Time you spend on open waters subjects you to maritime or admiralty law, a collection of local as well as international laws that cover maritime conduct. A maritime lawyer ensures that you abide by maritime laws and get fair treatment in a legal proceeding.
What Does a Maritime Lawyer Do in Particular?
A maritime lawyer will represent you in the event that your boat crashes and brings injury or damage. If you are the victim of such injury or property damage, this attorney can help you as well. They will represent you in court or in an out-of-court settlement negotiation.
When Do You Hire a Maritime Lawyer?
Below are some common scenarios that give rise to a need for a maritime lawyer:
Your boat rams into another boat or vice-versa.
Your boat crashes against a dock.
Someone else’s boat hits your dock.
Your ship causes some type of water pollution.
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 or may not come under admiralty jurisdiction, depending on where the incident happened and its impact, if any, on commercial activities on the water.
How Much Is a Maritime Lawyer’s Fees?
Maritime attorneys usually charge on a per-hour basis. On the other hand, some will collect fees on contingency, meaning, if your case succeeds, the lawyer will be paid a percentage of your reward or settlement. In any case, how much you pay a maritime lawyer will vary by state and by the level of difficulty of your case.
What Must You Expect from Your Maritime Lawyer?
If you’re at fault for injuries or damages after an accident on water, a maritime lawyer can help lower your payments or to reach a settlement with the victim. If you’re the aggrieved party, your lawyer will strive to win you the biggest possible compensation or settlement.
The case can be settled out-of-court if all parties involved in the accident agree on who’s at fault. Otherwise, you need to bring your case to court and have a judge make the decision as to who is accountable.
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. Ask for personal recommendations if possible; if not, read online reviews. Take note, not all of these lawyers are created equal.