What is Admiralty Law?
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of John H. (Jack) Hickey with Hickey Law Firm.
Maritime law, also known as admiralty law, refers to the body of law that governs most legal issues relating to marine casualties on navigable waters or vessels in navigation. Navigable waters under this definition of admiralty law are defined as waters that are used for either foreign or interstate commerce within the United States: for example, large rivers like the Mississippi River, or the Great Lakes.
What kinds of cases would fall under this body of law? A maritime lawyer’s work might involve:
- Damaged commercial ships or cargo
- Injury to maritime workers
- Hazardous material spills
- Piracy or other illegal activities
- Liens on vessels
- Contracts relating to maritime activities
Many people go their entire lives without ever being involved in an incident that might require the services of a maritime lawyer. So, if you do find yourself in such a position, you may feel overwhelmed. After all, it is a complex and niche field of law. That is why it is important to speak to an experienced admiralty law attorney as soon as you are able.
Maritime cases are federal; speak to a maritime attorney today.
Article III, Section 2 of the United States Constitution grants jurisdiction over maritime cases to the federal court system. This is because maritime law by nature involves regulation of commerce between states or with foreign countries. As such, there are many factors and parties at play during any accident at sea, and dozens of conventions to consider.
If you believe that your claim should be filed under maritime law jurisdiction, you should contact a qualified maritime attorney immediately. There are time limitations in these cases to consider, and you need someone who is prepared to help you the moment you reach out. A maritime lawyer can ensure that your claim is processed in a correct, timely manner and that you receive the best possible representation for your claim.