Admiralty law is also referred to as maritime law and its roots reach back to recorded history when most of all commerce was conducted on the sea.
Generally speaking, it is a body of law governing maritime activities largely characterized by international law that has developed in recent decades to include multilateral treaties on navigable water – oceans, lakes, and rivers used for commercial transport.
Because Florida has hundreds of miles of coastline it has more maritime activity and registered recreational boats than any of the other 50 states. Our seaports have the most tonnage of cargo coming into this country and more cruise ship passengers launch from Florida than anywhere else. All sorts of vessels including pleasure boats and yachts, jet skis, cruise ships and shipping vessels travel on our territorial waters and fall under maritime or admiralty law.
Territorial waters are waters close to the land. Many use a guideline of three miles from the shore, but the boundaries are dynamic and in Florida, the territorial waters are determined by the Gulf Stream.
What is Duty of Care and Why Should Passengers Care?
No matter what type of vessel, the owner owes a duty of care to its passengers.
When someone is injured aboard a ship, the injured person may have an action for negligence if the operator failed to use reasonable care.
Under maritime law, a cruise ship operator’s negligence can cause injuries to passengers, sexual assaults, falls, and fires. A pleasure boat’s captain may be negligent if he pilots the boat while under the influence. A dock owner may be negligent if he does not have adequate lighting to avoid collisions with others on the navigable water.
Statute of Limitations and Filing a Lawsuit
Maritime and admiralty law can be even more complex when it involves the cruise industry. Because of the largess of that industry in Florida, it has changed the game for those wanting to file a lawsuit for negligence. Generally, the statute of limitations is three years but the cruise industry has tightened that deadline to one year. The contract is in the fine print on the back of your passenger ticket. The cruise industry also requires that personal injury lawsuits be brought in Seattle or Miami courts.
Maritime or admiralty law is a specialized area of the law that can be complex and requires knowledge of state, federal and international laws. That is why you need a law firm with a track record of successful claims to handle your maritime case.
Get Help from a Jacksonville Maritime Law Attorney Today by Calling 855-797-9899
Without a Florida maritime law firm on your side, you could be left with huge uncompensated medical bills and a lot of questions. Farah & Farah has the resources as well as the to help you achieve a dramatic difference in the outcome of any financial claim following an injury at sea.