205 W. Davie Blvd. Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33315 - Call Us: 954-775-2301 david@irwinlegal.com

205 W. Davie Blvd. Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33315 - Call Us: 954-775-2301 - Email Us: david@irwinlegal.com

Have You Heard Of Maritime Law?

Also commonly referred to as admiralty law, maritime law is constituted of the statutes and case precedents that govern legal disputes that originate on navigable waters. Navigable waters include all bodies of water that are able to be used for interstate or foreign commerce. This means that a large river that flows into the ocean or crosses state lines would lie within maritime jurisdiction. A lake that lies totally within a single state would not lie under maritime jurisdiction.

Maritime law is an area of the law that handles a variety of factual scenarios. Some examples include commercial accidents which result in damage to vessels and cargo, seamen injuries, and spills of hazardous materials. Maritime law may also apply to criminal activity and piracy, liens against a ship, wake damage, and towage contracts. In an increasing amount of cases, moreover, jurisdiction has been upheld in recreational boating accidents that occur on navigable waters.

As pursuant to Article III, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution, the cases which maritime law apply to are heard in federal court. A plaintiff may also elect to file suit in state court as pursuant to 28 USC §1333, but federal law will still be applied. Congress enact maritime laws in accordance with its constitutional authority to regulate commerce with foreign countries and also between the states.

Welcome to Irwin Law Firm

As a native of South Florida, David E. Irwin, Esq. has been working in the local marine industry for more than two decades. Practicing litigation in commercial and personal injury cases, David is also a transactional attorney with expertise in drafting contracts and agreements.

David earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from Florida State University, and graduated cum laude from Nova Southeastern University’s Shepard Broad Law Center.

David is a member of the Florida Bar and holds admission to practice law in Florida State Courts, along with the Southern, Middle, and Northern Districts of the United States District Courts of Florida. As a resident of Broward County, David is known for his active involvement in many community and charitable organizations. He holds memberships at the Fort Lauderdale Mariners Club, the Broward County Bar Association, and the International Yacht Brokers Association.

David believes in seeking justice for the Florida community through his expertise in maritime law, and has been repeatedly chosen as the “Best Lawyer” in his field not just once but five times from 2012-2017.

Irwin Law Firm was founded on a dedication to help clients get the compensation that they deserve under maritime law. If you are seeking legal counsel in the realm of maritime law, it is essential to seek experienced legal counsel in order to receive your full compensation. Call Irwin Law Firm today for your initial consultation to find out more.

Contact An Experienced Maritime Attorney in Miami

Areas of Practice

Admiralty and Maritime Law • Cruise Ship Accidents • Commercial Litigation • Transactional Law – Buying and Selling • Contract for the Construction of Vessel • Yacht Transactions – Foreign & Domestic Ownership • Personal Injury Litigation • Jones Act • General Contract Drafting • Opinion Letters for Banks • Civil Appeals • Civil Litigation Defense

The shipping of cargo is typically the primary activity which is conducted in the open ocean. After an accident occurs, litigation can arise over who is responsible for the lost or damaged cargo. When American law applies to certain cases of foreign trade, the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act (COGSA) comes into play. This law plays a role in every bill of lading and limits a ship owner’s liability to $500 per container, as long as the ship was in proper condition before it departed.

Admiralty law also deals with disputes which concern salvage awards. Such cases consist of vessels of other property that have been saved from peril, or have been recovered from the bottom of the ocean. The rescuer is entitled by law to a reward for taking the risks necessary to conduct the salvage. The size of the reward may be ultimately computed by contract. In some cases, courts will decide based on factors like the value of the property and the degree of risk which is involved.

Federal maritime law consists of a combination of modern legislation, centuries-old doctrines, international treaties, private contracts, and more into one set of interdependent legal rules. The majority of personal injury lawyers even in coastal cities are not proficient in admiralty law, and will not accept these cases. If you are involved in a case that is affected by this area of the law, you should seek legal counsel from a maritime lawyer.

Compensation For Injured Passengers and Seamen

Here at Irwin Law Firm, we are dedicated to getting you the compensation if you are the victim of a personal injury at sea. If you are involved in a personal injury case that is under the jurisdiction of maritime law, there are unique issues which will be raised which need to be addressed by an experienced attorney who specializes in such matters. The legal rights of passengers who are injured by the negligence of a cruise line, for example, will be cut down by the terms of their tickets. In the majority of cases this results in the time limit for filing suit being one year rather than three, and may require notice in as little as six months. Without legal counsel, it can be nearly impossible to navigate such situations.

