Maritime law covers a wide range of activities on the ocean and sea. There are two primary regimes in force today: international and national. International conventions regulate a large area of the sea and have led to substantial reductions in the area that is not under the authority of coastal states. A coastal state may also be required to abide by the laws of its own country, particularly when engaging in a commercial activity on its territory.
While the federal courts have jurisdiction over most maritime cases, there are some exceptions. For example, a state court may hear a maritime case if the plaintiffs are based in a different state than the defendant. However, a federal court can decide some maritime cases, such as a petition to limit a shipowner’s liability to the value of the ship, and may arrest a ship in order to enforce maritime liens.
In some cases, a maritime accident can result in serious injury or death, or the loss of a loved one. In such cases, the victim may be able to collect compensation from the owners of the vessel to cover medical costs, pain and suffering, and lost earnings. An experienced maritime law attorney can help you pursue these claims, and handle cases in Florida, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, and the Gulf Coast.
Maritime law is a complex field, which deals with a variety of factual scenarios. For instance, it may apply to piracy, criminal activities, salvage, towage contracts, insurance issues, and even a ship’s salvage value.