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What is the Admiralty Extension Act and How Does it Protect Dockworkes and Longshorment?

The Admiralty Extension Act

The Admiralty Extension Act is federal legislation that aids in the protection of longshoremen and dockworkers in the event of injury. Under the act, the rights to protection from injury that maritime law provides for its workers extends to injuries that occur inland as long as they are related to a vessel or waters that the employee works in. Some injuries that can fall under this new act would be injuries such as:

  • A dockworker being hit by a part of a vessel that comes in too close to the shore
  • Injuries caused by unloading or loading a vessel
  • Injuries sustained from the transportation or storage of a vessel

How the Admiralty Extension Act Helps Protect Dockworkers and Longshoremen?

Before the implementation of the extension act, workers could only seek personal injury compensation for injuries that occurred on navigable waters or while they were on or operating a vessel. This left many workers who performed dangerous positions on the dock with little protection in the event of severe injury. Unfortunately, injuries that can occur related to a vessel while not necessarily on navigable waters can result in severe and lifelong injuries such as head trauma, back injury, and even paralysis.

Important Things to Note About the Extension Act

While the act can help extend the maritime law to injuries dockworkers and longshoremen suffer on land, there are some things to consider if you have been injured by or while working on a vessel when not in the water.

State laws may affect your claim

While the act is a federal law, in many cases, the state laws that govern the injury claim process may apply to the situation and supercede federal acts. This can include such things as jurisdictional issues since the injury most likely occurred on a dock that would be classified as being in the state. Things like contributory negligence and where liability will lie depending on how fault is determined may also be governed by state laws.

Knowing how to file is vital to seeking damages

Since injuries of this type can be more complicated as they encompass things such as jurisdictional questions as well as federal, state, and local laws, knowing how to file the claim is crucial to achieving the best possible outcome for your injury claim. To give yourself the best opportunity it is essential to retain the services of a skilled maritime attorney who will be able to help you properly file the claim and discuss with you whether your injuries would be best pursued under the extension act or through state laws governing personal injury claim.