Monday, October 8, 2012

What is Maritime or Admiralty Law?

What is Maritime Law or Admiralty Law?

Maritime Law or Admiralty Law

is a very distinctive body of law that covers anything that has to do with offenses and other problems that occur on practically any body of water. It covers anything that happens on lakes, rivers, streams and of course the ocean. 
what is admiralty law maritime law

Maritime law also covers other activities that take place along the shore of any body of water and are by their nature attached to the water, like unloading cargo ships or boarding and debarking a cruise ship.

One of the most complex of law systems,  deciphering the appropriate way to file a maritime case depends on many factors including where the event occurred, whether it involved negligence by the owner of the ship,  and other issues. 
Interestingly the US federal court system has jurisdiction over maritime cases but not exclusive jurisdiction. 
What this means is that some cases can be heard in state court and some need to be heard in federal court, all depending on exactly what the nature of the lawsuit happens to be.

Admiralty Law or Maritime Law: Law of the High Seas

When it comes to the statute of limitations on maritime cases there are also many differences that make maritime law different. For most claims the injured party must file their lawsuit within 3 years, which is standard. Other claims must be filed within 18 months including wrongful death suits. 
This also holds for US government ships and private ships that have US government contracts.
Cruise ship cases are even shorter, usually requiring that the plaintiff file a written notice within 6 months and the filing of their lawsuit within 1 year. 

There are quite a few cases stemming from cruise ship excursions that bring Admiralty or Maritime law into play, with sickness, delays, unsatisfactory treatment, even missing persons and wrongful death.

cruise ship lawyer maritime law

These claims are also seen in a court that is specifically designated for said lawsuits on every particular cruise ship line. (This is usually listed on the tickets.)

Maritime Law and Admiralty Law are often used interchangeably.

With all of those facts in mind it is a good idea to consult with a highly qualified maritime lawyer before you embark on any lawsuit. 

They will help protect your rights and make sure that you have the best chance of a positive outcome.