While you’re on open water, you're subject to maritime or admiralty law, a collection of domestic and international laws that govern maritime conduct. A maritime lawyer makes sure that you follow maritime laws and receive fair treatment during legal proceedings.

Get started Ask a Lawyer a Question You'll hear back in one business day.

What Does a Maritime Lawyer Do?

A maritime lawyer will represent you if your boat crashes, causes damage, or someone is injured. If you are the victim of any of these, a maritime lawyer can help you too. Your lawyer can represent you in settlement negotiations or in court.

When Do I Need a Maritime Lawyer?

Some common reasons you may need a maritime lawyer:
  • Your boat crashes into another boat
  • Someone else crashes into your boat
  • Your boat hits a dock
  • Someone else’s boat damages your dock
  • Your ship spills waste or another type of pollution in the water
  • You are injured or injure someone else in a crash on open waters
An attorney can help you determine if maritime law applies. Your legal issue may not be under admiralty jurisdiction depending on where it occurred and how it affected commercial activities on the water.

How Much Does a Maritime Lawyer Cost?

Maritime lawyers frequently charge an hourly rate for their services. Others charge on a contingency basis, meaning they’ll take a percentage of your winnings if you have a strong case and a good chance of winning. Establish a rate with your lawyer up front since rates vary based on where you live and how complex your case is.

What Should I Expect When Working with a Maritime Lawyer?

If you caused damage on the water, a maritime lawyer may be able to help you reduce your payments in damages or come to a settlement agreement more easily. If you’ve been injured or the damage was not your fault, an attorney will fight to win you the largest settlement possible.

It’s possible to keep the case out of court and simply negotiate a settlement if there’s agreement about who is at fault. If, however, you disagree about the person at fault, you’ll have to take your case to court and let the judge decide.

Maritime lawyers are the best resource for dealing with these cases because of the experience and knowledge they have surrounding the laws of the water.

Get started Ask a Lawyer a Question You'll hear back in one business day.

Get started Ask a Lawyer a Question You'll hear back in one business day.