Injured in Florida in a Maritime Accident?

Surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the East and the Gulf of Mexico to West, Florida is a premier destination for water enthusiasts. From recreational boating, fishing and diving to disembarking on a cruise vacation, people across the U.S. and around the globe flock to Florida to take advantage of an endless range of water-based activities. If you’ve been injured in a maritime or other water-based accident, contact an experienced Florida maritime injury lawyer today.

In addition to its recreational offerings, Florida also serves as a hub for the maritime industry. Maritime activities account for approximately 13 percent of the state’s gross domestic product, with cargo and cruise activities at Florida’s public seaports contributing over $117 billion in economic value to the state’s economy. Seaports across the state create close to 900,000 jobs directly and indirectly, and maritime industry activities contribute more than $4 billion in state and local taxes.

With so many commercial and recreational activities taking place on the ocean, as well as lakes, rivers and other waterways, maritime and other water-based accidents are a far too common occurrence in Florida. These types of unfortunate events can result in serious bodily harm. Many victims suffer long-term injuries requiring extensive high-cost medical care, and in the worst-case scenarios, wrongful death can occur.

Representing Florida Maritime Injury Victims

The Florida maritime injury lawyers at Brais Law Firm have vast experience handling boating, cruise ship, and other maritime accident claims. We represent people who have been injured in all types of accidents occurring in and around Florida’s ports, harbors and navigable waters, including the following areas:

Whether you have suffered a personal injury on a cruise ship, been the victim of sexual assault or rape, or were involved in a Jet Ski, powerboat or other watercraft collision, our firm’s maritime lawyers are prepared to handle your claim from start to finish.

Our lawyers also routinely represent Jones Act seamen, crew members, dock and harbor workers and other maritime employees who are injured aboard cruise ships, ferries, tugs and barges, tankers and other vessels.

Accident and injury cases involving cruise ships, boats, and other vessels or employment in the maritime industry require an attorney with specialized legal knowledge and expertise. These claims typically fall within a unique and often obscure body of federal and state laws and regulations known as admiralty and maritime law.

The lawyers at Brais Law Firm have extensive experience handling these types of cases and Attorney Keith Brais is board certified by the Florida Bar as an expert in the field of admiralty and maritime law.

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What Type of Case Do You Have?

Maritime injury cases can involve a broad range of circumstances. Our lawyer represents passengers, captains and crew members, dock and harbor workers, and other individuals who have suffered severe and traumatic injuries in incidents ranging from collisions to onboard sexual assaults. If you have suffered injuries as a result of any of the following, we strongly encourage you to speak with a Florida maritime injury lawyer at Brais Law Firm right away:

Barge and Tugboat Accidents

Working onboard a barge or tugboat can be extremely dangerous. We represent captains and crew members injured in accidents involving collisions, equipment failures, coworker negligence and other issues.

Commercial Fishing Accidents

Commercial fishing vessels based in Florida travel miles offshore, and they often do so with little regard for workers’ safety. While federal laws require vessel owners and commercial fishing operations to protect workers onboard, accidents involving hazardous sea conditions, bad weather and unseaworthy vessels are all far too common.

Cruise Ship Accidents

We represent passengers and crew members injured in accidents onboard cruise ships departing from Florida and visiting Florida cities as ports of call. We also handle cases involving accidents during excursions, tenders, embarking and disembarking. While cruise lines require passengers to sign waivers, these waivers do not provide complete protection from injury-related claims.

Cruise Ship Assaults

In addition to cases involving cruise ship accidents, we also handle cases involving cruise ship assaults. If you or a loved one was physically or sexually assaulted onboard a cruise ship, a Florida maritime injury lawyer at Brais Law Firm can help you seek the justice you and your loved one deserve.  

Offshore Work Accidents

Many of our clients are individuals who work on vessels, rigs and platforms operating in the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. If you were injured in an offshore work accident, you have clear legal rights, and our lawyers can help you fight for maximum compensation.

Parasailing Accidents

While going parasailing can be invigorating, it can also be dangerous. Too often, the companies that operate parasailing tours and excursions do not take all of the precautions necessary to ensure their customers’ safety. We handle parasailing accident cases on behalf of Florida residents and visitors injured in accidents statewide.  

