General Maritime Law

Experienced Maritime Law Attorney Serving all of New Orleans

General maritime law generally refers to the body of cases decided by various courts before the enactment of the Jones Act in 1920. General maritime law provides important protections for maritime workers.

General maritime law.

One important protection is a seaworthy vessel. General maritime law requires the owner of a vessel to ensure that the vessel remains seaworthy. Thus, while a Jones Act lawsuit is prosecuted against a maritime employer, a case stemming from an accident caused by the un-seaworthiness of a vessel is prosecuted against the owner of the vessel.  In many cases, the owner of the vessel and the maritime employer will be the same company. But in some cases these companies will be different. It is important that your New Orleans maritime lawyer investigates the accident thoroughly so as to file the proper claims against the proper companies.

The obligation to provide maritime workers with a seaworthy vessel is considered by courts to be an absolute duty. A ship is un-seaworthy unless all of its appurtenances and crew are reasonably fit and safe for their intended purpose. A vessel owner does not need to have actual or constructive knowledge of an un-seaworthy condition on their vessel in order to be found liable. The vessel simply needs to be found un-seaworthy.  

In addition to receiving compensation for the injuries you sustained as a result of an unseaworthy vessel, courts have ruled that injured maritime workers may also recover punitive damages. Punitive damages are not designed to compensate injured maritime workers for their actual damages.  Instead, punitive damages are designed to punish the company that owned the unseaworthy vessel in hopes that it will send a message to all vessel owners. To learn more, speak with our proven lawyers.

Contact Our New Orleans Maritime Lawyer Today

If you or a family member has been seriously injured or killed as a result of a maritime accident, it is very important that you contact a highly skilled, New Orleans maritime attorney immediately. No firm is better equipped than Herman Herman & Katz, L.L.C. to handle your injury claim stemming from a maritime accident. Learn about your legal rights from an experienced New Orleans maritime attorney by calling 504-581-4892 or by filling out our free, no-obligation case review form.