One of the best parts about living in beautiful Miami is its proximity to the coast. We’ve got year-round warm weather, so it’s beach season during every month, and boating is also always in season. Because there are such a large number of boats and other watercraft in and around Miami, a significant number of accidents occur on the water, giving rise to personal injury lawsuits.
But even though these accidents are unfortunately common in Miami, they create some of the most complicated lawsuits. That’s because when an accident occurs at sea, Florida law doesn’t apply. Instead, Federal maritime law applies to both the accident and the procedure of the lawsuit.
Thus, pursuing a maritime law claim requires a maritime lawyer in Miami with specific experience and knowledge of maritime law. As part of our maritime law practice, our team at Aigen Injury Law has significant experience representing accident victims in boating accidents and cruise ship accidents, in addition to all other cases involving maritime law.
What is Maritime Law and Why is It Important?
Maritime law, sometimes known as admiralty law, is a general body of Federal law that governs the seas and oceans surrounding the United States, as well as rivers in the country that flow through multiple states. It exists to ensure that a uniform set of laws and rules govern the ocean, as watercraft traveling up and down the coast could potentially move through several different state jurisdictions without a uniform code of laws.
In addition to American maritime law, there are also international maritime laws and common law that may govern cases which arise further off the US coast in international waters. In addition to determining what substantive law applies to a case, maritime law also sets forth specific procedures for pursuing compensation that differ greatly from ordinary personal injury lawsuits.
Examples of Maritime Law Cases
While maritime law can apply to any case that arises from an incident on water, it most commonly arises in the following circumstances:
- Injuries on board a cruise ship
- Injuries on board a yacht or pleasure boat
- Theft, assault, and other crime at sea
- Workers’ injuries on barges and workboats
- Boating accidents and collisions
- Scuba diving accidents and injuries
Maritime Lawsuit Procedures and Processes
As Miami maritime lawyers are well aware, maritime law provides a unique set of processes and procedures that are extremely different from regular personal injury lawsuits. When a person is injured or dies in a maritime accident, Federal laws apply that require strict compliance with procedures. One of those laws is the Death on the High Seas Act (“DOHSA”), codified at 46 U.S.C § 303, which requires that a wrongful death case be brought within a certain amount of time from the accident and only by the personal representative of the deceased victim’s estate.
The Federal Courts in Maritime Cases
Because maritime claims are handled in Federal court, the courts are often much more involved in the process than a state court would be. In some maritime cases, a Federal court may be required to approve a settlement or even oversee a settlement negotiation. In other words, little room for error exists when Federal courts are involved, and so you should ensure that your maritime law claim is handled by an attorney who knows how to deal with these claims.
How a Maritime Lawyer Can Assist You
Maritime law is not an area of the law that accident victims can trust any attorney with. In other words, without the help of a dedicated maritime lawyer, Miami accident victims are powerless to seek compensation for their injuries. A maritime lawyer can assist you in determining whether you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries, and then aggressively advocating for you and your family to the fullest extent possible.
Collecting Evidence and Documentation
But in addition to seeking compensation, a maritime lawyer can also assist you in dealing with some of the unique complexities that are involved in maritime cases. Because maritime accidents occur on watercraft that are continuously moving, it can be difficult for accident victims to collect evidence in support of their claim for compensation. A maritime lawyer can assist victims by tracking down the watercraft, its ownership, and any information that may be helpful in seeking compensation.
Dealing with Maritime Law Complexities
Additionally, maritime cases often involve complex issues of law that would not apply in other types of cases. In some maritime cases, international laws may apply. In other cases, contractual agreements between cruise ships and passengers may dictate where and how a lawsuit is filed. In many maritime lawsuits, determining where to file the lawsuit can be a difficult process, as that determination requires pinpointing where the vessel was located when an injury occurred. All in all, maritime law gives rise to complexities that you should only trust to be handled by an experienced personal injury lawyer with specific knowledge and experience of maritime law.
Get Help from a Miami Maritime Lawyer at Aigen Injury Law
Our Miami maritime lawyers have the specific experience and knowledge necessary to assist you and your family in a maritime law claim. Our law practice is dedicated entirely to personal injury law, and our clients are at the forefront of our practice. When you or a loved one are injured due to another person’s negligence, you deserve to receive compensation for your injuries – no matter what substantive law applies.
We approach maritime law cases in the same manner as other cases, and we’re not afraid to tackle complicated issues head on in our fierce advocacy of you and your interests.
Contact us today to set up a free, no-obligation consultation on your prospective maritime law injury claim.
This content has been reviewed and approved by lawyers at the Aigen Injury Law.