Also called admiralty law, maritime law refers to the group of laws that govern property damage, injury, and loss of life occurring at sea. The truth is maritime law is a complicated specialty, requiring unique knowledge and experience that professionals outside the field just don’t have. Plus, unlike many other types of law, the appropriate court to hear the case — whether that’s a federal district court or a specific state court — can be unclear.
If your case involves any of the following six circumstances, it’s probably time to call a maritime lawyer.
Cases That Need a Maritime Lawyer
1. You’ve been injured offshore.
This applies to any accident where another party may be liable for your injuries. This could be a work-related claim, applying to fishermen and other offshore workers, or otherwise, as is the case for cruise ship passengers. Depending on the circumstances, you may be entitled to compensation to cover medical expenses and any loss of income that has resulted from your injury.
2. You’ve been involved in an incident where someone else was injured.
Likewise, maritime lawyers can also be of assistance if you are responsible for someone else’s injury (e.g., your were steering a ship at the time of an accident). Whether you believe you may be at fault or a suit has already been brought against you, talking to an expert in this situation is a must.
3. Your property has been damaged by another person’s ship.
If a ship has crashed into your vessel, dock, or other property, you may be able to recoup the damages in court. Additionally, cargo claims laws may apply if your property was damaged during shipping. Conversely, an admiralty lawyer should be consulted if your ship was the one doing the damage.
4. A loved one has died at sea.
In the case where someone close to you has died while working at sea or while passenger on a cruise, a wrongful death lawsuit with the guidance of a maritime lawyer may be your best course of action.
5. You have violated any environmental protection statute.
Whether you’ve been involved in intentional dumping or harmful chemicals have accidentally leaked from your ship, you may be hit with fines or other penalties determined by federal and state laws.
6. You are an employer whose business operates on waterways.
Business owners are often responsible for crew member training, vessel seaworthiness, and other conditions of your ship or offshore structure. A maritime lawyer will help you keep your employees and clients safe while protecting your bottom line.
Maritime Lawyers You Can Trust
As one of the top maritime firms in the nation, you can feel confident in knowing [client name] is on your side. We can help you figure out which laws apply to your case and provide you with the information you need to move forward. To find out more, call our offices at [phone number] or email us at [address].