Were you recently injured in a maritime accident off the coast of Clearwater, Florida? Injured maritime workers face challenges because special maritime laws may apply in addition to Florida personal injury or workers’ compensation laws. An experienced Clearwater maritime accident lawyer at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers can help you navigate these challenges and seek the compensation you deserve.
Our lawyers have over 300 years of combined experience handling complex legal matters. We’ve helped our injured clients recover hundreds of millions of dollars over the years for cases involving Clearwater boating accidents, cruise ship accidents, wrongful death, catastrophic injuries, and more.
You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages and more. Contact our law offices in Clearwater, Florida. Call us at (727) 796-8282 to schedule a free consultation and get the legal advice you deserve.
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How Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help After a Maritime Accident in Clearwater, Florida
Accidents that occur on the water can be more complex than your typical car accident case. You’ll have to do more than simply prove the cause of the accident. You’ll also have to determine which laws apply in your case.
That makes it particularly important to hire an experienced Clearwater personal injury attorney.
At Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers, three of our accident attorneys have been Board Certified by the Florida Bar Association (a distinction held by less than 2% of all Florida lawyers). Members of our team have also been listed as Super Lawyers and Rising Stars.
When you hire our legal team, we can:
- Investigate the circumstances of the accident and gather evidence
- Research to determine which laws apply in your case
- Calculate your case value
- Work with experts as we build your case
- Handle all negotiations with the insurance companies and responsible parties
- Fight to protect you in court if necessary
Contact a personal injury lawyer in Clearwater. We are always available to discuss your case. We’re ready to start today, so call us for a free initial consultation.
What Are Maritime Accidents?
The maritime industry in the State of Florida generates about $14.6 billion annually – second in the United States only to Louisiana. About 65,990 Florida residents are employed in the maritime industry. Florida’s maritime industry includes all three elements of the maritime industry generally:
- Vessel operating companies
- Ship construction and repair yards
- Maritime industry workers
Unfortunately, that means that maritime accidents are also common. The term “maritime accident” refers to any type of non-recreational boating accident. Typically, maritime accidents involve maritime workers or occur at sea.
We Handle All Types of Maritime Accident Cases in Clearwater
Some examples of the types of vessels that are typically involved in maritime accident cases include:
- Cruise lines
- Commercial fishing boats
- Shrimp boats
- Cargo ships
- Offshore drilling rigs
- Marine cranes
- Jack-up rigs
- Crude oil tankers
Maritime accidents can also occur in shipyards or on docks. The key feature of maritime accidents is that they involve an activity that is related to a maritime activity.
Injured parties in maritime accident cases often include:
- Fishing charter captains
- Shrimp boat workers
- Cruise ship crew members
- Cruise ship passengers
- Ship repair workers
- Ship crew members
- Commercial fishermen
- Harbor workers
- Long liners
- Ferry passengers
- Yacht passengers
Depending on the situation, state, federal or admiralty laws may apply in your case. That makes it especially important to work with an experienced attorney to maximize your financial recovery after an accident.
At Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers, we have a proven track record of successfully helping injured maritime workers recover the full compensation they deserve. To learn more about our experience, give us a call for a free case review today.
Overview of Federal Maritime Laws
Most Florida employees are covered by workers’ compensation insurance. When they’re injured on the job, they file a claim for benefits that cover a portion of their lost income and their medical expenses.
Maritime injury cases often involve federal maritime laws. State-level workers’ compensation benefits are sometimes available–but not all maritime workers are covered.
If you are a maritime worker who was injured on the job, the following federal laws may apply in your case:
- The Jones Act, which is also known as the Merchant Marine Act
- Longshoremen & Harbor Workers Compensation Act
- Death on the High Seas Act
- Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA)
- Limitation of Liability Act of 1851
It’s important to work with a lawyer who understands the specific laws that apply in your case. To learn more about how our experienced Clearwater maritime attorneys can help with your personal injury claim, call to schedule a free consultation today.
What Is My Clearwater Maritime Accident Case Worth?
The two most important factors in assessing your case value include:
- The severity of your injuries
- The laws that apply in your case
More severe injuries tend to result in higher compensation awards. However, some maritime laws limit the rights of injured parties and prohibit them from suing their employer for non-economic damages.
If you’re covered under the Jones Act, you’re entitled to “maintenance and cure.” In other words, you’re entitled to reimbursement for medical expenses and all reasonable daily living expenses while you recover. You’re entitled to recover these damages until you have reached maximum medical improvement. Like workers’ compensation, maintenance and cure is available regardless of fault.
If you can prove your employer was negligent, however, you can also recover damages for unseaworthiness. These types of damages are similar to the pain and suffering damages you could recover in a personal injury case.
What Types of Damages Are Available to Victims of Maritime Accidents in Florida?
The specific types of damages that are available will depend on the laws that apply in your case and the nature of your injuries.
You may be entitled to compensation for:
- Current medical bills
- Future medical expenses, including rehabilitation
- Lost wages during your recovery
- Permanent disability
- Nursing care
- Funeral and burial costs in fatal maritime accident cases
If you’re entitled to seek non-economic damages, you may be entitled to compensation for:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
Our attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers are here to help you fight for the full range of damages that are available in your case. To learn more, call our personal injury law firm today.
We’ll Fight To Recover Compensation for All of Your Maritime Accident Injuries
At Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers, our team in Pinellas County often represents clients who have sustained:
- Broken bones
- Crushing injuries
- Soft tissue damage
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Repetitive stress injuries
- Back injuries
- Organ damage
- Crushing injuries
- Catastrophic injuries
- Wrongful death of a loved one
It’s important to seek medical care quickly if you are injured on a cruise ship or on the job. Seeking prompt medical attention can reduce the potential for complications associated with your injuries. It can also help you prove that your injuries were job-related.
What Causes Most Maritime Accidents in Clearwater, Florida?
Maritime accidents occur for all different reasons. Often, they occur because someone was careless.
Some of the most common causes of maritime accidents include:
- Lack of fall protection
- Failure to provide necessary safety equipment
- Slip and fall accidents
- Defective machinery or equipment
- Failure to properly train and supervise workers
- Hiring under qualified workers
- Failure to follow safety rules and regulations
- Failure to follow company safety protocols
- Unsafe working conditions
- Poor weather conditions
- Fires and explosions
- Distracted workers
- Drug or alcohol use
- Overworked and fatigued workers
In other words, accidents on the job tend to occur because of negligence. If you were hurt due to someone else’s careless actions, you deserve to be compensated.
Am I Required To Prove Negligence to Recover Compensation After a Maritime Accident in Florida?
You will likely be entitled to damages even if you cannot prove that someone else was negligent. However, those damages may be limited to your financial losses–or economic damages.
To recover non-economic damages under The Jones Act, you’ll have to prove negligence.
In other words, you must establish:
- A legal duty of care existed
- The responsible party breached the duty of care
- The breach caused your accident
- You suffered damages
You can count on our team at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers to gather every piece of evidence that can support your claim.
How Long Do I Have To File a Maritime Accident Injury Lawsuit in Florida?
Under federal maritime laws, you have three years to take legal action after an accident.
If Florida personal injury laws apply, you have four years to file a personal injury lawsuit. You’ll have only two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit if the accident was fatal.
In either case, the clock starts to run on the date of your accident–so don’t hesitate to reach out for legal advice today.
Contact a Clearwater Maritime Accident Lawyer for a Free Consultation
Do you have questions about your legal options after a maritime accident? Contact Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers for a free consultation with an experienced Clearwater maritime accident attorney today.
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