In Florida, boating is part of our culture. We are blessed with a variety of lakes, canals and waterways and of course, the Everglades and the ocean. Many people make a living from the sea, many more engage in recreational boating. Cruise ships use our ports for embarking and disembarking passengers. Cargo boats load in goods from all over the world. The ocean and waterways are part of what makes our leisure time so special, and what also brings global commerce to our doorstep.
Sometimes, however, it is not all fun and games or even business as usual. If there has been a maritime accident, such as a collision with another boat, or your boat has sunk, there are lots of questions to be answered. If you have been injured, either working as a sailor or as a passenger, rest assured there is compensation available – but you will need someone with expertise in Maritime Law to help you obtain it!
The evolution of Maritime Law is a fascinating study that spans the centuries. The recorded history of Maritime (or Admiralty) Law dates back to about 900 B.C. in the Mediterranean Sea. Because of all the early commerce in that area of the world, the necessity arose to develop a method to resolve disputes in situations that were inapplicable to the law on land. These laws have evolved, helped in large part to the Admiralty Law of the British Empire, to the maritime laws and treaties we have today.
There are many aspects to maritime law, from defining obligations to sailors and passengers to allowable liens and mortgages to salvage rules. Further complicating the picture is the fact that Maritime Law is a matrix of individual countries’ domestic laws, international laws and treaties. It takes someone highly trained and specializing in Maritime Law to sort out all the pieces of the puzzle.
For instance, if you are a seaman on a ship, and you have been injured, there are several possible theories of recovery – maintenance and cure, unseaworthiness of the vessel, or recovery under the Jones Act. Sometimes a claim under all three is advisable. If that is the situation, you have aspects of Maritime Law, strict liability and a workers’ compensation program, the interplay of which can be extremely complex. You need assistance from an attorney well versed in all three aspects of a case like this. The attorneys at Brill & Rinaldi, The Law Firm have the experience to successfully prosecute a case like this.
Whether you are a professional seaman, a crewmember of a boat, a passenger or a recreational boater, if you have been injured, or your property damaged while on the water, you need an attorney who has the experience and tenacity to obtain just compensation for you. Our free consultation can answer many of your questions, and put you on the path to compensation.