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What is Maritime Law?

If you don’t work as a maritime worker or have never been part of the boating community, you probably don’t have much experience with maritime law. What is maritime law? How does it work? What do maritime lawyers do?

What’s Maritime Law?

First things first, upon researching this topic you probably found websites talking about both maritime law and admiralty law. Essentially, these were previously separate branches of law but have now almost fused together. Therefore, you might see the terms used interchangeably. With this cleared up, we should state that maritime law governs all major events on the open water.

As well as offering a set of conventions for all businesses and individuals who enter the open water, maritime law also governs disputes and other matters. If businesses enter a dispute about cargo, maritime law will step in to find a resolution, for example. Fortunately, The Injury Firm has a team of maritime lawyers. Feel free to get in touch if you need professional help after an accident/incident on the water. Our boat and cruise ship lawyers have experience in this field if you think you could be entitled to compensation.

Examples of Maritime Law

So, what exactly is covered by maritime law? You may have noticed that we mentioned a few different fields in the introduction, and this is just the start. Our maritime lawyers can help divers, deckhands, merchant mariners, seamen, fishermen, cruise ship passengers, port workers, and even recreational boaters. Assuming you’ve been injured in an accident that you didn’t cause, you could be entitled to compensation, and maritime law is there to protect and help you.

One of the biggest issues with maritime law is the complexity involved, especially for victims. Sometimes, it can feel as though compensation is an impossible goal due to cruise ship laws, the Jones Act, seaman’s rights, and all sorts of other intricate legislations, regulations, and rules. For example, an injured maritime worker will need different help from an injured cruise ship passenger. However, the one thing that connects all victims is the entitlement to compensation if the case involves negligence.

Regardless of its nature, we urge you to contact The Injury Firm if you’ve been injured in an accident. We have extensive knowledge of limitation of liability and all the other minutiae that will help you to succeed in a claim or lawsuit.

Read more about Maritime Law

Statute of Limitations

Once again, there’s no universal answer to the question of the statute of limitations because it depends on the type of accident. This being said, one thing is clear - you need to reach out to legal professionals as soon as possible. The earlier you contact boat and cruise ship accident lawyers, for example, the more likely they are to build a strong case.

If you experienced an injury while on a cruise, you may only have a year before you need to claim. In some cases, you need to contact the cruise company in under six months to notify them of the claim. In others, companies put small print in their terms that says that all legal disputes must be made in Florida. In truth, there are all sorts of hurdles that you may need to navigate. Contact The Injury Firm before you miss the deadline or make a mistake that could limit your compensation demands.

Limitation of Liability

We won’t take you through all the different permutations of a legal case, but we do want to expand on limitation of liability since it’s common in this field. Essentially, this is where the owner of the vessel attempts to sue the victim to limit their liability. If they try to limit their liability in this way, they can only be found responsible for the accident if negligence or unseaworthiness was present.

If you’re worried about limitation of liability, you need maritime lawyers to protect your legal rights and hold the right people accountable. It’s important that the guilty party is held responsible and pays the compensation that covers your damages; damages that they caused through negligence, inattention, inaction, etc.

Employees and Companies

Often, people assume that they can’t bring a case to a jury after getting injured as a maritime worker. However, this isn’t necessarily the case. The Jones Act is designed to entitle workers and seaman to a jury trial against ship owners or employees after an accident. Depending on the details of the case, you could get compensation if the shipowner was negligent or if the ship itself was unseaworthy.

Maritime workers have an equivalent to workers’ compensation called the Principle of Maintenance and Care. Here, the employer or ship owner needs to compensate workers for basic living expenses and necessary medical care if injured while onboard. Yet, the definition of ‘seaman’ is often up for debate. In some cases, the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act protects those who don’t meet the requirements to be considered a seaman. As you can see, people without the right experience in this field will have lots of difficulties protecting their legal rights, so a lawyer is essential.

Passengers and Companies

On the other hand, passengers can also challenge a cruise ship owner or company after experiencing an injury onboard. Whenever a vessel carries passengers, the owner has a duty of care. If they were negligent, passengers can sue for damages. This can include medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.

In the case of both employees and passengers, family members can often claim after negligence leads to the death of a loved one. This time, compensation includes funeral expenses, loss of companionship, and similar damages.

The Injury Firm Maritime Lawyers

If you need boating and cruise ship accident lawyers, there’s no better place to go than The Injury Firm. Whether you were a passenger or employee when the accident occurred, we’ll protect your legal rights and negotiate a settlement or take the case to court against the negligent party. Contact our experienced team today!

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