Maritime law, also known as admiralty law, is the body of laws governing disputes that occur on navigable waters. It is a complex medley of international treaties, ancient legal theories, and modern statutes. It governs shipping and navigation, and increasingly, it governs recreational boating. Listed below are some key examples of maritime law. If you have a question about a legal issue that affects shipping, contact a maritime lawyer.
Maritime law applies when a passenger on a vessel sustains an injury or death while on board. An injured passenger can use maritime law to prove that they suffered the injury as a result of the ship owner’s negligence. There are specific time frames for filing a claim, but a three-year statute of limitations can be dramatically shortened by the fine print in a passenger ticket. If you have been injured or died aboard a vessel, you can take your case to federal court for compensation.
The Law of the Sea is a multi-nation system that prohibits piracy and illegal fishing, and protects the environment. Although the U.S. Coast Guard enforces maritime law in U.S. waters, it does not apply to vessels operating outside of the United States. Additionally, a ship’s registration should be considered. If the ship is registered in another country, it is subject to another country’s maritime law.