Miami Maritime & Boat Accident Lawyer
PortMiami is known worldwide as the Cruise Capital of the World, and with its proximity to the Panama Canal, it is also one of the world’s leading hubs for global commerce and containerized cargo. All of this activity is a boon for Miami’s economy, but at the same time it presents many opportunities for accident and injury. Working on ships is a dangerous business, with slippery surfaces, low clearances, and unstable heavy equipment which can move or shift at any time. Ship captains and owners should take care that their vessels are in a safe condition for passengers and crew, and that reasonable safety measures are taken. When they aren’t, our experienced Miami maritime accidents lawyer is here to help maritime accident victims recover compensation for their harm.
Special Laws Apply to Maritime Workers Injured on the Job
Most employees who are injured on the job are able to receive Florida workers’ compensation benefits or recover compensation from negligent third parties. Maritime workers instead must follow different laws and procedures when they are hurt in workplace accidents. A federal law known as the Jones Act authorizes benefits for maritime workers injured on the job, but unlike Florida workers’ compensation, maritime workers must prove negligence on the part of the shipowner, captain or a crew member, making it much more difficult to pursue a claim without the help of an attorney. The Jones Act covers sailors, seamen and longshoremen who spend at least 30% of their time in the service of a vessel on navigable waters. A wide range of vessels are covered by the Jones Act, from barges, tugs and fishing vessels to tour boats, ferries and cruise ships.
In some cases, workers on commercial boats can sue boat owners without having to prove negligence when the condition of the vessel fails to meet the standard for seaworthiness. This can be proven by showing that necessary safety and lifesaving equipment was missing or inadequate, that safety regulations were not complied with, and in several other ways.
Dockworkers and harbor workers may also have a workers’ comp type of claim under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. This federal law covers various maritime occupations, including ship-builders and ship-breakers.
At the Miami-based law office of Spencer Morgan Law, we are well-versed in the many laws which apply to maritime workers and can help you pursue the right paths to compensation when you have been injured on the job.
Cruise Ship Guests should Expect their Safety and Well-Being to be Looked After
For many, a cruise is the vacation of a lifetime, often involving the expense of a lifetime. Cruise lines charge hefty fees and give the impression that your every whim and desire will be taken care of. Unfortunately, your personal health and safety are not always considered first and foremost. Cruise ship guests are frequently injured from slips, trips and falls on slippery decks or decks overcrowded with unsecured equipment. Additionally, guests are prone to food poisoning and outbreaks of other illnesses when kitchens, cabins and common areas are not properly cleaned and sanitized. Low doorways, ceilings and unmarked inclines throughout the ship, along with gangplanks during boarding and disembarking, are other common sites of cruise ship injuries for the unsuspecting guest. At Spencer Morgan Law, we are not afraid to take on the huge cruise lines and fight for justice when you have been injured because of negligent crewmembers or unsafe premises.
Get Legal Help from an Experienced Miami Maritime Lawyer after a Boat Accident
If you have been hurt in a maritime accident, whether as an employee or a passenger on a vessel, count on our experienced Miami maritime accidents lawyer to pursue your case vigorously and seek the maximum compensation you are owed. Call Spencer Morgan Law at 305-423-3800 for a free consultation regarding your potential claims.