If you’re on open water, you’re covered by maritime or admiralty law, a set of domestic and global laws governing maritime conduct. A maritime attorney’s job is to ensure that you comply with maritime laws and receive just treatment when going through a legal proceeding.
What Does a Maritime Lawyer Do in Particular?
A maritime lawyer represents you if your boat crashes and causes damage or injury to someone. This attorney can also help you as the victim. They will represent you in court or in an out-of-court settlement negotiation.
When Do You Hire a Maritime Lawyer?
The following are common reasons you might need to enlist the help of a maritime attorney:
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.
An attorney will assess whether or not your incident is covered by maritime law. 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 Will a Maritime Lawyer Cost?
Maritime attorneys usually charge on a per-hour basis. On the other hand, some are paid on contingency, which means you will be paying the attorney a portion of your compensation or settlement should your case turn out 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 Attorney?
If you’re the party at fault for damages or injuries following an accident on water, a maritime attorney can help bring down your payments or settle with the victim with less or no complications. 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 should take your case to court and let the judge decide who should be held accountable.
Maritime lawyers are your best resource for cases like these as they possess in-depth knowledge and experience with issues involving laws of the water. If you need one, take your time searching for good candidates and learning more about their professional history. Ask for personal recommendations if possible; if not, read online reviews. Keep in mind that these lawyers are not all the same.