those in need. Let us help you today by calling (888) 493-1629. Our maritime attorneys don’t charge a single fee unless we win your case!

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