International waters, to the unfamiliar, can be a confusing term. At its simplest, ‘international waters’ can be defined as any body water outside of the jurisdiction of an individual nation.
These bodies of water generally exist between two different nations, beyond the territorial waters of each state, usually starting some 12 nautical miles from the low water mark of a coastal state. Areas commonly declared as ‘international waters’ can include points in the Atlantic Ocean between the United States and England, much of the Indian Ocean, and points to the north of the Pacific, but any area sufficiently far enough from another country’s shoreline can be considered international waters.
As a result of their unique position between countries, anything taking place in international waters such as trade and construction tends to find itself embroiled in complicated legal disputes. Laws governing commerce and work on the high seas can vary wildly from country to country, and the laws protecting injured workers can even change depending on where in the world they’re sailing.
International Waters and Maritime Law
As part of the different acts and statutes that comprise American maritime law, the Death on the High Seas act is written to help protect any worker that is injured or killed during their time spent working in international waters.
In this case, the “high seas” is defined as any point beyond three nautical miles from the shore of any state bordering the Atlantic or Pacific oceans. Workers who are injured or killed during Transatlantic or Transpacific journeys are covered by this act, and American maritime law the same way their counterparts working inside American waters are covered by the Jones Act.
These protections allow for injured or ill workers to seek financial damages against their employer in order to cover medical expenses, living expenses, and even emotional hardship. If your employer is found at fault for your injury due to an unseaworthy vessel, poorly trained crew, malfunctioning equipment, or any other cause of maritime injuries, the Death on the High Seas Act can help you fight for financial compensation.
What Can I Do If I Am Injured In International Waters?
No matter how far you’ve sailed from home, you can still be protected by American maritime law if you are injured during a Transatlantic or Transpacific voyage.
Maritime law, however, is an extremely complicated branch of injury law, particularly when it comes to international voyages. As soon as you are able, you need to contact a maritime lawyer like O’Bryan Law to help you get started on the path to justice against the shipowners responsible for your injury. We’ve got the knowledge and experience you need to get the compensation you deserve, whether you were injured in the Mississippi River or as far out as the deep waters of the Atlantic. Contact us today and we’ll fight for your rights the way we have hundreds of times before.