Maritime law, also known as admiralty law, consists of the laws, conventions, and treaties that govern private maritime questions, disputes, offenses, and other nautical matters. This can include insurance claims, maritime mortgages and liens, the transportation of cargo and passengers, personal injury claims, and piracy. In the U.S., maritime law falls under federal jurisdiction and applies to all navigable waterways, both offshore and inland.
The Jones Act, the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA), Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA), and the Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA) are examples of maritime laws. However, these laws only apply to specific situations. General maritime laws protect the rights of those injured or killed in situations not covered under these acts.
Lewis, Kullman, Sterbcow & Abramson, LLC: Louisiana’s Leading Maritime Injury Lawyers
If you were injured or a loved one killed while working on or near navigable water, contact the law firm of Lewis, Kullman, Sterbcow & Abramson, LLC. LKSA’s team of maritime injury attorneys possesses the knowledge, skills, and resources to keep you on course to recover the full compensation you deserve for your accident-related damages.
LKSA has successfully handled a wide range of maritime accident cases involving:
- Collisions involving other vessels
- Collisions involving bridges, piers, drilling platforms, and other structures
- Fires and explosions
- Unsafe working conditions aboard a vessel or offshore rig
- Loading and unloading accidents
- Accidents caused by poorly maintained equipment aboard a vessel or offshore rig
- Accidents caused by the unsafe operation of equipment aboard a vessel or offshore rig
- Defective equipment
- Lack of adequate safety training and equipment
- Personnel transfer accidents
- Lift boat and jack up drilling rig collapses
- Accidents caused by the negligent operation of a vessel by the captain and crew
- Negligent failure to rescue man overboard
- Offshore well blowouts on drilling rigs and production platforms
- Slip and fall accidents
- Injury and death to commercial divers due to accidents and decompression illness
- Accidents aboard commercial fishing and shrimping vessels
- Injury and death due to violations of federal maritime regulations
- Injury and death due to gross negligence or intentional conduct
Our attorneys have had a role in many, if not most, of the important maritime cases in the last 40 years — including those that defined the requirements for a person and a vessel to be governed by the Jones Act, determined the elements of recoverable damages under general maritime law, and defined the availability of punitive damages to Jones Act seamen, longshore and harbor workers, and recreational boating accident victims.
“Unseaworthiness” Claims Under General Maritime Law
Shipowners and operators have a duty to maintain their vessels in a safe or “seaworthy” condition for their crew. A seaworthy vessel is one that is suitable for use, fully staffed with a properly trained crew with equipment on board that can be safely operated for its intended use. When they are negligent in this duty, accidents can happen. Conditions that can make a vessel unseaworthy include:
- Slip and fall hazards
- Malfunctioning or defective equipment
- Electrical hazards
- Poor lighting or ventilation
- Damaged or defective decks, railings, stairways, and passages
- Failure to provide the necessary safety gear
- Inadequate crew training
Speak to a General Maritime Law Attorney About Your Offshore Accident
Lewis, Kullman, Sterbcow & Abramson, LLC is one of the most respected maritime litigation firms in the country. A number of our cases have made or changed maritime law in favor of the injured as a result of our aggressive and innovative legal strategies. We’ve represented injured maritime workers involved in all aspects of the marine industry, including vessel captains and crews, river pilots, toolpushers, riggers, welders, drill crew members, commercial fishermen, longshoremen and dock workers, commercial divers, and more.
Contact us today through our website or call us at (800) 960-1526 to schedule a free, initial consultation to discuss your case with an experienced maritime injury attorney. We’re headquartered in New Orleans and serve clients all over the United States. Don’t delay — strict statutes of limitation apply to maritime injury claims. If you wait too long to file a claim, the courts may refuse to hear your case.