Maritime Injury Attorneys & Miami Cruise Accident Lawyers

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Brais Law Firm is a premier maritime injury law firm helping injury and crime victims recover compensation in a wide range of maritime personal injury and wrongful death claims.
Maritime Injury Attorneys and Miami Cruise Accident Lawyers

Brais Law Firm is a premier and nationally recognized maritime injury law firm helping injury and crime victims recover compensation in a wide range of maritime personal injury and wrongful death claims. Our maritime injury attorneys and Miami cruise ship accident lawyers have decades of experience and credentials demonstrating their peer reviewed achievements, including: Board Certified by the Florida Bar in maritime law, “AV” Preeminent Rated with Martindale-Hubbell, Multi-Million Dollar Advocate, Super Law, Florida’s Legal Elite, Association of American Trial Lawyers Top 100, America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators and The Marquis Who’s Who Publication. Brais Law is often called upon to represent cruise ship passengers who have suffered a personal injury or been a victim of sexual assault or rape, including molestation of children. Brais Law routinely represent crew members injured aboard cruise ships, cargo and tanker vessels, yachts, ferries, tugs, and barges. Brais Law frequently represents those injured in boating accidents and jet ski & wave runner (aka "personal watercraft") collisions and accidents. Our Miami-based attorneys also lend their expertise to assisting dive accident victims (both snorkeling and scuba), including those run-over by powerboats, often referred to as prop-strike cases.

Admiralty and Maritime Law

Admiralty and maritime law is made up of federal statutes, international treaties, and federal common law that governs accidents occurring on navigable waters. Navigable waters include waterways that have access to the ocean and are not landlocked. It is a highly specialized area of law that may affect you if you suffered an injury while traveling as a cruise ship passenger, yacht guest, ferry passenger, or airplane passenger, or if you were working as a Jones Act seaman, crew member, offshore oilrig or platform worker, commercial fisherman, long liner, shrimper, crew member, merchant marine, brown water seaman, longshoreman dock worker, ship worker, ship repairman, harbor worker, or longshoreman dock worker. Keith Brais has been a board certified admiralty and maritime attorney for more than 20 years and is one of only a handful of maritime attorneys with actual hands-on real-world experience and appreciation of the dangers of working offshore, having sailed as a U.S.C.G 3rd Assistant Engineer, 2nd Assistant Engineer and Assistant Driller on various vessels and offshore oilrigs and drilling platforms for seven years.

Cruise Ship Passenger Injuries

Our maritime injury lawyers have more than three decades of collective trial experience handling cruise ship passenger injury lawsuits and are located fifteen minutes from the Port of Miami, also known as the Cruise Ship Capital of the World. Maritime law has its own filing requirements and conditions, which differ from personal injury lawsuits arising out of accidents on land. Many cruise lines are based in South Florida, which means that many cruise ship injury cases, per the terms and conditions of the cruise ticket contract, must be filed in the Miami Division of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, regardless of whether the cruise ship was ever in a Florida port or even touched a U.S. port of call. The firm routinely handles claims against the following cruise lines, both in Miami and across the United States, for example Los Angeles and Seattle:

Carnival Cruise LinesCelebrity Cruise LinesCosta CruisesCrystal Cruises
Cunard LineDisney Cruise LineHolland America LineNorwegian Cruise Line
Oceania CruisesPrincess CruisesRadisson Seven Seas CruisesRoyal Caribbean Cruises
Seabourn Cruise LineSilversea CruisesP&O CruisesAnd More

If you were injured on a cruise ship, we may be able to represent you in a claim for damages. These may include past and future (a) medical expenses, (b) lost wages, (c) pain and suffering and, in some cases (d) punitive damages.

