Knowledge of the law is one of the most difficult things to comprehend, and lawyers spend years in school to have the ability to practice law. There are many kinds of lawyers that specialize in different areas, such as criminal lawyers, contract lawyers, or family lawyers. Today, however, maritime lawyers will be the main focus. Whether you’re injured on the job or get in an accident offshore, a maritime lawyer has got you covered.
What is Maritime Law?
Maritime Law refers to the laws governing the issues covering all activity at sea or navigable bodies of water. Things can get quite complicated when it comes to understanding maritime law because the laws are different from the ones on land. It also includes U.S laws or international laws depending on your location, so it’s important to know the waters your in so you can know what laws are applicable to you. If your work pertains to a body of water, you should employ the services of a maritime lawyer. These laws cover any injury, contracts, or general offenses taken place in a navigable body of water.
The Jones Act
The Jones Act, which was set in place by the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, is the governing act that oversees the shipment of goods within the United States. In short, the act makes certain employers take full responsibility for any of their employees while on the job at sea. These employees are then entitled under the Jones Act to pain and suffering pay and, in addition to this, any income they may have lost due to their injury. This is much like workers’ compensation, except these tend to be more costly due to the higher risk of the job.
The Jones Act covers all seaman injured during their line of work. To meet the qualifications of a seaman, you have to spend 30% of the time boarded on a navigating vessel.
Who is a Maritime Lawyer?
The job of a maritime lawyer is a very challenging one because it requires them to be knowledgeable about the various maritime laws of states within the U.S as well as international laws. Anything from an injury to legal battles requires the services of a maritime lawyer to help in these situations. There are hundreds of countries around the world that have different marine laws, and believe it or not, a marine lawyer needs to know the laws of all these countries because their clients may travel through international waters, and anything can go wrong. As you see, their job means knowing everything maritime-related, because the ocean is a big, dangerous place.
The day of a maritime lawyer consists of research, overviewing contracts, and advising clients. This is just a small sample of the work they do, and as you may have observed, their day is extremely hectic. For all the good work they do, a maritime lawyer can expect an annual salary of $118,000.
In conclusion, maritime law is legally challenging and stressful. Maritime lawyers, the people who specialize in maritime law, are responsible for handling all legal matters regarding navigable waters. Even if their client is based in Miami, Fl, and has an accident in the Bahamas, they have to understand the laws of that country and how to proceed. This means endless hours of research, sleepless nights, and of course, paperwork. At the end of the day, if you work on water, it’s best to have a maritime lawyer for any legal trouble you may run into.