Maritime Accident Lawyers
Maritime accident lawyers focus on practicing law that covers issues that occur on the water. This includes open waters of the ocean and coast, as well as navigable freshwater, such as rivers and lakes. Maritime law refers to the regulations and laws, as well as treaties and international agreements that pertain to incidents occurring on or in the water. In addition, the lawyers can often work on cases that include loading and unloading of ships, even though it takes place on land.
Maritime law, or admiralty law, can be difficult and confusing for those who are not experts in this particular field. Generally, the federal courts will have jurisdiction in maritime cases. However, that does not mean that they have exclusive jurisdiction. For example, cases that feature claims for boating accidents, damage to cargo, personal injury, and maritime products liability can be brought to federal courts or to the state courts. Maritime accident lawyers have to approach each case differently to determine the best way to proceed.
Because this is a very different area of the law, there are different statutes of limitations. Those who have suffered some type of issue relating to maritime law probably have no idea of what these limitations are, and they can vary by the type of case. It’s best to work with an attorney who can let you know how much time you have to file. If you’ve suffered any type of injury or loss in the maritime field, then you can’t delay getting in touch with an attorney just so you can make sure that you are still within the window of the statute of limitations.
Common Types of Maritime Injury Claims
A number of cases that fall into maritime law include injuries and wrongful death to those who work on the ships as well as to passengers. In these cases, federal law will govern the claims. Maintenance and cure rights ensure that the workers get the medical care and compensation they need for recovery. These types of cases do not involve negligence on the part of anyone else, and are by all accounts accidents.
However, there are a number of cases that actually do involve negligent parties. It could be a negligent ship owner, a negligent employee or coworker, or a vessel that is not seaworthy. Claims that are in this category fall under the Jones Act, and it has the potential to provide high damage awards. Some of the types of damages that could fall under this category include medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, mental anguish, lost earning capacity, and disfigurement.
In order to receive compensation under the Jones Act, it must be possible to prove that the injuries were the result of an employer or coworker who was negligent. You also need to file the case within the statute of limitations and know your status as a worker when the injury occurred.
What Should You Do?
If you’ve been injured and you feel that you have a case that fits into the field of maritime law, then you need to have some help from the professionals. This area of the law, as mentioned earlier, is rather complex. It takes a specialist who has experience in the field to ensure that you take the proper actions at the right time. A maritime accident lawyer will ensure that you don’t settle for a small sum offered up by an insurance company when you deserve so much more. If you want to improve the chances of a good outcome for your case, you need to work with a highly qualified lawyer in Houston.