Why and When Do You Need a Maritime Lawyer?
The services of maritime lawyers can be very crucial particularly for mariners or individuals employed in sea yards, oil firms and companies involved in nautical navigation. These workers are exposed to more risks and accidents. The problem arises if employers do not take responsibility for these misfortunes. When this happens, the employee is placed at a big disadvantage. The worker is the unfortunate victim and yet management refuses to answer for hospitalization expenses. Worse, companies may not even give benefits that the affected worker deserves. What must you do if you are in the shoes of this aggrieved worker?
Consult Competent Maritime Attorneys
Your initial move must be to get in touch with reputable maritime law firms. You can search online or consult relatives, colleagues or friends to obtain the best referrals. These legal experts can help you to obtain benefits that may be denied by business owners or other parties. These cases include injuries sustained while on duty and performing services for your company, loss of limbs, legs or eyesight, falling from a ship into the water, and death. Responsibilities of this lawyer start with research and preparation of claims, documentation and representation in lawsuits. However, you have to provide this lawyer with complete and accurate details of the incident. This will provide your legal attorney sufficient information and help you with this legal dispute.
In case you fail to reach an accord with the company or the insurance agent, your next move will be to take this case to court. Situations involving unpaid compensation, unjust refusal of maintenance and refusal by employers to provide hospitalization or medical treatment can be resolved through legal proceedings. While claims may be settled through direct conciliation with the business owner or adjuster, the procedure is quite arduous and wearisome. Certainly, you will need the money to pay for hospital bills and household expenses. You need someone to handle these concerns and facilitate processing of claims. This is when legal services will prove beneficial to your cause.
Capabilities of Marine Lawyers
Maritime regulations are very unique. Besides, these acts of legislation are relatively complicated. Nautical law also has distinct decrees when it comes to restrictions. Although federal tribunals of the United States maintain jurisdiction over cases in the marine industry, these courts do not possess exclusive authority over relevant litigation. Issues regarding injury claims, damages to cargo, vessel accidents and liability for maritime products can be referred to state courts. At the same time, the filing of maritime claims involves possible negligence of other parties. Given this complex scenario, the claimant will really need the assistance of marine lawyers.
Maritime Injury Matters
When it comes to maritime injuries, federal law regulates these petitions since compensation for land-based state workers are not applicable to workers in the marine industry. However, the reimbursement claims for state workers, particularly with regards to personal injuries, are similar. The so-called “Maintenance and Cure Rights” takes effect inevitably. This is the right granted to seafarers who sustain injuries or become ill while serving aboard a commercial vessel. It has been practiced by almost all countries for several centuries. For almost all of these claims, injured seamen and their next of kin should file formal complaints within the prescribed three-year period or the claim will be disqualified. Death claims against the government of the United States and private vessels with government contracts should be filed within one and a half years. On the other hand, grievances concerning cruise vessels call for the filing of written notices in six months and a lawsuit within one year. Failure to do may mean ineligibility of the victim’s petition. For these cases, the services of maritime attorneys become imperative.