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What is General Maritime Law?

One of the first ways that the U.S. government sought to protect maritime workers was through general maritime law. Before the Jones Act, the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Comp Act, and Death on the High Seas Act were created, general maritime law established the rights of seamen. Its basic provisions ensure that workers are given maintenance and cure and payments for lost earnings after an injury. It also stipulates the employer's responsibility for providing workers with a safe work environment, whether it be a vessel, oil drilling platform, or jack-up rig. If they fail to provide workers with safety equipment or have faulty equipment on board, they could be liable.

Even though the law has been around for decades, it is still used in court today. It does not only cover injury, but illnesses sustained on the job as well. Unlike the Jones Act which requires the injury be the result of negligence or unseaworthiness, general maritime law is based on the employer-employee relationship. The accident could have been the result of the worker or no one's fault at all, and they could still be given maintenance and cure.

Unfortunately, some employers are less than generous in giving maintenance to their employees. The standard cost of room and board aboard a vessel or rig is $15 to $35 a day. However, if the worker is trying to pay for rent, utilities, transportation, and food at home, this amount will not be enough. An offshore injury attorney could help you if this injustice is happening to you. They could help you determine which type of claim you should file as well as help you through the entire process. As there is a time limit regarding when you can claim, it is recommended that you speak to an attorney as soon as possible. Contact Arnold & Itkin today to discuss your case as soon as possible.

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I encountered professionalism, understanding, compassion… lot of compassion. They really felt for what me and my wife were going through.
~ Deepwater Horizon Crew Member

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