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Admiralty law as it relates to death at sea

As this blog has discussed in the past, working on a seafaring vessel can be quite dangerous. Vessel owners in Lafayette are expected to keep their ships in a condition that is safe for their employees, but sometimes they fail to uphold this bargain. When this happens, injuries can result that leave workers with medical expenses and lost wages. Fortunately, these hurt employees can utilize admiralty and maritime law to file a lawsuit against their employer seeking compensation for their damages.

But what happens when an individual is killed on a seagoing vessel? Under federal law, that individual's family can seek compensation via lawsuit against either the individual or the vessel that caused the death. Similar to a state wrongful death lawsuit, this claim must be based on some sort of wrongdoing or negligence.

The amount of compensation that can be recovered from one of these claims depends on the circumstances. Federal law indicates that the compensation that is awarded is to be fair in consideration of the monetary loss suffered by the individual or individuals who are bringing the lawsuit. If there are multiple plaintiffs to the lawsuit, then the court will apportion the award according to the amount of loss suffered by each individual.

Maritime law is a realm of law in its own right. Typically speaking, only those who have experience handling such claims know how to do so competently. This is why it is often critical for those who have been injured in maritime accidents to consider seeking legal advice from a legal advocate who knows how the federal admiralty and maritime law system works.

Source: Legal Information Institute, "46 U.S. Code Chapter 303," accessed on Nov. 27, 2016

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