Admiralty and maritime law addresses the application of law for incidents that occur on navigable waters. Navigable waters are oceans, lakes and rivers that allow commercial shipping activities. Although the impact of injuries that occur on navigable waters are similar to those that occur on land, admiralty and maritime law can be much more complex in its application to such events.
Oil spills can have a devastating impact on the health of those nearby, as well as on the surrounding environment. Those that occur on offshore oilrigs can additionally contaminate the body of water in which the rig is located and impair the health of wildlife living in the area. When such a spill occurs, there are various legal actions that can result.
When ships are out on the sea there are rules that apply to them as if they were on land. Some of these rules are internationally recognized and adhered to. Others are tailored specifically to a country. The Jones Act is a U.S. enacted law that aims at protecting the lives and safety of people traveling the high seas. While the following information is not meant to be legal advice, if you have been injured in an accident at sea it is important to have a basic understanding of admiralty and maritime law before beginning the claim process.