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Maritime Law and Boat Accidents: Key Legal Considerations for Victims and Their Families

When you get into a boat accident over a water body, there are many factors to be taken into consideration. Before seeking compensation for your damages, it is very important to note where you stand legally. Boating accidents are covered both by state laws and Maritime law, also known as Admiralty law.

Usually, this is done by knowing if you are in a part of the water body that falls under the state’s law or the part where the route of commerce and trade routes are involved. As per the legal understanding, the part of the body 9 nautical miles away from the shores falls under the state’s jurisdiction. Beyond this limit, if the water body is used for trade and cargo purposes, it falls under Maritime law.

Seeking compensation for injuries in both jurisdictions varies. Maritime law, it is a bit more complicated than the state’s legal grounds. In Columbia, there are several water bodies that also interact with commerce and trade routes. If you happen to get into an accident in a Columbian water body, Columbia boat accident lawyers can be brought forward to take up your case for compensation.

In this blog, we are going to discuss boating accidents under Maritime law, state law, and compensation legality in the relevant jurisdiction.


Boating Accidents Coverage Under Maritime and State Laws

If you have a boat accident and are seeking compensation for your injuries and other losses, knowledge about your legal ground is worth much. Under state law, if your boat falls in an accident under the state’s jurisdiction, you can get your injuries compensated for the manufacturer’s defect, other vessel’s negligence, any fault in boat assembly, operator’s inattention or other factors depending on which played an important role in said incident.

For Maritime laws, however, you will have to prove a number of factors. If you are claiming compensation against the other vessel’s operator, you have the burden of proof. Your boat accident lawyer will play a pivotal role here, proving the other vessel’s operator’s negligence in court.

One more thing should be kept in mind, under Maritime law, the hearing of your case will be held in district federal court. There are many states that do not entertain Maritime laws, however, once your case falls under Maritime law, it doesn’t matter.

Different Water Vessels’ and Relevant Scenarios

Boats in the water are not just for recreational purposes, they also have employees and workers on board to do a lot of jobs. If a worker gets injured during his work on the affected vehicle, he can also sue for compensation for his injuries.

Moreover, if the worker works on an affected vessel that falls under Maritime laws, he can sue all parties involved in the accident, including his employer, for compensation. It doesn’t matter how small a proportion a party contributed to the accident.

Under Maritime law, there are several acts that enact when it comes to the application of compensation. The enacting of different acts in Maritime laws to a case depends on the factors involved in the accident, the situation when the accident occurred, and the status of workers on the vessel at the time of the accident. Details of the most suitable act for you to sue along will be provided by your boat accident attorney, and you can take advice to pick what you like to go with.

Key Legal Considerations for Victims

When you are a victim, there are several legalities you will have to consider before going to file suit for your compensation. As discussed, the grounds of Maritime law and state law are different, but you can still have the compensation you deserve. Following is the list of things and prospects that you should consider and act upon when you are in Maritime laws Jurisdiction.

Maintenance and Cure

When you are a worker on a vessel doing your job when an accident occurs, you will be entitled for maintenance and cure under Maritime law. This is a term used to cover your medical expenses for your injuries and your household expenses.

This cure compensation will last until you get to recover and a physician finds you fit to return to your job. However, if you are unsatisfied with your physical condition, you can take a second, third or fourth physician’s consultation. It is important to know that if you return to work and you are not fit, there is a risk of eliminating the other benefits that you may get from the court.

Maintenance compensation covers for your house rent or mortgage, utilities, food, and taxes. However, optional expenses such as cable and internet bills, automobile expenses, and insurance are not covered. The maintenance coverage also lasts until you get back to your work.

The Jones Act

Unlike maintenance and cure, the workers who are seeking other benefits under the Jones Act must have proven the injuries are due to the other party’s negligence and injuries that happened at work. Here the burden of proof is on the worker.

However, under Maritime law, the burden of proof for the Jones Act is so small that workers only need to prove that their employer played a role in the accident, no matter how small that caused their injuries.

The benefits under The Jones Act cover medical expenses, lost earning capacity, lost wages, pain and suffering, disfigurement if there is, and many more. The amount of compensation, however, depends on the intensity of the injuries and the details attached to the case of an individual.


There are many other things that seem small, but you and your family can benefit from that. The how and know of the most suitable clause to sue under can be discussed and advised by your boating accident lawyer.

The most important thing to know is that a boat accident lawyer can get you compensated for your damages in Maritime laws too. No matter what jurisdiction you fall in, there is always a way to get what you lost.

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