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Keith BraisKey West Maritime Law

Maritime lawyers, Admiralty attorneys, and maritime law firms not surprisingly practice their trade-in and around seaports and navigable waters. The Key West maritime attorneys at the law firm of Brais Law Firm routinely handle boating, yachting, scuba diving personal injury and death claims as well as other maritime accident, injury, and collision claims, throughout the Florida Keys from Key Largo to Key West. The law firm’s lawyers have 70 years of collective trial experience, with Florida board-certified maritime attorneys making up 28 of those years to serve and protect your rights under Maritime Law.

The Florida Keys begin at Key Largo and continue to Key West, forming an archipelago of about 1,700 small islands called “keys” which divide the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Beginning at the southeastern tip of Florida, the Florida Keys & Key West offer some of the world’s best boating, sailing, scuba diving, snorkeling, and fishing.

Maritime Accidents are a Common Occurrence Throughout the Florida Keys

The Florida Keys are known as one of the great places to boat in the United States. From Key Largo to Key West, the entire stretch of the Florida Keys has something to offer to boaters, and Big Pine Key, Duck Key, Islamorada, Key Biscayne, Long Key, Marathon, Sugarloaf, and Tavernier (among others) all have their own unique characteristics that make them unlike anywhere else on earth.

Unfortunately, with the popularity of boating in the Florida keys, boating accidents are also very common. Commercial maritime accidents are common as well. In fact, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) boating accident statistics, Monroe County has more boating accidents each year than any other county in Florida. Almost all of these accidents happen in the Florida Keys.

If you have been injured in a recreational or commercial boating accident in the Florida Keys, you should speak with a Key West maritime lawyer about your legal rights. At Brais Law Firm, our local lawyers represent individuals and families in cases involving all types of maritime accidents. We handle boating accidents throughout the Florida Keys, including accidents at (or en route to) popular destinations such as:

  • Bahia Honda State Park
  • Blue Fin Rock Harbor
  • Bud ‘n’ Mary’s Marina
  • Boca Grande Key
  • Dry Tortugas National Park
  • Fiesta Key RV Resort & Marina
  • Galleon Marina
  • John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
  • Key West Bight Marina
  • Kings Kamp
  • Port of Key West
  • Seven Mile Bridge
  • Sugarloaf Marina

Regardless of where your accident happened, and regardless of whether you were on the water for work or for pleasure, we strongly encourage you to speak with one of our Key West maritime accident lawyers. While you may be entitled to financial compensation, filing a successful claim is not easy, and you will want an experienced local lawyer on your side.

Turn to Us after a Cruise Ship Accident in Key West

Many cruise ships also “call” on the Port of Key West. The following is a list of cruise lines and ships that currently make Key West a destination:

Carnival Line

  • Conquest
  • Destiny
  • Fantasy
  • Fascination
  • Freedom
  • Imagination
  • Triumph


  • Century
  • Mercury


  • Atlantica


  • Dream
  • Magic
  • Wonder

Holland America

  • Maasdam
  • Ryndam


  • Poesia

Norwegian (NCL)

  • Perl
  • Star
  • Sun

Royal Caribbean

  • Enchantment of the Seas
  • Grandeur of the Seas
  • Majesty of the Seas

Silver Seas

  • Spirit

Party on Yacht

Florida Keys Boating Accident Statistics

The FWC publishes statistics on boating accidents in Florida each year, and each year Monroe County ranks among the counties with the most boating accidents in the state. This is largely due to the high number of recreational and commercial boating accidents in the Florida Keys. Here are some more notable statistics on boating accidents in the Florida Keys from the FWC:

  • Most boating accidents in the Florida Keys involve open motorboats. This includes fishing boats, bowriders, deck boats, jon boats, speedboats, and pontoons. After open motorboats, personal watercraft (i.e. jet skis) and cabin boats account for the next largest percentages of boating accidents in the Florida Keys.
  • Most boating accidents in the Florida Keys involve boats of less than 22 feet. Well over half of all boating accidents in the Florida Keys involve small boats less than 22 feet in length. Sailboats, fishing boats, and yachts exceeding 40 feet account for just 15 percent of all local accidents.
  • Inattention is the leading cause of boating accidents in the Florida Keys. According to the FWC, inattention accounts for more than twice as many accidents in the Florida Keys as any other factor. Weather is the next most common factor, followed by operator inexperience, machinery failure, carelessness or recklessness, and alcohol or drug use.
  • Nearly half of all boating accidents in the Florida Keys involve collisions. Collisions between vessels are slightly more common than collisions with fixed objects such as docks and day markers. Flooding (or swamping) is the next most common type of accident, followed by groundings and falls overboard.

