Every occupation has its share of risks and hazards and the maritime industry is no exception. If you are a maritime worker, it is important that you acquaint yourself with important statutes of limitations that apply to maritime claims.
Maritime claims differ from personal injury claims because when a ship is out on the sea, it is governed by federal rather than state laws. As such, a maritime or admiralty claim can fall under state or federal jurisdiction depending on the circumstances of your case.
Here are crucial maritime statutes that you need to be aware of.
The Jones Act statute
This is a federal code that restricts maritime cargo transportation within U.S ports and territories. It also gives seamen who are hurt at work the right to sue the vessel owner for damages. Under this statute of limitations, you have up to three years to file a lawsuit if you are injured at sea or if your loved one dies while at work. The three-year statute of limitations period also applies to any other claim made under the general maritime tort law.
The Death on the High Seas Act
When a seaman loses their life aboard a vessel as a result of the employer’s negligence, their loved ones can file a claim under the Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA) provision. Enacted by Congress in 1920, DOHSA claims apply to deaths that happen in vessels that are sailing beyond three nautical miles off the U.S. coastline or its territories. And like the Jones Act, you have three years from your loved one’s death to file claims under DOHSA. DOHSA statute covers both vessel employees and passengers.
Maritime laws can be quite complex. Find out how you can protect your rights and interests while filing your maritime lawsuit.