Crew Member Injuries

Crew members who can satisfy seaman status requirements under admiralty law possess remedies and special rights that are not given to other workers. In most cases, shoreside employees are not able to sue an employer because the employer is immune under the Workers’ Compensation Act. However, a seaman can sue an employer that is a shipowner or yacht owner under various uniquely maritime causes of actions, the most common including: Jones Act negligence, unseaworthiness and Maintenance and Cure. The Jones Act is a federal statutory negligence claim possessed by seaman against their employer. The seaman must prove the existence of an unsafe, dangerous or defective condition and notice of the condition on the part of the employer. Unseaworthiness is a claim only possessed by seaman asserting a non-delegable duty (form of strict liability) against the shipowner or vessel operator that the vessel, crew or shipboard machinery were not reasonably fit for its or their intended purpose. There is no requirement to prove “notice” in an unseaworthiness claim theory Under either theory of liability the seaman need only prove the dangerous condition or unsafe practice contributed at all to the seaman’s injury. Maintenance and Cure benefits are owed without regard to fault and are another form of strict liability when a crew member becomes sick or injured in the course of his employment. Maintenance is a per diem living allowance, so the seaman can sustain him/herself while recovering. Cure is the obligation to provide prompt and proper medical care until a diagnosis of maximum medical improvement. Other theories that may be available in a Jones Act / crew member claim, include: unpaid or withheld earned penalty wages and unearned sick wages.

Recreational Boating and Water Sport Accidents

Recreational boating and water sport accidents can happen anywhere on or near water, and they can inflict serious or even fatal injuries. Drowning injuries involving oxygen deprivation can give rise to brain damage, like diminished cognitive abilities or even worse, permanent vegetative state. If you were injured in a recreational boating or water sport accident, you may be struggling with medical bills, wage loss, and pain and suffering. Our maritime injury attorneys handle injury claims arising out of personal watercraft accidents, defective watercraft, boating accidents, yacht accidents, ferry boat accidents, charter vessel accidents, dinner cruise accidents, and scuba diving accidents. The circumstances will dictate the theory under which we can pursue damages. Some cases are governed by maritime law. However, when there is defective equipment to blame for a scuba diving accident, for example, it might be appropriate to pursue compensation under another theory, such as a product liability theory.

Offshore Injuries

Too often, safety offshore is compromised in order to save money. Offshore injuries are often results of accidents while oil drilling or exploring on an offshore drilling rig. Mr. Brais worked aboard oil drilling rigs for seven years and is well positioned to assist oil rig drilling platform workers who were injured in an accident aboard a rig. The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act governs offshore operations. Under this law, federal agencies regulate all phases of the production, exploration, and development of gas and oil. This law provides that any holder of a lease or permit has a duty to keep all places of employment within a lease area in compliance with occupational safety and health standards and free from recognized dangers to employees. They also have a duty to keep all operations in compliance with regulations meant to protect people on the Outer Continental Shelf.

Defective Marine Products

Sometimes injuries result from explosions, sinkings, groundings, or fires caused by defective marine products. Defective products could include engines, electronics, generators, wires, batteries, drive lines, fuel tanks, and propellers. The defects may involve manufacturing, design, mislabeling, or the improper integration of one part with other components. Product liability lawsuits are often complex. Sellers and manufacturers of defective products may utilize defenses such as the economic loss rule, lack of privity, or warranty restrictions to avoid paying compensation. Mr. Brais brings to his clients’ product liability cases insights gleaned from a B.S. in marine engineering and seven years served as a U.S. Coast Guard licensed engineer.

Maritime Wrongful Death

Work performed in offshore environments can be dangerous, and these working conditions can result in a maritime wrongful death. A marine employee’s family members may be hit hard by the loss of an employee, and they may need to pursue wrongful death and survival claims. Our maritime injury lawyers have helped the families of cruise ship passengers, crew members, and merchant seamen who have been killed in a shipboard or offshore accident. The applicable law will hinge on whether the decedent was a maritime worker or a passenger, as well as the location of the wrongful death. Maritime laws that may apply include the Jones Act, the Death on the High Seas Act, and the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act.

Personal Injury

If you are injured in an accident on land caused by someone else, you may be able to recover damages by bringing a personal injury lawsuit. In most cases, you will need to prove negligence. This requires you to show that it is more likely than not that the defendant owed you a duty of care, the defendant breached the duty of care, causation, and damages. The standard of care and how it can be breached will depend on the circumstances. If you can establish liability, you can recover compensation to cover medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and out-of-pocket costs, among other types of damages.

Railroad Worker Injuries

Railroad workers cannot bring a workers’ compensation claim if they are injured on the job. Instead, they must bring a claim under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA). You are covered by FELA if you are employed by a railroad operating across state lines, you are injured on the job, and your injury was caused by the railroad’s negligence. To recover compensation under FELA, unlike state workers’ compensation laws, you will need to establish the railroad’s negligence. However, all that need be proven is that the railroad did not provide a reasonably safe place to work.

