Call For A Consultation305-392-0772

Call For A Consultation305-392-0772

Miami Maritime Accident Lawyer

Home  |  Miami Maritime Accident Lawyer

An Experienced Miami Maritime Accident Attorney Can Help Recover Damages

Water vehicles come in many shapes and sizes and are ubiquitous in Miami, Florida. Though not the first thing you think of when riding in these waters, calling a Miami maritime accident attorney is a crucial first step after any incident. If you or a family member have been injured or killed in any type of maritime accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your losses.

If you can show your injuries were caused by some type of watercraft, an experienced Miami maritime accident attorney at Callejo Law can help.

best maritime accident lawyer Miami

What Are the Causes of Boating Accidents in Florida?

Cruise ships and maritime vehicles are two of the most common types of water vehicles in Florida. Regrettably, many watercraft operators have little or no experience, even in Florida, mainly recreational boat operators or tourists. In addition, many drivers do not even have the proper license required to operate a boat. As a result, boating accidents happen all too frequently throughout the state of Florida, involving both tourists and residents. Some of the most common causes of boating accidents include:

  • The leading cause of fatal boating accidents is alcohol.
  • Many boaters ignorantly feel like traffic rules don’t apply to them.
  • Negligent boat operators often make dangerously sharp turns, causing passengers to be ejected from the boat or thrown around inside the boat, resulting in severe injury or drowning.
  • Many inexperienced boat operators have no safety equipment, even life jackets, onboard for drivers and passengers. As a result, boat accidents are hazardous for passengers who have difficulty swimming in unfamiliar or choppy waters, do not wear life jackets, have been knocked unconscious, or simply cannot swim.
  • Significant waves caused by careless boat operators may cause other watercraft to crash or overturn.
  • Most fatal watercraft deaths are caused by drowning. Unfortunately, most drowning victims were not wearing a life jacket.
  • In cases where the boat operator’s training status was known, a large percentage of deaths occurred on boats on which the operator did not receive any boating safety instruction.

Common Cruise Ship Accidents in Miami, FL

Whether you are a passenger on a cruise ship or a member of the crew, accidents can and do happen. Some of the most common types of injuries that occur on cruise ships include:

  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Food poisoning
  • Swimming pool accidents
  • Elevator and escalator accidents
  • Recreational activities
  • Legionnaires Disease
  • Fires
  • Drowning
  • Assault and sexual assault

What Qualifies as a Maritime Accident?

Although these are the typical injuries and types of accidents that happen aboard a vessel, there are other complexities as to what constitutes a maritime accident. While you may think of a maritime accident as something that happens when some friends go out on a boat and get hurt, many industries do their work on the seas.

The most popular conception of maritime accidents includes ones that happen on a cruise ship. Cruises are a popular vacation plan, so you’ll find many people who have returned to port and reported an accident or injury. Of course, this is just one small part of maritime law.

Maritime accidents can include any incident on a boat, offshore oil rig, or in port. The vessels involved can include:

  • Cruise ships
  • Barges
  • Tugboats
  • Ferries
  • Commercial fishing boats

Maritime accidents are unique compared to other incidents, as they have specific challenges due to the seabound nature of the vessels. If someone suffers an injury or illness, getting them medical attention is not as easy as if they were on land. The boat will have to rely on an onboard doctor or hurriedly make their way to a port to find medical attention.

What Laws Cover Maritime Accidents?

Maritime law is not governed by the same rules as incidents on land. The most crucial piece of legislation for workers at sea and their passengers is the Jones Act. This 1920 law established legal protection for maritime workers and passengers.

Maritime workers are not eligible for workers’ compensation and, instead, must seek restitution for any injuries and negligence by going through the Jones Act. In practice, this works similarly to other workers’ compensation cases, but the process of filing for benefits is slightly different.

Labor leaders have often praised the Jones Act for being quite favorable to employees and allowing maritime employees to be able to work without fear of a devastating injury.

The Jones Act isn’t the only legislation that affects those at sea. The Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA) provides the ability for relatives to file a claim against a boat’s owner in the event of a wrongful death. However, this law does not provide money for pain and suffering, only for recouping any lost wages due to the loved one’s death.

If you suffered an accident while at sea, you will be heading to federal court, as per Title 28. If you are in port, you’ll likely be dealing with the state courts when seeking restitution.

What Should You Do After an Injury on a Cruise Ship or Other Vessel?

You’ll likely be dealing with a lot of emotions after an accident at sea. You won’t know what to do or where to turn to. Luckily, we’ve prepared a step-by-step guide on what you should do after your accident. This can allow you to preserve your case and receive compensation to help offset the costs of the injury.

  1. First, you need to stay calm and sharp. You should report your accident to an appropriate member of the crew and make sure they file an official report of the accident. You’ll also want to request this accident report, but you may need a lawyer to help you find the correct person to talk to.
  2. You should see the onboard physician after your accident and have them examine your injuries. Collect any documents from them that you can as well. These documents will help you prove your injury if you need to.
  3. If there were unsafe conditions, such as a wet floor or faulty equipment, that led to your accident, you or someone close to you should snap some pictures as evidence. The longer you wait, the more time you give for someone to come and fix the problem, thus erasing the evidence.
  4. When you get back on dry land, you should contact a Miami maritime accident attorney and explain the situation. Many attorneys offer an initial consultation, which can give you an idea of what your case might be worth if you build it correctly.

Your attorney can also walk you through the filing process and make sure that you follow the proper procedures. This must be done right to get the compensation you need while recovering from the injury. If you collected evidence properly, you should have a strong case and may get the maritime company to settle and avoid a court battle. Your attorney can look at the circumstances of your case and give you guidance on the right course of action.

FAQs for a Maritime Injury

Q: Should I Get a Lawyer After a Maritime Accident in Florida?

A: Yes! An experienced and knowledgeable attorney can help you through the process of seeking compensation for a maritime accident and explain each step of the process. If your case ends up in court, your attorney can advocate for you and try to get you the maximum amount possible from your accident.

Q: How Much Will It Cost to Hire a Maritime Lawyer?

A: Most maritime or injury lawyers work on a contingency basis. They won’t charge you a fee if you don’t get anything back in a settlement. The typical fee sits at around 30 to 40 percent of the winnings. While that may seem like a lot, without an attorney, you might end up with nothing and have to deal with an injury without any financial support.

Q: How Does Maritime Law Work?

A: The Jones Act from 1920 generally oversees all maritime accidents and cases. While an over 100-year-old law may sound outdated, it actually extends good protections to employees and passengers on board boats. Any incidents at sea typically fall under the federal government’s purview, though accidents at port will have you dealing with the state court.

Q: Is There a Statute of Limitations Regarding Maritime Incidents?

A: Yes! In general, you have three years from the date of the accident to bring any legal action against the boat’s owner or the company. While three years may seem like a lot, it isn’t that much time when you account for recovering from an injury and filling out all the paperwork. You can pass some of the responsibilities off to an attorney to ease the burden on yourself.

Let a Miami Maritime Accident Lawyer Help You With Your Claim

Callejo Law has over 25 years of legal experience and focuses entirely on personal injury and workers’ comp claims. We are experienced, accessible, and available to offer you personalized attention at any time. The quality of our service has earned us a perfect 5.0 on Google Reviews, and all clients have Ms. Callejo’s cell phone number.

If you have suffered injuries caused by a maritime accident, contact an experienced Miami maritime accident attorney at Callejo Law for help. We offer free consultations, same-day returns of phone calls and emails, bilingual representation, and 24/7/365 availability.


Contact Us

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Request a Free Consultation

Fields marked with an * are required

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.