Do You Know Which Statute of Limitations Your Maritime Case Falls Under?
When an individual is injured in a maritime accident, they may be able to file a claim for their medical costs, lost wages, and living expenses during recovery. However, depending on the specific details of your case, you may have limited time to do so—this is known as the statute of limitations.
In cases that fall under offshore and maritime law, the Uniform Statute of Limitations for Maritime Torts will apply. This statute gives an injured party three years to file a claim for their injuries.
HOW LONG DO YOU HAVE TO FILE A CASE?
In general, the statute of limitations in maritime law is three years from the date of injury (or discovery of the injury). However, the statute of limitations in maritime cases is contingent upon the specific factors involved in the accident, as well as the jurisdiction in which a case must be brought forward in.
For example, the following may have shorter statute of limitations in place:
- Fatal accident claims involving the U.S. Government (18 months in most cases)
- Cruise ship injury claims (generally within 6 months to 1 year of the incident)
- Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act cases (30 days for claims)
In most cases, an attempt to file a claim for a maritime incident that occurred more than three years ago will be barred under this statute. That is why it is crucial to consult with an attorney as soon as you believe you may have a claim.
BRINGING CASES AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT
Cases against the government fall under a different statute of limitations. For example, you only have 18 months in cases against the U.S. government involving wrongful death.
In addition, the Federal Tort Claims Act requires injured parties to file a claim within two years with the right government agency.
FILING UNDER THE LHWCA
If you want to file a case under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA), the statute of limitations is different from a typical injury claim. Since you will be filing with your employer and don’t need to prove negligence, you will have a shorter window of time.
You need to notify your employer within 30 days if you want to claim compensation under the LHWCA.
HAVE QUESTIONS? CALL US FOR A FREE CONSULTATION.
Understanding how the various statute of limitations apply to your maritime injury case can be complex. Arnold & Itkin is here to help you understand your case. Give us a call for a free case consultation—together, we can review your options and figure out how to get you back on your feet.