Most of the waterways in the United States have significant potential for commercial transport. In fact, inland waterways are essential to the efficient worldwide transport of goods. International trade and energy consultant Joseph Linck emphasized the country’s excellent networks of waterways. Additionally, the waterway system of the US comprises coastal channels, which are approximately 13 000 miles and inland waters of 12 000 miles. Also, it has at least 360 commercial ports and 237 dams and lock chambers.
With these numbers, utilizing the waterway is an excellent solution to the shortage of US truck drivers. A single barge can take approximately seventy trucks off the road and move freight for a lower cost. However, as ships continue to increase in number, effects such as current, banks, and shallow waters. Sea obstacles require higher demands from the ship’s maneuverability and navigation skills, but there will be instances when situations can bring more challenges, difficulty, and worse accidents. In these cases, one might need to seek legal help.
What does a maritime lawyer do?
Maritime lawyers represent someone in times when a boat or ship crashes, causes any damage, or someone gets injured. Suppose you are someone who encountered an accident at sea; maritime lawyers can help you. Furthermore, they can represent you in negotiations of settlements or even in court. It might depend on the situation, but in most cases, maritime lawyers can help lower the payments in damages. Also, they can assist in coming up with a settlement agreement efficiently.
In what situations can a maritime lawyer be of help?
In general, maritime lawyers dedicate themselves to handling maritime matters. Since these matters must be uniform in federal and state courts, a maritime attorney will handle cases in vast geographic areas. Additionally, maritime law is enormous, and attorneys develop various niches within their field.
Crew member injury claims
Minor or significant accidents at sea might cause injuries. Crew members must know that they are subject to the Jones Act, which entitles the crew to a safe workplace. Suppose the employer is negligent, which led to crew members’ injuries; a Jones Act lawyer can help them sue their employer for damages. In other cases, crew members can also file a claim against the vessel’s owners that contributed to the injuries. They call it the “doctrine of unseaworthiness”, which requires the owner to provide a crew and a ship capable of performing its common purpose.
Additionally, crew members injured at sea while in service have “maintenance and cure.” The maintenance will be a daily stipend for the crew members’ living expenses. Meanwhile, the cure takes care of medical bill payments associated with the illness or injury.
Vessel passenger injury claims
Injured passengers do not have the privilege of filing the claims above, similar to crewmembers. Instead, they can file a claim under the general maritime negligence law. Vessel owners are responsible for ensuring the passengers’ welfare. Suppose they breach that responsibility which results in injuries to passengers, insurance companies or courts can find the owner liable.
Stevedore, Longshoreman, and Harbor Worker injury claims
Congress created and passed the LHWCA or the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensations Act, managed by the county’s Department of Labor. Workers under the LHWCA can sue a negligent third party, like vessel owners, in case of work-related accidents and injuries.
Cargo damage claims
The COGSA or Carriage of Goods by Sea Act regulates the responsibilities and rights of cargo and vessel owners. The Act applies to cargo shipments to and from the United States.
Why would you hire a maritime injury lawyer?
Maritime law is probably one of the more complex areas of law. Lawyers that do not have enough experience and knowledge in handling such legal situations should be avoided. Experienced maritime lawyers have dealt with hundreds of past cases, and they already know the strategies to use to get the desired outcome. One particular aspect of their expertise that stands out is evidence gathering. In some cases, evidence can be difficult to collate as incidents usually happen on the water, and some pieces of evidence are lost to the ocean.
Besides being complex, maritime law can sometimes be confusing. There are various treaties, laws, and conventions regarding water-related incidents. Consequently, getting lost in all the terms and conditions in maritime cases is easy. However, a maritime attorney simplifies communication, including the jargon of naval laws. Additionally, these lawyers take their time to ensure that clients understand the different aspects of their claims.
Finally, lawyers will always fight for their client’s claims. They will secure the compensation deserved by their clients. It is not about settlement agreements, as maritime claims can lead to severe court battles. Also, they will fight for the maximum compensation, not wanting their clients to go home having more diminutive than they deserve.
Why trust O’Bryan Maritime Lawyers?
As you may already know, maritime cases can be overwhelming, especially if they lead to intense court battles. We, at O’Bryan, value every client and ensure to provide only the best options and services. Accidents on sea leading to injuries can already be traumatizing for many. We guarantee to cover all the legal processes to ease the burden on our clients. This includes gathering evidence, negotiations with other parties, and more.
More importantly, we are a team of experienced and competent lawyers who have been and won in court battles several times. Regardless of the severity of the accidents and injuries and the type of claim, O’Bryan maritime lawyers surely know how to navigate the complex proceedings. All to give our clients the best possible compensation they deserve. Before filing for the specific claim, we can discuss it further with clients so they know their options for their claims.
Suppose you are one of those who need our help; you can fill out a short form from our website. A moment after that, we can schedule a free consultation to discuss more of your situation and the best possible options you can have.