Aviation Accidents

Our firm can help victims who have suffered injuries arising out of an airplane accident. The Warsaw Convention governs many of these claims. Under the Warsaw Convention, there is a presumption of liability against an air carrier for the death or injury of a passenger involved in international travel. However, there are strict limits on the damages that can be recovered by a passenger against an air carrier. The Warsaw Convention does not apply to claims against the manufacturer of the airplane or one of its components.

Premises Liability & Negligent Security

Premises liability and negligent security [lint to negligent security page] lawsuits can be brought to recover damages from property owners that have not maintained their property or issued warnings about non-obvious dangerous conditions of which they knew or should have known. To recover damages after a slip and fall in a restaurant, for example, you would need to show that the restaurant owner knew or should have known about the dangerous condition that caused your injuries. For another example, the drowning of a child in a pool without proper safety barriers or drain covers is another situation in which damages may be recovered in a premises liability lawsuit. The firm has vast experience with drowning and suction entrapment claims of all types. Negligent security claims are also brought against property owners but most often for the third-party criminal acts, for example assaults or sexual assaults, which more likely than not would not have occurred but for the lack of security.

Consult an Experienced Maritime Injury Attorney

The Brais Law Firm represented large maritime employers and insurers for nearly two decades. The major cruise lines, marine employers and marine insurers, like Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Lloyds of London and many more, hire who they consider to be the best in the industry. More than ten years ago, Keith Brais gave up his defense practice and dedicated the remainder of his career to helping individuals, and only individuals. Those with real injuries and in need of help following a serious personal injury or death of a family member versus corporate defendants who regardless of fault and absent any sense of morality refuse to provide lawful and appropriate compensate. Following this decision to help only ordinary people, the Brais Law Firm has recovered nearly $50 million in verdicts and settlements since 2012. The firm’s credentials speak for themselves: Board Certified by the Florida Bar in maritime law, “AV” Preeminent Rated with Martindale-Hubbell, Multi-Million Dollar Advocate, Super Law, Florida’s Legal Elite, Association of American Trial Lawyers Top 100, America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators and The Marquis Who’s Who Publication. Call us at 800-499-0551 or complete our “Contact Us” form to set up a free consultation and get the help you need today.

Meet The Team

Keith S. Brais
Keith S. Brais
Brais Law Firm
Having graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Engineering from Massachusetts Maritime Academy, acquired three U.S. Coast Guard licenses and worked on offshore oil drilling platforms for more than seven years.
Eliot T. Brais
Eliot T. Brais
Law Offices of Eliot T. Brais
Eliot T. Brais is the sole and managing shareholder in his North Attleboro, Massachusetts office. He began his law career in 1988, joining his father, Ronald A. Brais, who had enjoyed a 40 year practice primarily concentrating on estate planning and small business law.
Michelle Y. Gurian
Michelle Y. Gurian
Brais Law Firm
Michelle has concentrated in the area of plaintiffs’ civil trial practice since the beginning of her legal career. Her experience includes land-based and admiralty/maritime personal injury, wrongful death, and class action litigation.

We Fought on Their Behalf, Hear What They Have to Say:

Cruise Ship Crew Member Injury
★★★★★
"I was in pain for a good 6 months, it was just a nightmare...It wasn't until I got Mr. Brais that I really started getting the help I needed from the doctors. You need somebody you can trust, somebody to give you some guidance. They stuck in there with me the whole way."
Tug & Barge Crew Member Death
★★★★★
"I just thought he [Mr. Brais] was the man to do it. I felt comfortable with him being by my side. The pain my family has suffered has been immeasurable, but he was there with me. It's not just him, it's his team also. Keith really stood up for my son. I know I made the best choice."
Resort Guest Injury
★★★★★
“As we worked with Keith, I realized what would have happened had we just selected an attorney in town…I realized that the outcome would have been probably entirely different, and not as successful as it was. I felt very comfortable going through with the whole process. I would say Keith is a superhero.”

Companies We Have Sued

Carnival Fun for All. All for Fun
Royal Caribbean International
Disney Cruise Line
Princess Cruises
SilverSea
Norwegian Cruise Line
Holland America
Celebration Cruise Line
Celebrity Cruises
Island Queen Cruise
Sandals
United States Navy Military Sealift Command
Starwood
Marriott
Starboard
American

Board Certified Expert in Maritime Law

The Florida Bar Board Certified

Keith Brais was the first of a limited number of attorneys to become board certified in maritime law by the Florida Bar in 1996.

