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Understanding admiralty law

Though Louisiana residents live near bodies of water and often enjoy their weekend by engaging in activities that involve them, such as recreational boating or waterskiing, they may not be aware what laws apply if they are involved in a recreational boating accident.

The U.S. Coast Guard is responsible for enforcing federal laws on bodies of water inside or near America. Admiralty or maritime law is the law that applies in these situations; it is a combination of various types of U.S. and international law and covers injuries, torts, contracts or offenses that take place in the waters. Federal courts have jurisdiction over these matters.

Though it is common to assume that admiralty laws only apply to issues related to shipping and navigation and interstate commerce, it also covers maritime matters other than that, such as recreational boating. But what is peculiar about this field of law is the interplay of various laws-federal, state and international law all come into play and it is important to understand what law takes precedence in the case of an injury sustained in a body of water.

When someone is injured while engaging in what they consider a straightforward activity in a body of water, they are aware of the legal complexities of their situation. While laws do apply and they may be able to pursue a personal injury claim to recover compensation for their injuries and property damage, it is important to know in which court the claim can be pursued and under what law. An experienced attorney may be able to provide valuable assistance in this matter.

Source: Findlaw.com, "What is Admiralty Law?" accessed Nov. 3, 2017

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