5 Issues That Require the Help Of a Maritime Lawyer

Most people have heard of criminal, divorce, and personal injury law, but many have never heard of maritime law. According to the Lawyer Portal, maritime law governs matters on open water, where state or country laws have no jurisdiction.

If you were a victim on the open water, you should hire a maritime lawyer. There are several situations where your best option is to hire a professional in maritime law.

Lost Or Damaged Cargo

Many businesses use the open sea to transport cargo, and in addition, many people receive goods transported on a cargo ship. According to the Greek Reporter, between 2017 and 2019, an average of 779 shipping containers were lost at sea during each of these years. If your cargo is never delivered or is damaged when it arrives, you are not at fault; therefore, you deserve to be compensated.

The best way to ensure you won’t be on the hook for the cost is to hire a maritime lawyer. A professional in maritime law will know who to go after for payment, and they can help if the responsible party refuses to pay.

Injuries or Crime On a Cruise Ship

The Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act was passed to help victims of crime or injury on a cruise ship. Injuries and crimes on the open water were once confusing because there was no state or country to appeal to; therefore, the passing of this act was essential.

If you are injured on the ship due to poor maintenance or are a victim of a crime or assault, you will need a maritime lawyer on your side to ensure the responsible party is held liable. In addition, the lawyer can help you get the compensation you deserve. Without a lawyer, it’s your word against the cruise line or the person who committed a crime against you; therefore, it is essential to hire a lawyer.

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Protects Your Rights As a Crew Member

If you work on a ship on the open water, you don’t have the same rights as those who work on land. However, you have rights, and a maritime lawyer can protect them. For example, if you are injured on the job due to unsafe working conditions, you deserve to be compensated for your medical care and lost wages. A maritime lawyer can help you file a claim if you aren’t. In addition, if you feel you are being exploited while on the ship, a maritime lawyer can help with this as well.

Most people don’t understand maritime law; therefore, it is best to hire a lawyer if you feel as though your rights are being violated.

Petitory and Possessory Suits

Some people own large vessels for their business and some for recreation. Whatever you use your vessel for, if ownership comes into question, it can be a frustrating and confusing issue. If someone comes forward claiming ownership of your vessel, the case would go to the admiralty court, and the vessel will be in the court’s possession until the case is heard. The best way to ensure you will be named the true owner of the vessel is by hiring a maritime lawyer.

Your lawyer will find the evidence necessary to prove the vessel belongs to you, and will defend you in court. The sooner you hire a lawyer, the better your chances are of resolving the problem as quickly as possible, allowing you to reclaim your vessel from the court.

Towing Issues

Towing a vehicle or a boat on the open water is a lot different than towing on the road. There are more risks involved with towing on the open water; therefore, a written contract is necessary. Before your boat or vehicle is towed, you will need a contract to assign payment, liability, and other issues that can occur. If you have never signed this type of agreement, it is best to have a maritime lawyer look over the contract to ensure it is fair. Boats and vehicles are expensive; therefore, it is best to be sure the contract you sign is fair for both parties.

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If something does happen and the towing company breaches the contract, you will need a lawyer on your side fighting for your rights. If you find yourself in any of the situations listed above, it is best to hire a maritime lawyer right away to get things straightened out quickly and ensure your rights are protected.

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