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Fort Lauderdale Maritime Lawyers & Maritime Law

The personal injury experts at The Injury Firm are experienced Fort Lauderdale maritime lawyers…but what does this mean? It’s something you’ll see frequently regarding boating accidents, but not too many people question the meaning of this phrase. Also, is it the same as admiralty law? We’re going to answer some of the most common questions in this niche today!

What is maritime law?

Maritime law is a section of the law that covers activity on the water - if an accident occurs on the water, you’ll normally find something about it in maritime law. The word ‘maritime’ itself means something connected to the sea. Therefore, maritime law contains all regulations and restrictions for sea activity.

In Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the United States, and right across the whole world, maritime law is essential for commercial, tourism, and lots of other areas. Without maritime law, the water would be a lawless place with constant collisions and other incidents.

What is maritime law? Rules that govern the waters in a particular area. Maritime law often covers cruise ship accidents and injuries, maritime insurance claims, seaman injuries, longshoreman injuries, vessel arrests, cargo damage, harbor worker injuries, and more.

Read More: An Introduction to Maritime Law

What is the difference between admiralty and maritime law?

Next, it’s time to clear up some confusion because we’re almost certain that some readers will be thinking about admiralty law. When researching this niche, you’ll find people referring to maritime law, admiralty law, and (just to keep things even more confusing) maritime admiralty law.

Traditionally, admiralty law goes right back to England many centuries ago when admiralty courts would hear cases relating to the seas. When cargo spoiled or disappeared, the relevant parties would come together and proceed with a court case. For example, a customer and ship owner would argue when goods went missing.

On the other hand, maritime law traditionally referred to claims that involved hazards on the water. For instance, this would include people who were injured while working on a vessel. Eventually, however, admiralty law expanded and included all the areas that were originally dealt with by maritime law - workers’ rights, maritime injuries, and similar cases.

As each expanded into the other’s realms, the lines were suddenly blurred. In the modern-day United States, the terms are now used interchangeably and there aren’t many differences between the two. This is why you will see the following phrases used when reading about the topic:

  • Maritime law
  • Admiralty law
  • Maritime admiralty law

Is America under maritime law?

Originally, maritime law in the United States covered all water within the tide. Now, maritime law encompasses all United States water navigable around the country for both foreign and interstate commerce.

These days, most developed nations have a separate code for maritime law, and this is why much confusion arises around the topic. However, although separate rules exist in individual locations, various countries around the world have also signed up to an international code governed by the United Nations and the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

What is international maritime law?

As well as offering local laws to individuals and companies around the country, the United States is also one of 174 countries that adhere to a set of conventions created by the IMO. For all the countries that have signed the treaty, they can enforce the rules using coast guards and navies. Maritime law governs civil disputes, insurance claims with cargo and ships, and other matters of passengers, seaman, and even piracy.

What’s more, this maritime law also covers licensing, registration, and inspection for all ships. Consequently, all major ships traveling around the world are registered and authority figures can monitor their movements across international waters. The conventions from the IMO cover everything you can think of from maritime insurance to the carriage of passengers and goods. If you’ve ever been on a cruise, the ship and company itself will have adhered to IMO regulations and international maritime law.

If you’ve suffered a personal injury, we recommend an offshore injury lawyer to help your claim. The Injury Firm is experienced in admiralty maritime law and knows how to assist your case, regardless of its nature.

While you might think that maritime law is new, the original IMO actually formed in the 1940s and went by the name ‘Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization’. Around ten years later, the first set of laws came into force. As well as applying the law whenever required, the IMO continually updates the conventions and ensures that they still apply to all those on the water. When necessary, the IMO signs new agreements and keeps the safety of all waterway users in mind.

When people ask about international maritime law, they’re normally referring to the set of conventions applied by the IMO. With dozens of conventions, all aspects of maritime transport and commerce are covered. Although many conventions exist, three of the largest are as follows:

  • The International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships
  • The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea
  • The International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping for Seafarers

If you want to look through all the rest of the conventions, the IMO has an exhaustive list on its website. Thankfully, The Injury Firm is one step ahead and knows how to help clients with maritime law.

Looking at the examples above, the first is growing in prominence as the topic of global warming and pollution enters conversations for governments and bodies all over the world. These days, more companies are attempting to reduce pollution to help the planet. On the other hand, the second convention aims to protect all those who go out to sea.

Although the IMO introduces many different conventions, it’s up to the governments of the member states to implement them effectively. The government has a list of all registered ships, and it needs to ensure that all these ships follow the convention accordingly. If the conventions aren’t met, the local government then needs to set appropriate penalties.

Depending on the circumstances, ships are inspected to ensure that they meet the requirements and standards. If they do, the ship will be awarded a certificate to carry for all future checks.

Another important point with international maritime law is registration - what nationality is a ship? Although this might sound simple and obvious, nationality is very important. In the vast majority of cases, the nationality of the ship is based on where it is registered (this is normally also where the business is owned and operated).

Of course, businesses often look for loopholes to enjoy various benefits, and the same is true with ship registration. For example, they will look for countries that offer foreign registration. Why? Because the local laws are often lenient, and it also helps tax planning. These countries are called ‘flags of convenience’ and Bermuda and Panama are two common examples.


The Injury Firm as Fort Lauderdale Maritime Lawyers

What is maritime law? Well, we’ve answered this question in detail in this article (as well as many other common questions!). With this, all that’s left is to offer advanced personal injury services for those who have been involved in a maritime incident. If you’ve been injured in South Florida or another location, you need an offshore injury lawyer to bring your case to fruition.

As an example, we’ve helped many maritime employees who have been injured while on the job. In truth, maritime workers have similar jobs to land workers, but the nature of the job makes it inherently more dangerous. The maritime laws exist to protect you, so why not put them to good use after experiencing a personal injury?

Depending on the incident and injury, The Injury Firm will explore your options from a legal perspective. Whether you were injured while on a cruise or working for a maritime company, we have the expertise, knowledge, and passion to help you obtain compensation. Due to the statute of limitations in Florida, you need to contact our friendly team as soon as possible.

As well as avoiding the statute of limitations, reaching out early also means that our team can gather evidence while it’s still available. If negligence was involved in your maritime legal case, you could be entitled to compensation to cover damages. For example, these damages could include medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.

Often, victims in this situation will accept a quick settlement. Although insurance companies and employers can be convincing, the very fact that they’re offering a quick settlement probably means that you’re entitled to more. Before signing your rights away, contact The Injury Firm and we’ll protect your legal rights while offering advice.

We’ll lead your legal case while you focus on recovery, call us today for a free case consultation as your Fort Lauderdale maritime lawyers!

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