With more coastline than any other state in the Continental U.S., cruise ships, shipping vessels, boats, and other vessels are a common sight in and around Florida waters. Whether they are being used for recreation or a commercial enterprise, water-going vessels are an integral part of our economy and the lives of many Floridians. Unfortunately, all maritime activities also carry an inherent risk of injury to the people involved, both for those on the water and those working in shipyards and marinas.
Maritime accidents can result in serious medical issues for victims, some of which may result in significant medical expenses and missed work. In some cases, a person may suffer from life-long complications after a maritime accident. As a result, it is important for people who have been injured in these accidents to discuss their case with an experienced maritime injury attorney as soon as possible.
Maritime law is a specialized area of law dealing with all aspects of navigation and shipping. Due to the inherently multi-state nature of the shipping industry, maritime law generally falls under the jurisdiction of the federal courts. In addition to maritime common law, there are also specific pieces of legislation that apply to issues that arise in a maritime context. For example, the Jones Act is a federal statute that allows injured seamen to bring claims against their employers for negligence if they are injured on the job.
For other types of workers, these types of claims are generally precluded by Florida’s Workers’ Compensation Act. Additionally, maritime workers who are not covered by the Jones Act may be able to bring claims against their employers for injuries sustained on the job under the federal Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. Among the types of workers that may be covered under federal maritime laws include:
Whether or not your case will fall under federal jurisdiction depends on a variety of factors, and anyone injured in a maritime accident should be certain to consult with an experienced attorney immediately.
In addition to maritime workers, passengers on cruise ships and other vessels are also at risk of sustaining injury in maritime accidents. In these cases, a specialized area of maritime tort law applies in order to ensure that passengers injured by the negligence of others are fairly compensated.
This area of law is significantly different from the state laws that normally govern injury claims. As a result, it is highly advisable for passengers who have been injured in a maritime accident discuss their case with an attorney familiar with maritime tort law. Some of the more common ways in which passengers are injured while on a vessel include:
There are a myriad of ways in which a passenger could be injured in a maritime setting, and an attorney will be help you determine whether you have a claim. You can call us at (386) 777-7777 or fill out our online contact form below for a free case evaluation.