What is Maritime Law?

Maritime law, also known as admiralty law, is a law that governs activities that happen on the water. Maritime law covers a variety of categories, such as parameters of legal job duties, cargo damage, marine shipping, a stipulation of maritime injury claims, and more.

In the United States, there are five types of cases related to maritime law that can be brought to federal court. These include limitation of liability, property arrests, vessel arrests, petitory/ possession actions, and salvage cases.

One of the most important aspects of maritime law is that workers have access to the need for care and legal action if they suffer at sea.

We handle cases that involve injuries on all types of vessels, these include:

  • Offshore injuries on blue water ships
  • Injuries to workers on tugboats, barges, and ferries
  • Commercial fishing boat accidents
  • Maritime workers in employment law matters, such as wrongful termination, wage disputes, and discrimination.
  • Passengers who have been injured on cruise ships and recreational boats
  • Accidents involving all types of workers on cruise ships, servers, entertainers, deckhands, and officers

Do You Need a Maritime Lawyer?

Yes, you do. There are a unique set of laws that apply to maritime accidents and injuries. Apart from that, there are several laws that apply to maritime law that do not apply on land. These laws are sometimes referred to as admiralty laws and are designed to apply to certain situations and categories of people.

For example, a maritime worker who is injured will file a lawsuit in Houston under a different lawsuit than someone who is injured on an oil platform. The damages you will recover may differ based on your injuries and which maritime law or laws apply to your case. Injuries that happen on dockside may fall under maritime law as well.

If you have been injured in a maritime accident, the Lawyers at Adley Law Firm are here to help. You may be confused about your case, but do not worry. Our lawyers specialize in these types of cases and we will handle your case so that you can focus on recovery.

When Admiralty and Maritime Laws Apply

Maritime or Admiralty law covers issues that happen on what is known as navigable waters. Navigable waters are bodies of water used for interstate or international commerce, including interconnected systems of rivers, lakes, oceans, and seas.

The primary navigable water near Houston is the Gulf of Mexico.

Compensation in a Maritime Injury Case

If you or a loved one was injured at sea, you may be able to file a lawsuit under federal maritime laws for compensation of your injuries. A Houston maritime attorney can explain your legal options and help you decide on the best course of action.

If you were involved in a maritime accident, either in the Gulf of Mexico or dockside, you may be able to recover for the following damages in an offshore injury case:

  • Physical Pain
  • Medical Costs
  • Loss of Earning Capacity
  • Physical Limitations
  • Disfigurement
  • Mental Anguish

Like how laws for maritime or Admiralty are different from other cases, so is compensation.

Maintenance and Cure

When a maritime worker is injured, they have the right to maintenance payments for daily expenses such as housing and food. They also have the right to cure payments of medical costs for treatments of the injury until the injured worker recovers. They are covered by the Jones Act. There are no fixed amounts of payments, instead, payments are determined based on their workers’ individual circumstances.  

Vocational Rehabilitation

The LHWCA and its extensions, the OCSLA, and DBA allow compensation for vocational rehabilitation. It provides supportive re-employment evaluation, training, and counseling if you were injured offshore.


Disability may be partial or total. Losses of specific body parts and senses are also accounted for. The LHWCA, OCSLA, and DBA allow for temporary and permanent disability payments to compensate workers for lost wages.

Lawyers Who Understand The Sea and Ships

Don’t try and fight this battle alone. The Lawyers at Adley Law Firm, are licensed Merchant Marine officers with an understanding of shipboard operations, above and below deck. Our lawyers have the experience, knowledge, and technical skills needed to handle to the most complex and challenging maritime injury cases in Houston, Texas and all over Texas.

We work hard to help injured seamen obtain maximum maintenance and cure benefits, as well as all other financial compensation our victims are entitled to receive. We will passionately fight for your rights and we want to win your case.  Whether your case involves an injury at sea, in another location, or in a port facility, you can depend on our lawyers.

With the expertise of our lawyers, you can make sure your claim is filed before the statutes of limitation run out. We will work with you and decide whether your case can be settled in arbitration or if it needs to go to trial. We will guide and represent you, you can rest assured that you stand the best chance of getting the maximum amount of compensation you deserve.

The Benefits of Hiring An Experienced Maritime Attorney

There are many benefits to having a maritime attorney at your side. These benefits include:

It can keep your employer from taking advantage. There are some cases that your company may ask you to sign a document following an accident that releases them from liability in exchange for benefits and unearned wages. Beware, this may sound appealing, but it may not be what you need. It could be a lot less than what your claim is worth. Your maritime attorney can review the documents to ensure they are fair and you’re not unjustly waiving your right to recovery.

It can level the playing field. You are not going against an individual, but against a company with an entire team of lawyers. They are out to belittle your case and any other cases with as little damages as possible. Remember that they are not out to look for your best interests, or trying to help. They are trying to make you go away without paying you a dime or more than they absolutely have to. You need someone on your side who will not let them play games.

A maritime lawyer can be there to answer any questions you may have during the process. Maritime law is complex, confusing, and full of roadblocks. If you are alone, you can feel hopeless, but it does not have to be this way. A maritime attorney can help break down the steps in simpler terms, giver you honest feedback, and guide you competently.

How Can We Help You?

Our experienced attorneys are well versed in the unique laws that apply to Maritime or Admiralty laws. We pursue claims under the Jones Act, the Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, the Longshore, and the Death on the High Seas Act.

The Lawyers at Adley Law Firm, understand the law and are prepared to fight for your rights. We will negotiate until you are given the compensation you deserve. Call us at (713) 999-8669 or schedule a free consultation.

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