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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 offshore maritime workers.

Offshore Rig Supervisor

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 an offshore 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 offshore employer will be the same company.  But in some cases these companies will be different.  It is important that your offshore maritime attorney investigates the accident thoroughly so as to file the proper claims against the proper companies.

The obligation to provide offshore 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 offshore workers may also recover punitive damages.  Punitive damages are not designed to compensate injured offshore 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.

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



Herman Herman & Katz, LLC
820 O'Keefe Ave
New Orleans, LA 70113
Phone: (504) 581-4892

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