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What Is a Maritime Attorney and Do You Need One?

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 lawyer ensures that you abide by maritime laws and get fair treatment in a legal proceeding.

What Specifically Does a Maritime Lawyer Do?

A maritime lawyer represents you if your boat crashes and causes damage or injury to someone. As the victim of such injury or property damage, you can count on this attorney too. They will represent you either in court or in negotiations for a settlement.

When Do You Need a Maritime Lawyer?

The following are common reasons you might need to enlist the help of a maritime attorney:

Your boat collides with another boat.

Your boat damages a dock.

Your dock is damaged by someone else’s boat.

Your ship spills waste on to the water or causes any other type of water pollution.

A crash injures you or you cause injury to someone else.

A lawyer will determine whether maritime law applies in your case or not. Your legal problem may or may not fall under admiralty jurisdiction, depending on where exactly the accident occurred and its effect on commercial activities on the water, if any.

How Much Do You Pay a Maritime Lawyer?

Maritime lawyers generally charge a per-hour rate for their services. 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 Lawyer?

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 victim, your attorney will do everything they can to win you the largest possible compensation or settlement.

The case can be kept out of court if you and the other party agree on who’s responsible. Otherwise, your case should be headed to court where a judge will decide which side is at fault.

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 friends and family members for referrals; if this isn’t possible, read client reviews online. Remember, not all of these lawyers are the same.

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