Personal Watercraft/Jet Ski Accidents

Safely operating a jet ski or other personal watercraft is not as easy as many people think. If you haven’t received adequate training, you cannot simply get on and go. Yet, many companies freely rent jet skis to inexperienced riders, and in doing so they put these riders (and others) in harm’s way.

Port, Dock and Marina Accidents

Accidents at ports, docks and marinas can range from slips-and-falls to collisions between vessels. Our lawyers represent workers, boat owners, passengers and other individuals injured in port, dock and marina accidents throughout Florida.

Recreational Boating Accidents

A day out on the water can turn tragic when an inexperienced, reckless or drunk captain is at the helm. Our lawyers handle cases on behalf of captains and passengers injured in accidents involving all forms of negligence—from boating while drunk or distracted to failing to have an adequate number of personal floatation devices (PFDs) onboard.

Scuba Diving and Snorkeling Accidents

Scuba diving and snorkeling are also activities that can become extremely dangerous without adequate care. From maintaining their oxygen tanks to providing appropriate training and supervision, there are numerous steps that scuba diving and snorkeling outfits must take to keep their customers safe in the water.

Watersports Accidents

Along with parasailing, scuba diving and snorkeling, other watersports are frequent causes of maritime injuries as well. A Florida maritime injury lawyer at Brais Law Firm can help you if you or a loved one has been injured while kayaking, standup paddleboarding, hydrofoiling, kiteboarding or in any other type of watersport accident.

What Losses Are You Entitled to Recover For Your Maritime Injury?

When you get injured in a maritime accident, the losses you are entitled to recover depend on your individual circumstances. Broadly speaking, maritime injury claims fall into three categories:

Jones Act Claims for Injured Offshore Workers

In most cases, offshore workers must file their maritime injury claims under the Jones Act. The Jones Act is a federal law that establishes two different types of claims:

  • “No Fault” Claims for Maintenance and Cure Benefits – Regardless of how an offshore worker gets injured, the worker can file a claim for “no fault” maintenance and cure benefits (with a few rare exceptions). These benefits cover injured workers’ medical expenses and a small portion of their lost wages.
  • “Jones Act Negligence” and Unseaworthiness Claims – When offshore workers’ employers or vessel owners are responsible for causing their injuries, these workers can seek additional compensation based on “Jones Act negligence” or unseaworthiness. Filing one of these types of claims allows offshore workers to recover full compensation for their medical care, lost earnings, and other financial and non-financial losses.

LHWCA Claims for Land-Based Maritime Employees

Land-based maritime employees will typically need to file their claims under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA). This is a federal law that provides benefits comparable to those available to inshore land-based workers under Florida’s workers’ compensation statute. This includes:

  • Medical benefits
  • Disability benefits (partial wage replacement)
  • Rehabilitation benefits (coverage for vocational rehabilitation services)

Personal Injury Claims for Recreational Maritime Accidents

Individuals who suffer injuries in recreational maritime accidents can file personal injury claims under maritime law. Filing a personal injury claim with the help of an experienced Florida maritime injury attorney allows for full recovery of accident victims’ injury-related losses. This includes recovery of current and future:

  • Medical costs
  • Lost earnings
  • Emotional trauma
  • Pain and suffering
  • Other financial and non-financial costs

Regardless of what type of case you have and what losses you are entitled to recover, protecting your legal rights starts with hiring an experienced Florida maritime injury lawyer. Our lawyers are available to speak with you 24/7, and we can get to work on your case immediately, whether you are still at sea or recovering in Florida.

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Injured at a Port, Harbor, or on the Water in Florida? Discuss Your Case With a Florida Maritime Injury Lawyer

If you or someone you love has been injured in a boating, cruise ship, diving, or maritime employment accident, we encourage you to contact Brais Law Firm today. Our Florida maritime injury lawyers offer free case evaluations to people who have been injured while on the water and/or at Florida’s ports and harbors. To schedule a consultation, call us today at 800-499-0551 or complete our online contact form.

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