What is Maritime Law’s Statute of Limitations?
A statute of limitations is the time period in which an individual must file a claim in court. If the statute of limitations expires, or the individual waits longer than the statute of limitations allows, then the individual’s claim will expire and he will be barred from filing a claim. Under maritime law, the statute of limitations is three years to file any such claims. This three-year statute of limitations under maritime law does not require any type of pre‑filing procedures. The individual may wait until one day prior to three years and simply file his claim in court. There is no administrative process or claims process that must occur before the individual files a maritime law claim in court. However, it’s critical to remember that maritime law claims have a three-year statute and if the individual waits beyond this period, his claim will “run” or expire, and he will lose any rights he has under maritime law.
Finally, it is also very important to note that an individual with a maritime law claim may have other rights or claims which he can also pursue. In such cases, these rights or claims may have a shorter statute of limitations. For example, in Louisiana as well as some other states there is an one‑year statute of limitations on state law claims. To the extent the individual may have state law claims along with maritime law claims, a one-year statute of limitations may apply to some of the claims. It is very important to speak with an attorney regarding any individual situation you may have to determine the time period in which you must file all of your claims.