What is the Admiralty Jurisdiction Extension Act and How Will It Impact You?

The Admiralty Jurisdiction Extension Act is the portion of US Code for maritime workers and vessel owners that deals with injury or damage on land. It is found in Title 46, Subtitle III, Chapter 301, Section 30101, and it allows maritime law to extend to cases that occur on land when affecting a vessel and injury or damage to either a person or property.

The challenge for the parties involved is proving whether the injury is under the jurisdiction of maritime law. An attorney will understand the parameters that allow the injury to be filed a maritime claim. They can present a solid case to show how the injury is relevant to this industry and allow the worker to receive compensation under the appropriate law.

How Jurisdiction is Determined

First, the location test must be used. The court will focus on location to determine if the injury claim falls under the jurisdiction of maritime law. One of the following situations must be true for the claim to meet the requirements of the Act:

  • If the injury occurred on navigable waters
  • If the injury occurred on land but was caused by a vessel
  • Will the injury disrupt maritime commerce?
  • Does the activity during which the incident happened have a relationship to normal maritime activity?

If the injury does not meet the requirements to be covered by maritime laws, then state law prevails.

What is the Remedy?

If the claim meets the requirements to be covered by the A.J.E. Act, the remedy is found in Title 46. According to US Code, the claim must be initiated within two years after the event. The law allows for the matter to be arbitrated, settled or a compromise reached once a civil action has begun.

The act does not change or reduce any federal or state jurisdiction for the same claim. However, it may expand on those laws.

An example of this situation would be where a vessel’s activities on the water cause flooding to a building or property on land. The burden of proof would fall on the plaintiff who initiates a claim for the damages caused. They would need to show that the actions of the vessel were responsible for the flooding and resulting damages and injuries.

You may have suffered an injury but not be sure how to proceed because you aren’t certain who to file a claim against. Our attorneys are experienced in maritime cases and can help you determine if a maritime law covers your particular situation.

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