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What Business Owners on the Coast Need to Know About Maritime Law

Do you own or operate a business near the water? If so, listen up!

As you may already know, maritime law is different than typical state or federal law and you should be well versed and familiar with the differences in order to protect your business. 

You may want to retain a maritime lawyer in the event of an issue or accident on the job. 

Read on to learn about the various kinds of maritime law and how they can impact you and your business. 

Various Types of Maritime Law

Maritime law is categorized based on what happened, where it happened and who was injured. Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect. 

Maintenance and Cure

This means someone was injured while performing their job. It doesn’t matter when or how to accident or injury took place, all that matters is they were on the clock.

Because of this, they’ll receive maintenance care which can include rent, food, utilities, or any other payments necessary to keep their life as-is until they can return to work. 

The Jones Act

This is an important one to familiarize yourself with and a good reason to get a maritime lawyer. This act allows an employee to sue because the employer was negligent and created an unsafe working environment. 

If an employee files a lawsuit under the Jones Act it’s their responsibility to collect proof that you were, in fact, negligent in your duties as an employer. 

But be careful, the amount of proof they need to collect is minimal. Meaning, they can use any small amount of negligence as evidence. Some of those small oversites can include spills, faulty equipment or inadequate safety gear. 

Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act

Otherwise known as the LHWCA, this is an important act if you have employees who are a longshoreman. This includes folks who work on the dock, harbor, shipyard and anywhere else that’s not on the sea.

If these employees become injured on the job, this is typically the act they’ll file their lawsuit under. They can file for a percentage of their weekly wage and even more compensation if their injury is severe and impacts their ongoing quality of life. 

Death on the High Seas Act

Otherwise known as DOHSA this is an act that family members will file on behalf of a deceased loved one. 

If their family member lost their life while on the job, they can file for loss of financial support along with funeral expenses and other costs incurred as a result of the death. 

Those who can file on their behalf can include spouses, parents or children along with anyone who was financially dependent on the person who passed.

Consult a Maritime Lawyer Today

With the information provided above, it’s probably a good idea to consult with a maritime lawyer to know your options and prepare yourself and your business for any issues that could arise due to injury or death on the job.

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