Understanding Maritime Law

Nautical matters such as shipping, transport, and all other activities carried out in water bodies are governed by maritime law. It is a collection of domestic and international regulations and treaties that govern sea use and behavior. It also relates to civil matters relating to owners of sea vessels, piracy and passenger issues, and cargo insurance.

The application of maritime law considers both public and private regulations that are in place. The private laws deal with shipping contracts, procedures, and other sea issues within a given region, while public law has to do with international regulations and covers many countries.

Principles Governing Maritime Law

Some different rules and regulations govern sea use. These are;

  • Passenger duties. A ship that offers transport services to customers has to provide a reasonable duty of care to the people on board. The shipowner is liable for any negligence claims that arise during sea travel.
  • Agreements and contracts. Various contractual agreements exist between investors in water bodies and their employees, which govern their rights, duties, and responsibilities. They include labor laws and disputes that may arise in the course of duty.
  • Lifesaving at sea. Seamen are obliged to do their best in their capacity to save lives in case of a sea accident. Despite the lack of legal rewards for saving lives, sea experts are expected to provide a hand in helping people.
  • Client duties. Shipowners are obliged to take care of their clients. When a shipowner is contracted to offer transport services, they are responsible for ensuring that the cargo is safeguarded until they reach their destination.

Why Hire a Maritime Lawyer

If you are involved in any issue relating to maritime law and suffer damages, a maritime lawyer can represent you in a court of law. The attorney will help you understand the laws that relate to your case and represent you in the settlement negotiations.

Some issues that need the intervention of a maritime legal expert are injuries in open water, sea pollution, boat accidents, and dock disputes. The attorney has the relevant knowledge, skills, and experience of the laws relating to water bodies and will guide you on the steps to take for successful maritime lawsuits.

The claims relating to maritime law include personal injury, wrongful death, and negligence. International law governs injuries and wrongful death involving passengers, seamen, and dockers. In the event of a sea accident, maintenance and duty of care rights are affected.

Sea cases involving negligence of the shipowner or employee are eligible for legal damages compensation. The damages include lost wages, loss of earning capacity, medical expenses, mental trauma, pain, and suffering. You need a maritime attorney to help you in the claim process. The attorney needs to provide evidence beyond reasonable doubt to prove that the injuries resulted from the negligence of a liable party. The case has to be filed with the appropriate court and the legal remedies determined.

Choosing a Maritime Lawyer

The choice of a maritime lawyer needs various considerations. Maritime law is complex; hence it will help to hire a legal expert who is tactful, firm, and resourceful. They should be well versed with the legal system and the issues that make sea cases difficult to win.

The attorney should have experience in getting the best results in maritime cases. The procedures and requirements vary with different juries and judges. You want to work with a legal expert who understands these issues to increase your chances of success.

A maritime lawyer prepares your case by gathering relevant evidence from various experts such as medical practitioners. With the help of other experts, the attorney takes the stand to argue and support your case. They need to gather all the witness statements and evidence, such as job descriptions, safety manuals, and accident reports that strengthen your case.