Maritime lawyers are those who represent clients in the event of boat accidents. If your boat is in an accident which causes damage or injury, or if you are injured in a boating accident, you’ll need a maritime lawyer. He or she can represent you in settlement negotiations or in court.
When to Call a New York Maritime Lawyer
You might need a maritime lawyer in the event:
- You have an accident and your boat hits another boat
- If another boat hits yours
- If you hit a dock with your boat
- If your boat dock is damaged by someone else’s watercraft
- If your boat spills any type of pollution into the water
- If you are injured in a boating accident
- If you injure someone else with your boat
If any of these apply, contact an attorney immediately. He or she will help you determine whether or not maritime law applies. Some issues are not under maritime law because of where they’ve occurred.
What a Maritime Lawyer Will Do for You
If your boat caused an accident—or damage to another boat, while you were on the water, a maritime may be able to assist you in when it comes to payment for damages or a settlement agreement.
On the other hand, a maritime lawyer can also help if you are the one who has been injured or if the damage incurred was not your fault. Your lawyer will help you get the best settlement possible.
If the case can be settled out of court, your lawyer can help negotiate a settlement.
Maritime lawyers are the best attorneys for these types of cases because they have specific knowledge and expertise in the field of maritime or admiralty law.
Admiralty law is a distinct body of law which governs activities and offenses that take place on navigable waters. This includes oceans, rivers, streams, and lakes. It also covers some activities that take place on land but are maritime in nature. Generally, federal courts have jurisdiction over maritime cases, but in some cases, like claims relating to personal injury, the claims can be brought to federal or state court.
Because maritime law is so complex, it is important to seek out a maritime lawyer if your issue involves the water.
Statutes of Limitation
It’s also important to note maritime law has its own specific set of statutes of limitations, so it’s important to contact a maritime attorney as soon as possible. For many maritime claims, the injured parties or their families have to file a formal lawsuit in the correct court within a three-year period; if not, the claim may be barred. However, in some wrongful death claims you must file within 18 months. If the case involves a cruise ship, the claim must be filed within six months.
If your case involves personal injury or wrongful death of a seaman, longshoreman or a passenger, note federal law governs these specific claims, and you will need a maritime lawyer, because land-based workers’ comp does not apply to work aboard ships.
If you believe you are in need of a New York maritime lawyer, contact the Jones Act and maritime lawyers at Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer, and Harris. We have over 25 years of experience, with a total of more than 100 years of trial experience for the team, and we can provide assistance to maritime, offshore and port workers anywhere in the US.