In some cases, the difficulty of your maritime accident may lie in establishing whether or not Jones Act law or general maritime law will apply to your case. If you are suing for emotional distress or injury as the result of an accident that was caused by negligence in Louisiana or Mississippi, a maritime accident attorney may be able to help you.
The Difference Between Maritime Law and Jones Act Law
A certain set of federal rules apply to accidents that occur on navigable bodies of water and waterways. An accident on the water would probably not be handled by the local police in the city closest to the water. Instead, the Coast Guard would respond to it. Maritime law works in a similar way. When an accident takes place on the sea, federal accident regulations apply rather than those of the city, county or state.
Maritime law applies to any accident that takes place in navigable waters. In some cases, considerable time is spent determining whether or not waters are “navigable,” and you should speak with an attorney for more information on the specific circumstances of the location of your accident, but in general, if your accident occurred on the Mississippi River or in the Gulf of Mexico, maritime law applies to your case.
However, it’s important to point out that if you were working on a fixed platform, even though that is considered to be based in navigable water, offshore platforms do not generally qualify as maritime accident cases. Instead, the law of the state closest to the platform applies. The same is true of injuries that occur on or around docks.
If you have been injured in a Louisiana or Mississippi maritime accident, contact an attorney who can help you in suing for emotional distress and injury.