What Types of Things are Covered Under Maritime Laws?

April 24, 2023

Maritime law, also known as admiralty law, is an evolving area of law that regulates the relationships between parties involved in the maritime industry, including ships, cargo, navigation, and marine insurance. Maritime law has long been used to protect the rights of sailors, passengers, and other individuals involved in seafaring activities. 

The scope of marine law includes a variety of topics, including vessel construction, navigation rules, marine insurance, and the rights of passengers and employees. Although many people find this law complex, if you are a seaman or woman, or someone who uses boats and ships as means of transport, it is crucial to understand the things that are covered under maritime laws. This article will discuss the types of things that are covered under maritime laws.

Carriage of Goods By Sea and the Bill of Lading

When it comes to maritime law, it is essential to understand the carriage of goods by sea and the bill of lading. The carriage of goods by sea governs the rights and responsibilities of shippers, carriers, and receivers when it comes to the transportation of goods by sea. It outlines rules for contracts of carriage, limits of liability, and how claims can be made for damaged goods. 

The Bill of Lading, on the other hand, is the document used to record the details of a shipment. It serves as a contract between the shipper, carrier, and receiver and outlines the terms and conditions for the shipment. It also serves as a receipt for the goods; hence it’s important to ensure all the details are correct. 

Understanding these concepts is essential for anyone in the maritime industry. It helps everyone involved to know their rights and responsibilities under the law and also helps to ensure that your shipments are protected and that everyone involved is held accountable.

Also Read: How Changes in Tax Laws Can Impact Your Estate Plans?

Maritime Law and Maritime Employees

Maritime law is designed to protect the safety of maritime employees by ensuring that vessels are operated safely and securely and that employees are provided with safe working conditions. This law plays a crucial role in the protection of the rights of maritime employees and in promoting safety, security, and efficiency.

Maritime law also provides remedies that cater to medical bills and other expenses for employees who suffer harm while working in the marine industry. In cases of death, maritime law provides for a system of justice and benefits to the family of the deceased maritime employee. It is, therefore essential, for maritime employees to have knowledge of and comply with their rights under maritime law.

Passenger Personal Injury

Passenger personal injury claims are a type of maritime law claim that arises when a passenger is injured as a result of the negligence or fault of the shipowner or employees. The awards for such claims can be quite significant, and they often involve injuries that are severe and life-changing. The passenger is allowed to file a suit within three years. However, most cruise lines have limited their passengers to file a lawsuit within one year.  

The most common causes of passenger personal injury include:

  • Food poisoning
  • Negligence by cruise ship staff
  • Recreational accidents while participating
  • Physical and sexual assault
  • Swimming pool accidents, drowning in a ship, or cruise-sponsored activity
  • Legionnaires’ Disease
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Falling overboard, drowning
  • Fires
  • Toxic chemicals
  • Unseaworthy vessel

The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA)

The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) is a federal law that provides justice for workers injured onshore or offshore in the course of their employment. The LHWCA applies to all employers who have ships or other vessels on which they transport cargo, whether they are privately owned or operated by an agency of the federal government. 

The LHWCA applies to both longshoremen and harbor workers. However, it excludes people who are already beneficiaries of state compensation and benefits, including recreational vessel workers, retail and office workers, and small vessel workers.

Below are the requirements of LHWCA: 

  • Employees injured are eligible for 66% of their weekly wages until they recover fully.
  • Employees whose injuries lead to permanent disabilities are eligible for compensations that can replace their earning capacity. 
  • According to the Secretary of State’s national average, widows are eligible for 50% of pay, in cases of death.

Maritime laws are an immensely important branch of laws that cover all aspects of sea activities, including transporting goods across the water, maintenance, and repairs on ships. It is therefore essential for everyone who seeks to know more about maritime laws or seeks justice concerning sea accidents to consult a legal professional for expert advice on their situation.

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