If you’re a boating enthusiast or your profession regularly brings you in close contact with the sea, there are certain situations that you may encounter in which it is a good idea to hire a maritime attorney.
Maritime law, or admiralty law, is different to the law that governs countries and states. It is governed by its own international laws, also known as the Law of the Sea. To become a maritime lawyer, an attorney must first pass the bar exam, but they also need to study maritime law in order to specialize in this area.
There are many situations in which hiring a maritime lawyer, specifically, can be beneficial. Below, you’ll find five of the most common.
1. Damage to a Dock
If you have a dock, and a boat crashes into it, causing damage, then this could be a matter for maritime law. You should seek the help of a maritime lawyer immediately. First, make sure to get the information of the person in the boat, and take photos of any damage.
2. Injury in a Boat Crash
Another time you may need a maritime lawyer is if you become injured in a boat crash. You would also need to contact one in the case that you have injured someone else while in control of a boat. Any injury that occurs over open water would fall under this category.
3. Dumping of Pollutants
If your boat spills waste or harmful pollutants into the open water, this is a matter for a maritime attorney. Even if the spill was accidental, or of a very small amount, you may still be liable, so it is advisable to seek the expertise of a maritime lawyer right away.
4. Two Boats Collide
Similar to when a dock is damaged by a boat crashing into it, when two boats collide, a maritime lawyer will most likely be needed. Again, you should get the information of the party on the other boat and take picture of any damage (both to their boat and yours) right away.
5. Wrongful Death of Seamen or Ship Passengers
Maritime law governs passengers and crew aboard ships and boats. This means if there is a wrongful death or injury case you’re involved in, you’ll need to contact a maritime lawyer.
If a loved one has died while working aboard a ship, you may be able to receive compensation from their employer. If you have a loved one who died while a passenger on a cruise ship, the parent company may be liable. These benefits may only be obtainable with the help of a maritime lawyer.
The Expert Knowledge of a Maritime Attorney
In situations involving the sea, a maritime attorney is helpful, because they understand the idiosyncrasies and complexities of maritime law. They have been specially trained in this field, and are the best-placed person to answer any questions or concerns you may have about your situation.
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