Many of our readers have probably heard of Admiralty and Maritime Law, with Louisiana being a coastal state. However, since this is an area of the law that not many people have contact with, unlike, for example, personal injury or criminal defense law, some people might not be familiar with what all is entailed in this unique area of the law. So, what does one need to know about Admiralty and Maritime Law?

Well, for starters, it is important to understand that this area of the law deals with a wide variety of matters that occur on navigable waters, such as the ocean or even rivers or lakes. In most cases, the incident in question relates to an occurrence that took place on a ship or boat, or, more common in our state, an oil rig. The applicable law in any given case could be a state law, a federal law or even an international law.

There is, for example, a specific law which covers maritime commerce and the rights of workers on ships: the Jones Act, which was enacted in 1920. Another law, the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, covers incidents in which crew members on ships suffer illnesses or injuries related to their job responsibilities, among other things.

In essence, if a Louisiana resident has some type of legal dispute connected to an event or dispute that occurred on the water or in relation to their water-based job, Admiralty and Maritime Law may come up in any efforts to address the matter in court. These types of disputes vary widely in the applicable facts and law, so anyone who may come into contact with this unique area of the law may benefit from getting more information about their own circumstances.