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If you have been injured at sea or in a harbor, you have a lot of legal rights. Many people who live in Oakland or San Francisco work in a harbor or at sea, and those legal rights are very important. In addition, many tourists pass through the area on cruises, and it’s critically important that they be able to legally recover for any accidents they may have or injuries they receive.

Because a large number of people in the San Francisco Bay area are working in a port or at sea, there is a risk that a worker or a passenger may get injured. Sometimes these injuries occur either while at sea or while stationed in the port. There are a variety of laws that apply to accidents that occur on the ocean that are different from those laws that apply to accidents that occur on land. Admiralty law is the area of law that applies to the ocean. Maritime employees are also subject to other laws, most of which are federal. There may also be employment contracts in place that cover accidents at sea.

For people who may suffer injuries aboard a cruise ship or another vessel, the right to compensation depends on the circumstances. The laws that are in effect and that apply to the accident are the laws of the country of the vessel, which is not necessarily the United States and may not be where the ship is located at the time the accident occurs. Cruise ship tickets, and other boat tickets, typically contain a lot of fine print that will govern the rules of an accident. For example, many of them require that a lawsuit be filed within one year of the accident. If you are ever injured while on a boat, you should consult an experienced admiralty and maritime law attorney about your legal rights.

There are many laws that give legal rights to maritime workers.  Maintenance and Cure allows maritime employees who have been injured on the job to have their medical bills covered, and to receive compensation while recovering, which is similar to workers’ compensation. The Jones Act protects seamen who have been injured on the job, and it allows them to sue for negligence committed by an employer.  The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act allows maritime employees who work on ports, docks and harbors and who are injured on the job to seek benefits while recovering from their injuries. If maritime workers are lost in the ocean or killed while at sea, the Death on the High Seas Act may allow their heirs to recover compensation. Finally, if a boat owner fails to make a boat safe and a person is injured as a result, the injured party may be able to make a legal claim that the boat was not seaworthy.

Micha Star Liberty of Liberty Law believes that parties who are injured while at sea should be able to obtain compensation from boat owners or other responsible parties. If you have been injured while on the ocean or in a harbor, call San Francisco maritime personal injury attorney Micha Star Liberty at 510-645-1000 or 415-896-1000. Call her today and she will be happy to provide you with a free consultation on your case.



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