The Miami-based maritime injury lawyers and cruise ship accident attorneys with Brais Law Firm are experts in the field of maritime law.

Only seven percent of Florida attorneys can represent that they are experts in a particular field of law under Florida Bar rules. Only after practicing a requisite number of years, providing proof of substantial relevant legal accomplishment and passing a board certification exam may an attorney ethically represent themselves as an "expert" in a certain practice area.

Keith Brais was the first of a limited number of attorneys to become board certified in maritime law by the Florida Bar in 1996.

Even today, there are very few board certified maritime attorneys and even fewer who represent plaintiffs. The firm's maritime injury attorneys and cruise ship accident lawyers work exclusively on behalf of injured individuals or loved ones left behind after wrongful death and are here to help and lend their expertise in support if your claim.

Protecting Rights Restoring Lives
United States Coast Guard

Three United States Coast Guard Licenses

United States Coast Guard License

We've experienced first-hand the rigors of working in the marine field, and the dangers associated with offshore employment. We know maritime law and marine industry safety standards to obtain the compensation you deserve after a marine casualty.

Hire an Attorney Who Specializes in Maritime Law

Anchor

There are all types of attorneys who practice law, but not all attorneys are best suited to handle your maritime injury or cruise ship accident case.

Certain cases require attorneys with particular expertise. If your claim involves navigable waters and a vessel of whatever type (e.g., cruise ship, tanker, cargo, ferry, tug and barge, yacht, pleasure boat, dive boat, jet ski, wave runner, etc.) or employment in the marine industry (e.g. crew member, Jones Act seaman, longshoreman, cruise ship employee, etc.), then your claim is governed by maritime law.

Maritime law is a unique end esoteric body of law. It is very different from auto cases or other "shore-side" types of claims and requires the expertise of a skilled and experienced maritime practitioner.

People Ahead of Corporate Profit

The maritime injury attorneys and cruise ship accident lawyers with Brais Law Firm represent only individuals, not insurance companies, cruise lines, corporations or marine employers.

All too often injuries are the result of negligence caused by careless, indifference, corporate "penny pinching" or outright greed. As a consequence, safety is compromised. The reality is that corporate "bean counters" accept the inevitability of accidents but all too often decide it is cheaper to pay a deductible and turn the defense of a claim over to attorneys hired by an insurance company, than to proactively implement safety measures to prevent an accident in the first place.

Sadly, corporations place profit ahead of people. In these circumstances, we fight on your behalf to hold the defendant individuals or corporation financially accountable for the injuries you have suffered.

10 Reasons Why Clients Hire Us

Ship
Over 65 Years of Experience

The attorneys within and “of counsel” to our firm have more than 65 years of collective experience trying cases before judges and juries.

The Florida Bar Board Certified
Board Certified Expert in Maritime & Admiralty Law

Keith Brais is among a select number of attorneys who have achieved board certification in maritime law by the Florida Bar.

Hand on Book
“Protecting Rights and Restoring Lives”

Our mission statement is “Protecting Rights and Restoring Lives.” These are not merely words. We have the experience to protect your rights, the compassion to serve your needs and the skill to obtain the compensation you deserve.

Award
Award Winning Legal Team

The members of our legal team have received numerous awards and accolades throughout the course ion their careers, including being “AV Preeminent rated with Martindale Hubbell and named as members of both Super Lawyers and Legal Elite.

Hammer and Gavel
Real World Experience in the Maritime Industry

Keith Brais graduated from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy with a B.S. degree in marine engineering. Over his seven plus years working aboard ships and offshore oil rigs, he acquired three U.S. Coast Guard Licenses (now inactive).

Quill
First-Hand Knowledge of Opposition

The attorneys at our firm represented maritime employers, cruise lines, insurance companies and other major players in the maritime industry for nearly 20 years. These “blue chip” marine employers and insurers can and do hire only the best available attorneys. The attorneys with Brais Law Firm now put their expertise and experience to fight for the rights of the individuals who have suffered serious personal injury or wrongful death of a loved one.

Caduceus
Exclusively Representing Injured Individuals

At Brais Law Firm we focus our efforts on helping individuals, not insurance companies, cruise lines, corporations or marine employers. Our firm is here to help you and your family.