Our Key West Maritime Attorney Represents Recreational Boaters, Maritime Workers, and Their Families

If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a maritime accident in the Florida Keys, your choice of legal representation matters. You need a local attorney who knows the local waters, but you also need an attorney who is intimately familiar with the state and federal laws that govern maritime accident claims. At Brais Law Firm, we have been handling accidents in the Florida Keys for decades. Our results speak for themselves, and our award-winning legal team is well known for its experience in maritime law.

How can we help you? Contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation if you have been injured or lost a loved one in any of the following types of maritime accidents in the Florida Keys:

Recreational Boating, Fishing or Jet Ski Accident

People come from all over the world to boat in the Florida Keys, and many locals call the Keys home because it affords the opportunity to spend every day of their life on the water. Unfortunately, some people are more cautious at the helm than others, and some vessels are more seaworthy than others as well.

If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed in a recreational boating, fishing, or jet ski accident in the Florida Keys, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Boater’s insurance covers accidents on the water; and, in many cases, boat accident victims and their families will have claims against boat manufacturers, marinas, rental companies, outfitters and others. Our Key West maritime accident lawyer can determine who is responsible for your (or your loved one’s) accident, and we can fight to recover just compensation on your behalf.

We also handle cases involving scuba diving and snorkeling accidents in the Florida Keys. Sadly, these accidents often have tragic consequences, and they will leave victims and families facing substantial losses.

Charter, Tour, or Yacht Accident

Charters, sightseeing tours, dinner tours, and yacht rentals are common attractions in Key West. Unfortunately, some charter and tour operators follow the rules more closely than others, and some yacht owners seem to think that the rules do not apply to them. As a result, accidents are fairly common—from slip-and-fall accidents on deck to groundings and falls overboard.

If you have a claim involving a charter, tour or yacht accident in the Florida Keys, our attorneys can use their experience to help you fight for just compensation. We are familiar with the unique issues and challenges involved in these types of cases, and we can use our knowledge to your advantage.

Commercial Fishing Accident  

Commercial fishing is big business in the Florida Keys, and many local businesses rely on local fishing boats to deliver a fresh catch every single day. But, as many local fishermen know, commercial fishing can be dangerous, especially when fishing boat operators don’t prioritize their workers’ safety.

We represent local fishermen in the Florida Keys who have been injured on the job. Whether you got caught in a line, fell overboard or got injured in any other type of accident, we can help you file for benefits under the Jones Act. If your employer is to blame for your accident or your accident was the result of working on an unseaworthy vessel, we can seek additional compensation on your behalf.

Other Work-Related Maritime Accident

We represent all types of maritime workers injured in all types of work-related accidents in the Florida Keys. This includes captains and crewmembers, longshoremen and harbor workers, tour guides, boat mechanics and cleaners, and others.

Regardless of what happened, you have legal rights if you have been injured in a work-related maritime accident. Our Key West maritime accident lawyer can help you assert your legal rights, and we will do everything we can to make sure you receive just compensation.

Cruise Ship Accident

With the Port of Key West being a key stop on many cruise liners’ routes, we handle a significant volume of cases involving cruise ship accidents. This includes slips, trips, falls overboard, collisions, and medical malpractice onboard. We also handle cases involving accidents during shore excursions in Key West, and we represent victims of violence, rape, and sexual assault on cruise ships as well.

When cruise lines and other companies fail to protect their passengers and patrons, they deserve to be held accountable. At Brais Law Firm, we use our experience to make sure this happens. Whether you personally suffered an injury or assault onboard a cruise ship, your child or spouse was harmed or you have tragically lost a loved one, we want to help you recover.

FAQs: Filing a Maritime Accident Claim in Key West

How Do I File a Maritime Accident Claim in Key West?

The steps involved in filing a maritime accident claim in Key West depend on the specific type of claim you need to file. To find out what you need to do to protect your rights, you should speak with a local attorney as soon as possible.

Should I Talk to a Lawyer if I Was Injured on a Shore Excursion in Key West?

Yes, if you were injured during a shore excursion in Key West, you should absolutely speak with a lawyer. Our lawyers have significant experience helping cruise passengers pursue claims for all types of onboard and onshore accidents.

Do I Need a Key West Maritime Lawyer if I was Injured on the Job?

Yes, if you have been injured on the job, you should consult with an attorney promptly. While you are most likely entitled to compensation, collecting this compensation won’t be easy. An experienced Key West maritime lawyer can help. 

Contact a Key West Maritime Attorney Today

The attorneys at the law firm of Brais Law Firm have the experience to protect your rights, the compassion to serve your needs, and the skill to obtain the compensation you deserve. To reach our lawyers you may click email the firm, call 800-499-0551 from within the U.S., Skype BraisLaw worldwide or click Contact Us to select and complete a form for a free evaluation of your case.

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