Hands up if you understand the role of a maritime lawyer?
If your hand is down, you’re not alone.
Unless you’ve been involved in a disaster at sea, the chances are that you don’t know much about Maritime law.
The reality is that anything can happen at any time. It’s, therefore, better to always be prepared, especially if you’re planning to be on open water.
If you’re looking for a Houston maritime lawyer, you’ve come to the right place.
If you’ve suffered an offshore injury, it’s essential to contact a maritime lawyer who’s experienced with admiralty law and well-versed in the Jones Act.
What Is the Jones Act?
First things first.
In simple terms, The Jones Act is a federal law that regulates maritime commerce in the United States. The Act states that all goods shipped between U.S. ports must be transported on ships that are operated, owned, and built by citizens of the United States or permanent residents.
It’s also known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920.
The Act is considered protectionist legislation. It focuses on issues related to maritime commerce and cabotage, which is the transport of people or goods between ports in the same country.
The Jones Act specifically deals with seamen who become injured or die as a result of their work. Due to this, their right to compensation claims is an area about which a Maritime Lawyer needs to be specifically and acutely aware.
Since a marine lawyer is involved with marine operations on a larger scale and since this specialization unknown to many, it becomes important that a Maritime Lawyer allots proper consideration and care and consideration to every client, no matter their position or standing in the field.
In line with this, it provides additional rights to sailors, including the ability to seek damages from the crew, captain, or ship owner in the case of injury.
What Is a Maritime Lawyer?
Keep in mind that when you’re at sea, you’re subject to maritime or admiralty law. These are a collection of domestic and international laws that govern maritime conduct.
A Maritime Lawyer is someone who’s specialized in the field of law which specifically deals with the aspect of the marine industry. A Maritime Lawyer must be up-to-date on almost every detail relating to the oceans and what occurs at sea.
From compensation for seamen who’ve been injured to compensation for accidents involving colliding ships, Maritime lawyers are expected to have a grasp of the very specific and varied issues that may occur at sea.
In addition, a maritime lawyer’s job is to ensure you follow maritime laws and receive fair treatment during legal proceedings.
Keep in mind that the concept of Maritime Law has been around since the during which sea travel was the norm. In the 17th and the 18th century, sea travel was was of the only modes of transport available.
Of course, these days, modern maritime law must be much more complicated and encompassing than ever before. Today, various nation-states have passed various regulations and laws. For this reason, a Maritime lawyer must now be aware of every facet of marine law in every minor and major nation.
To learn more about Maritime lawyers, please keep reading.
Why Do We Need Maritime Lawyers?
It’s important to understand that the law for accidents on the water is very different than the law for accidents on land.
In contrast to land-based personal injury cases and wrongful death laws, the laws for passengers and recreational boaters injured or who lost their lives also differ. In addition, injuries from a maritime accident are, in many cases, more serious than those on land.
Furthermore, land-based employment has very different processes for obtaining workers’ compensation than for those working at sea.
It’s clear then that if you’ve sustained an injury or loss from an accident at sea, it’s important to consult a Maritime lawyer. They’re the only one who can offer you relevant, sound advice. Attorneys with general experience or little experience with Maritime law have no way of understanding the nuances and nuisances or Maritime law.
What this means is that they’ll be less equipped with options or defenses available to the responsible party. Of course, this puts you at a huge disadvantage when heading to trial or when negotiating a settlement.
When Do You Need a Maritime Lawyer?
Some common reasons you may need a maritime lawyer include the following:
- Your ship spills waste or another type of pollution in the water
- Your boat crashes into another boat
- Someone else crashes into your boat
- Your boat hits a dock
- Another boat damages your dock
You may also require a Maritime injury lawyer if you or someone else is injured in an accident on open waters.
An attorney Maritime is able to help you determine whether maritime law applies in your case. Remember that there’s the chance your legal issue may not fall under admiralty jurisdiction depending on where it occurred.
The way the incident impacted commercial activities on the water will also be taken into account when making the final call.
The Next Steps
It’s clear that doing your research when it comes to protecting your rights at sea is critical. The last thing you want is to be unprepared or unaware of your options, especially in the case of an accident or emergency.
After reading this article, you should be more aware of the role of Maritime lawyers and their importance in the field. The good news is that you’re now more prepared than you were before. Equipped with the right knowledge, you’re in a much better position to make the right decision about your legal representation.
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