Award Ribbon
Track Record of Success

Every maritime injury and cruise ship accident lawyer at our firm is focused on getting individuals the compensation they deserve. In the last several years alone, we have proudly secure more than 45 million dollars for our clients.

Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum
Member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum

Partner Keith Brans is a member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. Fewer than 1% of U.S. lawyers are members of this prestigious group of trial lawyers.

United States Coast Guard
3 United States Coast Guard Licenses

We've experienced first-hand the rigors of working in the marine field, and the dangers associated with offshore employment. We know maritime law and marine industry safety standards to obtain for you the compensation you deserve after a marine casualty.

Video FAQs

Q. Do I need a maritime attorney?

A. Maritime law, also known as “admiralty law,” is a highly complex body of law that governs activities which take place on navigable waters (waters that have direct or indirect access to the ocean). If your injury or accident occurred on a cruise ship, barge, yacht, pleasure boat, or any other vessel, or you were hurt while working in the marine industry, then your case will be governed by maritime law. Because maritime law is so complex, it is always best to consult with a lawyer who has specific experience handling maritime claims.

Q. How will I be able to afford an attorney?

A. At Brais Law Firm we handle maritime accidents, personal injury and wrongful death cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that you will not have to pay any legal fees unless we are successful in winning your case. If we recover financial compensation for you, we collect a percentage of the gross recovery before the deduction of costs. If there is no recovery, you will not pay any fees to the firm. Our firm also offers free, no-obligation consultations where you can learn more about our fee arrangements and how we can best assist you with your case.

Q. Who will be handling my case?

A. Your case will be handled by experienced maritime attorneys who know what it takes to get the results that you deserve. The practitioners at our firm have over 65 years of collective trial experience. Our credentials and qualifications are extensive and include two partners with board certification in admiralty and maritime law, an attorney who over his years employed offshore acquired three U.S. Coast Guard Engineer licenses, and while practicing earned an “AV” Preeminent rating by Martindale-Hubbell and membership in the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. More importantly, we have a first-hand understanding of how the cruise lines, insurance carriers and large maritime employers operate because we represented these powerful companies for nearly 20 years before we made the choice to change sides so that we could help the people who need us most – individuals just like you.

Q. What types of financial compensation can I recover?

A. Every cruise ship accident and maritime injury case is unique and the compensation that you are entitled to recover will depend upon the specific facts of your case, the injuries suffered and the governing law. For instance, if you are an injured crew member who qualifies as a “seaman” under the federal Jones Act, you may have three potential avenues available to collect compensation: (1) Filing a lawsuit against your employer for negligence under the Jones Act; (2) Suing the owner of the vessel for damages under the doctrine of unseaworthiness; and (3) Collecting maintenance (lodging and food) and cure (medical expenses) and sick wages against your employer and even the ship itself under an “in rem” claim. If you are a passenger injured on a cruise, a cruise ship accident lawyer at our firm will work to help you recover a wide range damages, including compensation for past and future medical care, lost past and future income, diminished earning capacity, and pain and suffering whether emotional, psychological or physical.

Maritime Law Blog

Maritime & Boating Accident Lawyer News

Client Reviews

★★★★★
After my accident I contacted them right away. I was able to see them the same day and was kept in contact throughout the process. Everyone in the office was very accommodating, polite and professional. I highly recommend Brais Law and think very highly of their lead attorneys. They helped me WIN my case, and I am forever grateful. They went above and beyond to assist me. Thank you all so very much. H.S.
★★★★★
The entire law firm of Brais Law were extremely helpful in handling my snorkeling accident. The firm takes customer service to a new level, not only being readily available, but courteous, respectful, sympathetic, and empathetic. The firm, especially Keith and Karla, were always quick to return calls, offer updates, and provide guidance and information. There is no comparison when it comes to firms. If you need legal advice or representation, especially concerning maritime events, contact Keith and his crew first and save yourself a lot of time and heartache! J.C.
★★★★★
I was looking to refer a client injured on a cruise ship and had the pleasure of speaking to Keith. Keith was extremely helpful and he took time out of his day to provide some guidance. If you're looking for a Admiralty & Maritime /Personal Injury Lawyer in Florida, I would highly recommend Brais Law Firm! T.C.
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Cruise Ship Sexual Assault Attorney
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