There is also the situation of sailors who get injured on the job. For such cases, recovering compensation under maritime law can be even more convoluted. Federal legislation known as the Jones Act (found at 46 USC §883) defines the rights of injury victims who qualify as “seamen.” A seaman is defined as a male or female crew member whose service meets certain requirements under the act. This definition alone may require consultation with legal counsel to determine whether or not the party involved fits the definition of “seamen.”

If the Jones Act is applicable, then the injured crew member may be entitled to a jury trial and other protections much like those afforded to injured railroad workers. The point of this legislation is to provide a fair process which sailors are able to take advantage of in order to file a negligence claim and receive compensation from their employer. If the negligent act of an employer or coworker results in death, then surviving family members are allowed to file the suit. Under the Jones Act, employees who do not qualify as seamen have other means available to them for collecting injury compensation. The Doctrine of Unseaworthiness requires ship owners to maintain and equip their vessels properly, and if they fail to comply, they are liable for any resulting injuries to crew members. The law of “maintenance and cure,” moreover, requires employers to pay the expenses of injured crew members following an accident.
Admiralty law also deals with disputes which concern salvage awards. Such cases consist of vessels of other property that have been saved from peril, or have been recovered from the bottom of the ocean. The rescuer is entitled by law to a reward for taking the risks necessary to conduct the salvage. The size of the reward may be ultimately computed by contract. In some cases, courts will decide based on factors like the value of the property and the degree of risk which is involved.

Federal maritime law consists of a combination of modern legislation, centuries-old doctrines, international treaties, private contracts, and more into one set of interdependent legal rules. The majority of personal injury lawyers even in coastal cities are not proficient in admiralty law, and will not accept these cases. If you are involved in a case that is affected by this area of the law, you should seek legal counsel from a maritime lawyer.

Cruise Ship Accidents with Irwin Law Firm

Did you know that a passenger ticket for a cruise ship acts as a contract? Because of this, you have a very specific time limit to file a claim if you’re injured on the ship. This is often 1 year–half the normal allotted time to file an injury claim. It may still seem like a long time, but some injuries may have long-term symptoms, and in rare cases, these might not for such a long time. You might also be required to file your claim in a specific county court, usually the one where the cruise company is located. This can be very limiting since many cruise ship passengers will come from all over. Thankfully, a maritime attorney of that county will be able to help you take control of these situations.

Marine Personal Injury Solutions

When getting injured out at sea, there are many concerns you might have about filing a claim. You might wonder things like does maritime jurisdiction apply? If so, how does that affect liability or the ability to recover damages in my case? If I was working at the time, am I bound by my state’s Worker’s Compensation Law, or is there a different statutory scheme that I should know about? A maritime injury lawyer can help with these questions and provide you with the solutions you need to receive compensation.

Cruise Ship Accidents with Irwin Law Firm

Did you know that a passenger ticket for a cruise ship acts as a contract? Because of this, you have a very specific time limit to file a claim if you’re injured on the ship. This is often 1 year–half the normal allotted time to file an injury claim. It may still seem like a long time, but some injuries may have long-term symptoms, and in rare cases, these might not for such a long time. You might also be required to file your claim in a specific county court, usually the one where the cruise company is located. This can be very limiting since many cruise ship passengers will come from all over. Thankfully, a maritime attorney of that county will be able to help you take control of these situations.

Buying and Selling Yachts

When looking to buy a luxury vessel, there are many components to consider. This is an expensive purchase, after all. If you’re looking for a used yacht, you’ll want to get it surveyed by a professional. There are two types of surveyors which should be employed to conduct surveys. Their reports should be thoroughly reviewed before accepting the vessel. When it comes to the title of your vessel, any new purchase should come with a bill of sale and a manufacturer’s certificate of origin (also known as an “MSO”). These documents will allow the owner to register the vessel in the state of his or her choice and/or with the United States Coast Guard.

Our Clients Include

Manufacturers • Dealers • Banks • Vessel Owners • Crew • Yacht Buyers • Yacht Sellers • Marine Repair and Maintenance Companies • Corporate Entities • Individuals

For More Information on Hiring a Maritime Attorney

At Irwin Law Firm, we have experience with handling maritime law cases near Miami. Whether you’ve recently been injured at sea or need help with handling the sales of a yacht, we can help. Contact us today to ask questions about maritime law and maritime injury claims, or to set up an appointment with one of our specialists. When you’re injured at sea, let us take the stress off your shoulders.

Location

205 W. Davie Boulevard.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33315

Phone

Facsimile

954-775-2303