South Carolina Admiralty & Maritime Lawyers
Clawson and Staubes’ admiralty and maritime lawyers have represented individuals, recreational and commercial vessel owners and operators, maritime businesses, and major insurance carriers with respect to serious bodily injury and death claims in state and federal court. Our firm’s largest office is physically situated in Charleston, South Carolina, a major hub for commercial and recreational boating industries in South Carolina.
South Carolina Recreational Boating
The state of South Carolina has in excess of 8,000 miles of river, 460,000 acres of lakes and 3,000 miles of coastline. Thousands of residents and visitors enjoy the waters of our state each day, fishing, water-skiing, hunting, kayaking, jet skiing, parasailing, and pleasure boating in fresh and salt water. The ever increasing number of people on the water has, predictably, resulted in ever increasing numbers of maritime accidents. Recreational boating accidents are at a ten year high. There were 131 recreational boating accidents resulting in 19 fatalities in South Carolina in 2015. The increase in people on the water and in accidents highlights the need for experienced admiralty and maritime counsel.
The Port of Charleston
The Port of Charleston was central to the founding of the City in 1670 and its rise to prominence during the 1700s. Although the harbor was left in a state of ruin following the Civil War, efforts in the 1920s led to a resurgence of port operations. The South Carolina Ports Authority, established by the state’s General Assembly in 1942, currently owns and operates world class public seaport facilities in Charleston.
The Port of Charleston boasts the deepest water in the southeast region and a next-generation harbor deepening project is underway to deepen the Port of Charleston’s entrance channel and harbor even further. The Port of Charleston and the state of South Carolina will spend a combined $2.2 billion over the next decade to expand marine terminal capacity, deepen the harbor, and strengthen inland infrastructure to handle New Panamax ships that are expected to bring more cargo.
South Carolina port operations handle international commerce valued at more than $63 billion annually, deliver $53 billion in annual statewide economic impact and are responsible for 187,200 jobs. With this growth has come a need for admiralty and maritime attorneys to assist local, national and international businesses with issues including Jones Act claims, Longshore and Harbor Worker’s Act claims, cargo claims and vessel arrests.
Admiralty and Maritime Law
Admiralty and maritime law are among the oldest areas of law. The distinct laws that govern these matters are amongst the oldest known bodies of law, their origins lying with countries engaged in commerce on the Mediterranean Sea many centuries ago and evolving over time in the admiralty courts of England and later the United States. Whether the matter is an admiralty matter often depends on whether the location of the accident is “on navigable waters” connecting to the ocean or to two states. Matters on inland lakes sometimes follow different rules of law.
Admiralty and maritime law have developed a number of unique legal concepts over time, as compared to other practice areas. Joint and several liability, pure comparative negligence, seaworthiness doctrine, pre-judgment interest and responsibility for the burden of proof under the Pennsylvania Rule are just a few of the more esoteric aspects of the general maritime law. It is important to retain experienced counsel with a background in admiralty and maritime law in order to fully understand the legal concepts and liability involved in these cases.
Our Admiralty and Maritime Attorneys
Our talented team of admiralty and maritime attorneys understands the unique concerns of the maritime client and can offer creative solutions that help clients meet their goals as efficiently and effectively as possible. We regularly handle matters involving accidents, collisions, allisions and groundings that result in serious bodily injury or death. This includes injuries sustained on a variety of vessels, such as commercial ships, yachts, recreational boats, pleasure boats, jet skis, wave runners, and other watercraft.
Education, training and experience are crucial considerations when selecting an admiralty and maritime attorney to represent you. Our maritime attorneys have extensive education, training and experience. They also have experience in small and recreational vessel operation across the Lowcountry of South Carolina. Our attorneys have the skills necessary to evaluate and explain the unique aspects of marine operations and law to novice audiences.
Consult with an Admiralty and Maritime Attorney
If you are in need of a South Carolina admiralty and maritime attorney, our legal team at Clawson and Staubes is available to assist you. Contact us at (843) 577-2026 to learn more about our services.