An injury offshore can be a scary situation because medical assistance is not readily available. Even a minor injury can quickly become life-threatening.
Boating injuries can occur under a variety of circumstances, whether on a commercial or private boat, and typically involve complex legal issues. Having an experienced attorney by your side is critical to ensuring your rights are protected and that you get the compensation you need to pay for medical bills, missed time at work and other expenses associated with your injuries. Our Palm Beach Gardens maritime lawyers are experienced in handling these types of complex cases and can discuss your legal options. Contact us today for a free, no obligation consultation. We do not get paid unless you do.
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Types of Maritime Injury Claims
Unfortunately, maritime injuries are all too common in Florida due to our extensive waterways and easy access to the ocean. Maritime attorneys work hard to represent the rights of those who have been injured while at sea. While each accident is unique, some of the most common injuries include:
- Dockworker injuries
- Rig injuries
- Scuba diving accidents
- Workboat injuries
- International maritime injuries
- Cargo ship or tanker injuries
- Cruise ship injuries
- Inland marine injuries
- Ferry or water taxi injuries
- Commercial vessel injuries
- Barge or tugboat injuries
If you have suffered any kind of injury while at sea, do not hesitate to contact our experienced Palm Beach Gardens maritime lawyers. These claims can be complex and your future, including your ability to pay medical bills associated with your injury, is important.
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Incidents that occur offshore are governed and regulated by a variety of maritime laws. These laws are meant to protect the rights of individuals and provide guidelines for handling certain types of situations.
Previously referred to as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, this act allows any injured sailor spending at least 30% of employment time on a sea-faring watercraft to make an official claim and obtain compensation if the injury was caused by negligence.
Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act
This act extends coverage to any person, including dock and maritime workers, who has been hurt in an offshore accident but is unable to seek compensation under the Jones Act. This workers’ compensation program provides medical care, disability pay and death benefits for a worker who is injured on the job or to the surviving family of a worker killed on the job.
Death on the High Seas Act
Wrongful deaths that occur on navigable water due to another person’s negligence may be entitled to claims under this act, including accidents involving aircraft.
Maintenance and Cure
Similar to workers’ compensation in Palm Beach Gardens, maintenance and cure provides compensation for maritime workers who are injured at sea. Maintenance provides an allowance for all living expenses incurred while a worker is unable to work aboard a vessel. Cure provides payments for needed medical care for an injured worker.
A Palm Beach Gardens maritime lawyer can help you identify which acts are relevant for your situation and then apply for the compensation you need.
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Filing a Lawsuit for Compensation
Employees working on a watercraft vessel have numerous ways to file their claim for maritime injury. However, it may also be possible to file a personal injury claim against a boating insurance company or third party. In order to initiate a claim, you must show that negligence occurred:
- The accused person or entity owed the victim a duty of care
- That duty was breached
- The negligence caused an accident
- Injuries were sustained by the victim as a result of this negligence
Cruise ship guests and those aboard private vessels could also be able to file a lawsuit if they can prove that another person’s negligence led to their injuries.
Recreational Boating Accidents
Similar to third party lawsuits, individuals who have been injured on a personal vessel may be entitled to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for their pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, and more.
These types of cases require proof of negligence. Some common forms of boating negligence include:
- Failing to have proper safety equipment onboard
- Operating a vessel under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Collided with another boat or fixed object
- Driving a boat with excessive speed or carelessness
- Failing to pay attention to surroundings
- Overloading or overcrowding a vessel
- Navigating in poor weather
Many accidents are also the result of faulty equipment, for which the product’s manufacturer could be held liable.
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Get Help from Our Palm Beach Gardens Maritime Lawyers
It is critical to understand that both commercial cruise lines and maritime employers have insurance adjustors and knowledgeable attorneys working on their behalf. Likewise, you need someone dedicated to fighting for the best possible outcome for you. Do not hesitate to reach out to an experienced attorney today.
The Palm Beach Gardens maritime lawyers at Gordon & Doner are dedicated to protecting the rights of victims involved in maritime and boating accidents. If you have recently been injured in a maritime accident, you should contact our experienced team as soon as possible for your free case consultation.
Our attorneys work on a contingency fee basis and do not charge any fees unless we are able to recover compensation on your behalf.