Maritime law, sometimes called admiralty law, refers to the United States laws and regulations governing activities in any navigable waters or the open sea.(Navigable Waters: are waters that provide a channel for commerce and transportation of people and goods.) Maritime laws are federal laws to which the federal court system has jurisdiction over. These laws provide maritime workers and the U.S. merchant marine industry with protection by allowing workers to seek compensation for any injuries suffered offshore or in the maritime industry. This can include accidents that occur on large commercial or fishing vessels, crab boats, barges, container ships, tugboats, crew boats, cargo ships, or other moveable vessels. Crew members of seagoing vessels perform very dangerous jobs and risk serious injury while at sea; injuries that can take away their livelihood and permanently diminish their quality of life. If you have suffered a serious injury while at sea, it is your right to seek compensation, protect your health, your family, and your livelihood. If you have been involved in a maritime accident, contacting an attorney is essential to ensuring that you receive full compensation for your losses. At the law office of Dann D. Sheffield & Associates our maritime attorneys understand the difficulties and legal issues you face after being involved in a offshore accident and can help you along the road to recovery. Because the job of a seaman is dangerous and work conditions are extremely hazardous certain laws have been put in place to protect seamen. Generally when a worker is injured at a non-maritime job, that worker can not hold his/her employer liable for his injuries and is limited to making a Labor and Industries claim. Maritime laws, however, provide more protection by allowing injured seamen to hold their employers liable through the Jones Act as well as requiring employers to provide maintenance and cure benefits. The benefits provided by the Jones Act can be significantly larger than those provided to workers on land. Hiring an attorney can ensure that you receive the full benefits the Jones Act allows for.
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