Whenever you’re on open water, you’re governed by maritime or admiralty law, which is actually a collection of several local and global laws that govern maritime conduct. The job of a maritime lawyer is to make sure that you follow maritime laws and are fairly treated during legal proceedings.
What Types of Cases Does a Maritime Lawyer Handle?
A maritime lawyer represents you if your boat crashes and causes damage or injury to someone. If you are the victim of such injury or property damage, this attorney can help you as well. They will represent you either in court or in negotiations for a settlement.
When Should You Hire a Maritime Lawyer?
Below are some common scenarios that give rise to a need for a maritime lawyer:
Your boat crashes into another boat or vice-versa.
Your boat damages a dock.
Your dock is hit by another boat.
Your ship contaminates the water with waste or any other pollutant.
You are injured or you have caused injury to another party during a crash.
A lawyer will determine whether maritime law applies in your case or not. Your legal situation may be covered by admiralty jurisdiction depending on two key factors: where exactly it happened and how it changed – if it did – commercial activities on the water.
How Much Will a Maritime Lawyer Cost?
Maritime lawyers generally charge a per-hour rate for their services. On the other hand, some lawyers may charge on a contingency basis, which means you only pay them a percentage of your reward or settlement if your case is successful. In any case, what you pay a maritime lawyer will depend on where you live and how complicated your situation is.
What Should You Expect from Your Maritime Lawyer?
If you are responsible for damages or injuries after an accident on water, a maritime lawyer can help minimize your payments or strike an out-of-court settlement with the other party. If you’re the victim, your lawyer will fight to get you the biggest compensation or settlement possible.
The case can be kept out of court if you and the other party agree on who’s responsible. Otherwise, your case should be headed to court where a judge will decide which side is at fault.
Maritime attorneys are the best people to help with these cases, considering they are widely experienced and highly knowledgeable of the laws that govern the water. If you think you need one, spend time looking for candidates and researching their professional background and history. Check with family members and friends for referrals; if you can’t get any, read reviews posted by clients online. Keep in mind that these lawyers are not all the same.