If you are an injured maritime worker, you will soon see that there are some weird maritime laws that are not always easy to decipher. You might benefit from talking to one of our maritime attorneys to determine whether your injury entitles you to recover under general maritime law, or maritime workers’ compensation (which is very different from land-based workers' compensation).
For instance, in order to receive compensation or get a maritime settlement under certain maritime laws, the accident must have occurred on or near “navigable water.” This phrase has been a source of legal dispute for many years. In port cities like New Orleans, Gulfport, and Mobile, there are many bodies of water that someone can be on or near when they are injured that are not legally considered “navigable,” for purposes of having a valid maritime claim.
Navigable waters are usually considered bodies of water that are large enough to support commercial shipping or used for interstate or foreign commerce. Interestingly enough, though, this doesn’t always limit the application of maritime law to the Gulf of Mexico, the Mississippi River, or the like. There can be instances where admiralty or maritime law can apply to certain waterways, and it’s important that you determine whether the body of water is legally “navigable” before asserting a maritime personal injury claim. If you have any questions about the body of water where you sustained an injury, and whether being on or near that body of water may permit you to have a maritime injury claim, please call us.