What makes Charleston maritime injury cases challenging has to do with what the person should do after being injured on navigable waters. The first thing an individual should do is report the accident to a supervisor, to local law enforcement or port authority, or any other form of authority because the problems that arise in these cases occur early on.
If you are looking to pursue a personal injury claim in Charleston and are unsure of where to turn next, it is imperative to consult with an experienced Charleston admiralty and maritime injury lawyer as soon as possible.
Understanding Maritime Law
General maritime law is composed of the maritime customs, conventions, codes, and practices, from the earliest time through to the present, in which there are no internal boundaries that exist in any particular jurisdiction, unless they are limited or excluded by the particular statute or federal or state government law.
The law covers those injured in maritime accidents that are not seaman. There is also the Jones Act for seaman or anyone that is assigned to a vessel along navigable waters. Many times, people that are seaman may not consider themselves to be seaman, but must understand their status for the purposes of the law. This could be a good thing, because those individuals get the broad protection of that Jones Act and all of the damages that can be recovered under that.
It is important that an individual seeks medical care and treatment immediately after an accident, because an insurance company may deny the case and the value of the case by saying that the injury did not occur from the accident. The failure to receive medical care can make a Charleston maritime injury case quite challenging in the long run.
Another issue occurs when the person does not sign any documents that the insurance company put before the person that was injured. This could include documents such as medical releases or some type of settlement document.
It is important that a person seeks legal counsel and gets advice from an experienced attorney when signing these documents. Any statements by the injured person that were given outside of the presence of an attorney can be misinterpreted or misconstrued, and can raise a denial from the insurance company on the claim.
The other thing to make sure of is that, whether it be of the accident scene, the unseaworthy condition of the boat, the injury, the vessel involved, or anything else, photographic evidence is taken. Without photographic evidence, there can be many challenges when pursuing a Charleston maritime injury case. Having photographic evidence can be very helpful because many times that can be something that can be hard to explain to a jury without having a proper demonstrative evidence. This needs to be captured early on.
There are hundreds of things that can be done to make sure a Charleston maritime injury case moves forward smoothly. To avoid these pitfalls, an individual should consult with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. A lawyer can help to develop the case, and present it in the light most favorable to give their client the best chance of making a full recovery for the damages sustained as a result of the accident.
Uniqueness of a Maritime Injury Case
What is unique about maritime injury cases is that they are their own little area of the law, and are in their own little world when it comes to personal injury. The mechanism of injuries that can occur can be completely different than other types of injury cases because the types of equipment and tasks that are performed at sea or close to the navigable waters, such as operating cranes, operating barges, and so forth, can be quite dangerous.
Maritime law is in its own area and has its own jargon and laws that need to be understood in order to make the proper recovery as opposed to a regular tort or regular negligence case that may occur on land. It is in its own area, and has its own jargon and laws that need to be understood in order to make the proper recovery as opposed to a regular tort or regular negligence case that would occur on land.