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Understanding the Value of Admiralty Law

Oct 9, 2007
In this day and age, Admiralty Law seems like a thing of the past to those who are not directly affected by its principles. Also known as maritime law, this principle governs everything from shipping to wharf operations to recreational rules and regulations. Without Admiralty Law, the waterways and oceans would become a place of pandemonium and "might makes right" seamanship. Obviously, these laws were put in place for a reason.

Despite the fact that many people of this day and age don't realize the implications of piracy on the waterways, especially international waterways. Piracy falls under the areas of inclusion where Admiralty Law is concerned. All too often those affected by piracy end up feeling powerless against their intruders and never really effectively deal with the impact of piracy.

While the movies may make piracy out to be a beatable force with a little determination and creativity, in reality, a man with a machine gun at your face isn't something that can be deterred by swinging ape like around on the boom. While most cases of piracy are never prosecuted, there are a few cases on the books that prove that a little evidence and a high quality maritime injury attorney can change the outlook of someone who has been abused by piracy.

Maritime law, or Admiralty Law also extends to disputes regarding recreational accidents. This mean when the uninsured yahoo who has had way too much to drink, anchors in forward, skips the backing down, and launches himself merrily into another beer shouldn't be surprised when the boats downwind of him rely on a maritime injury attorney to recoup the damages caused by his boat at three in the morning when the wind kicks up and he breaks free.

Of course, breaking free can happen to anyone, but anyone who has spent any time on the water knows that there are preventative measures and there are encouraging measures. Maritime injury lawyers are flooded with cases stemming around those who forgot to take their preventative measures.

Injury at sea is also included under Admiralty Law. This applies mostly to those who make their living on the water in one form or another, as well as to principles of safety involving merchant sea-persons and the U.S. Coast Guard. It also applies to the skipper who is taking an overloaded boat out for a day sail and for whatever reason drifts off into a day dream or takes his attention away from his responsibilities, backwinds the sail, and sends one of his crew members for the day careening into the waters, where if he's lucky enough to stay conscious he may only have a concussion to deal with.

Maritime injury lawyers usually do a reasonable consultation on these types of cases to determine fault, evidence, and if the case is tri-able in the long run. Injury at sea can be very serious and costly for both recreational boaters and those who earn their paycheck from the water. No injury at sea should go without a consultation by a maritime injury attorney.

Admiralty Law as it applies to the injury at sea goes hand in hand with the Jones Act. The Jones Act was determined to be the ruling government of issues relating to injuries that occur on the water or along the water's edge basically, that was a direct influence involving monetary gain. This means that dock workers, commercial fishermen, merchant sea-persons, and even barge construction crews all fall under the Jones Act protection laws.

If a worker is injured while earning a living at sea or a sea related activity, they really should immediately contact a maritime injury lawyer to determine if their case is relevant to the Jones Act. If it is, they should acquire specialized representation, as there are different rules and regulations regarding the Jones Act as it applies to injured workers when compared to regular worker's compensation. These differences are very important and they should be explained by a down to earth maritime injury lawyer.

Of course, there are thousands of situations that apply to the Jones Act and Admiralty Law. There simply isn't the capacity to cover them all in one article, or even a dozen for that matter. The bottom line is pretty simple, if it relates to an injury at sea or other damage caused by negligence or a preventable situation, the type of lawyer a person chooses does matter.

While a recreational sailor can hold a drunken anchoring job accountable for damages to his boat under either the Admiralty Law or through a regular attorney for negligent behavior. The laws and standards of proof are a bit different from each other and one should consider very carefully before deciding which way to go. Just because as a society we are more familiar with lawsuit derived from negligence claims doesn't mean that this is the better alternative.
About the Author
Nick Johnson is lead counsel with Johnson Law Group. Johnson represents plaintiffs in many states and focuses on cases involving maritime injury, maritime contracts, and the Jones Act Law. Call Nick Johnson at 1-888-311-5522 or visit http://www.johnsonlawgroup.com
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