The maritime law, Jones Act, was passed by the United States Congress to protect injured seaman who may not be covered by other maritime law. Offshore workers, merchant seamen, and others often use the term "maritime law" when referring to the Jones Act. For purposes of this article "maritime law" and "Jones Act" are synonymous.
Maritime law covers legal affairs and dealings between ship owners, crewmembers, passengers and cargoes on the high seas and other navigable waters. The U.S. Constitution grants federal judicial power to all maritime law cases. The Judiciary Act of 1789 gave the federal district courts exclusive jurisdiction in maritime law cases and made the Supreme Court the final arbiter of admiralty law disputes. State courts are still allowed to hear some admiralty law cases.
Maritime law originated from ancient customs of early Mediterranean seafaring nations. The earliest maritime law is said to have influenced the Roman legal system. Because the fundamental dangers of seafaring have never changed, today's maritime law is a mixture of ancient rules and new laws. In fact, the time-honored principles of "maintenance and cure" are still used today.
Seamen who are injured on sea going vessels on navigable waters and offshore oil rigs that can be towed and are not permanently affixed to the ocean floor are covered under maritime law. Whether you are a seaman, an officer, a harbor pilot, an oil worker, a technician, a helicopter pilot, work on a tugboat, casino boat, barge, ship, supply boat, semi-submersible drilling rig, jack-up drilling rig or if you become injured on or near the water, you should talk to a maritime law attorney before making a claim or as soon as possible thereafter.
The term "seaman" is very broad under maritime law. It was the intention of Congress, to protect seamen, and to include all seamen hired to serve on board a vessel. Federal courts have determined that the term "seaman":
If you think you may have a maritime law claim, please call us at 1-866-247-HELP. We are a maritime law firm that serves individuals in Houston and we will confidentially speak with you about your injury and answer any questions. We do our best to help our clients with financial and medical care. Our attorneys are easy to talk to and your phone calls will always be returned on the same day you call. We will provide quality legal representation and help you through this difficult time in your life.
If you have been injured while working at sea, contact a maritime attorney at Briggle & Polan, PLLC. Understand that by contacting our firm, you'll be working with a professional with experience in maritime law. While this powerful body of law remains a governing force for the sea-faring industry, there are still other issues that could arise as a result of your injury. Our Houston maritime attorneys will be able to help you regardless of your situation.
When you contact our firm to meet with one of our maritime attorneys, you will be taking no risk at all. All of our initial consultations are free of charge, and our maritime attorneys will be able to help you come to a decision regarding the best course of action during this initial meeting. Call us today and schedule a free consultation with a maritime attorney at Briggle & Polan, PLLC. There is a limit to how much time can pass before filing a personal injury claim, so don't hesitate and call us today 866-247-HELP.
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