We’re very much accustomed to normal everyday laws, like laws that govern who and when one can drive, or even laws regarding public safety and freedom of speech. However, things that occur at sea are not subject to these normal, everyday laws. Therefore, a special set of separate laws, called maritime laws, are required to govern occurrences at seas (and these laws are extremely important for governments, corporations, and individuals who hope to function properly). Therefore, the following is a brief run down of what maritime laws entail and why they are so important.
What do Maritime Laws Cover?
In short, maritime laws involve any matters in reference to shipping supplies from one area to another, workers who predominately operate at sea, commerce, navigation, and even just transportation of people. The following gives a few specific clauses for each subgroup.
Taking Care of Workers
Under this subsection of maritime law, companies or employees who operate at sea are required to provide free medical care to any worker who has been injured while working aboard one of the company’s ships. This treatment must endure until the individual is fully taken care of. However, treatments don’t just refer to medicine, but also any type of equipment that can better help the individual function on their day to day work. This includes prosthetics or wheelchairs, as well as any medication that can help alleviate pain or psychological counseling.
Taking Care of Passengers
Passengers who have been injured aboard a ship must prove that the ship owners caused that injury through sheer negligence. Ship operators and owners are also to ensure that to the best of their knowledge that the vessel is fully operable and safe to board before allowing passengers on.
Finding and Awarding Property
Any type of property that has been lost at sea can be claimed and salvaged by a finder for an award. In a contract salvage agreement, both the salvager and the individual who has a lost their property can agree in a set amount to be paid to the salvager if the item in question is located.
In other salvage agreements, the amount to be paid is simply determined on the value of the property that was saved.
Needless to say, these rules do not apply to people or other life that is saved when in danger (such as, for example, saving someone’s life when they’re on a sinking ship).
Maritime laws are essential in ensuring that people and organizations behave accordingly when at sea. This not only refers to how a shipment of items and people are to be carried out, but also encompass how workers get paid, how their protection is ensured, and even how companies are to employee workers.