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Florida Maritime and Admiralty Information
With a large number of seagoing individuals enjoying beautiful lakes and coastal access to the oceans surrounding Florida, boating-related accidents causing personal injury and death occur far too often. Boat crashes can include incidents that occur from recreational boating or cruise ships, or work-related accidents on the high seas, such as those suffered by harbor workers or sailors. There are a number of boating accidents causes, such as excessive speed, operator inexperience, operator inattention or alcohol use.
With one of the longest coastlines belonging to any U.S. state, Florida is no stranger to boating, and neither are its residents. Maritime law, which deals with events that take place on the ocean or other bodies of water, has a long history, and many of its rules and regulations are still enforced today. Floridians injured while on the open water or on a shore or dock may find their claims must be brought under maritime law - and that the help of an experienced Florida maritime attorney is crucial to their success. Contact Farah & Farah if you or a loved one has been injured at sea to learn how maritime law may apply to your circumstances.
Florida Maritime Claims
Maritime law, also known as "admiralty law," covers a wide range of accidents and injuries that take place on the water. Just a few of the types of claims that may be covered by maritime law include:
- Recreational boating crashes,
- Cruise ship accidents or injuries,
- Personal watercraft accidents,
- Jones Act and Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act claims.
Maritime law also covers many accidents that take place on the water, but do not involve boating or navigation. For instance, oil spills that cause injuries may be governed by maritime law if the spill comes from an oil tanker or oil-drilling platform. Navigation on the water may also be governed by maritime law.
Maritime law claims may involve passengers, vacationers, or employees of boating companies, shipping lines, or other companies that work on the water. They may deal with accidents and injuries, defective products, or employment law claims. Because companies in many different countries work on the water, some maritime claims involve complex questions of transnational law.
Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act Claims
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) provides workers’ compensation to employees who are injured on the job while working on any navigable waterway within U.S. jurisdiction or on the docks or shores adjacent to these waters. It includes not only on-the-job injuries that occur on the oceans or ocean docks near the U.S., but also injuries that occur on or near lakes, rivers, and streams. It also covers some injuries suffered while building or repairing certain vessels.
Unlike state laws that govern workers’ compensation for most individuals, LHWCA claims are governed by federal law. Benefits under the LHWCA are administered by the federal Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs, which is part of the U.S. Department of Labor.
Jones Act Claims
The federal Jones Act provides a legal remedy for sailors who are injured on the job due to the negligence of an owner, master, or fellow sailor on a vessel. It defines the legal rights of sailors and their survivors to bring a suit to court if the sailor is injured or killed by the negligent or reckless behavior of others while the sailor is working on the water.
Sailors who are injured while on land have the ability to bring a lawsuit in a Florida court based on Florida law governing negligence or, in the case of an on the job injury, under the LHWCA. While on the water, the Jones Act governs the sailors’ rights to bring similar claims.
Contact a Skilled Jacksonville Admiralty Lawyer at Farah & Farah
Anyone who is injured while on the water due to the negligence of another party has legal rights, including those that relate to Florida maritime and admiralty law and the Jones Act for Merchant Marines. These laws allow for boat passengers or high seas workers to receive compensation if injured by the negligent actions of boat operators or staff. The knowledgeable Jacksonville Jones Act attorneys of Farah & Farah can help anyone who has incurred injuries from a boating accident.
At the law firm of Farah & Farah, our experienced Jacksonville personal injury lawyers have the resources necessary to help you obtain compensation for your injuries in the event of an accident while out on navigable waters. We will work tirelessly to ensure that the responsible party is held accountable. Please call us at (800) 533-3555 for a no-cost consultation.
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