Ships at a Busy New York Dock Hofmann and SchweitzerMaritime laws were created to allow injured workers to recover payment for lost wages and medical bills after an accident at sea. However, when they were first enacted, these laws only applied to accidents and injuries outside of the bounds of state borders. As a result, maritime employees who were hurt on land would only be able to recover compensation under that state’s injury laws. In 1948, admiralty jurisdiction was extended, protecting all maritime employees regardless of where their injuries occurred.

How the Admiralty Extension Act Benefits Your Maritime Injury Case

The Admiralty Extension Act (AEA) of 1948 brought admiralty and maritime jurisdiction inland, allowing the federal laws to include cases where damage on land is caused by a vessel on navigable water. Victims who suffer property damage or injuries due to a ship’s contact with land or objects near the shore have a right to bring claims under admiralty law, as do maritime employees injured on land by their vessel (or some appurtenance of the vessel).

The AEA ensures that maritime injury laws extend to employees who are:

  • Injured on land while working near their vessels
  • Injured after a ship on navigable waters caused damage onshore
  • Hurt as a result of a vessel colliding with land or a land-based structure
  • Injured while performing work on bridges and piers
  • Injured during the loading, unloading, or storage of vessel cargo

If you have suffered from a maritime injury, we encourage you to find out more about your rights to see who may owe you compensation for your recovery. Contact one of our New York and New Jersey maritime accident attorneys today via our online contact form, or call 1-800-3-MAY-DAY and let an experienced maritime injury lawyer provide you with an opinion about how much your maritime injury case is worth. For more information on your case, be sure to download your complimentary copy of Are You a Seaman Injured in a Maritime Accident? Know Your Rights.


Paul T. Hofmann
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Focused on personal injury, with an emphasis on maritime, railroad and construction worker tort claims.