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Kissimmee is famous for its 50 individual lakes. These lush waters, especially the famous Kissimmee Chain of Lakes, are best enjoyed by boat. Canals connecting these groups of lakes make it easy for boaters to spend the whole day exploring Kissimmee’s waters.
Our city is also sandwiched between Florida’s East and West Coasts, providing ample opportunities for residents to work and play along the Gulf and Atlantic Ocean. Simply put, seafaring is a major part of our state’s culture and economy. But there are always risks when you go out on the water, whether you’re a sailor, dock worker, or a cruise ship employee.
Fortunately, legislation like the Jones Act and the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA) were put in place to protect our state’s injured sailors and dockworkers. Our maritime attorneys are experienced in legally representing maritime industry employees who were hurt on the job.
Also known as the Merchant Marine Act, the Jones Act was passed in 1920 to ensure consistency in all matters involving merchant mariners and vessels throughout the nation, including workers’ compensation for injured maritime sailors. However, the Jones Act differs from typical workers’ compensation in that fault matters. The protections of the Jones Act only apply if a sailor’s injury was caused by the negligence of his or her employer or the “unseaworthiness” of their vessel. They will not be covered if their own negligence caused the injury.
Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act
The LHWCA, on the other hand, more closely aligns with typical state workers’ compensation laws, in that in provides no-fault compensation to dock workers injured while on the job. This can include being injured on adjoining piers and docks. However, the claims process under the LHWCA differs from typical workers’ compensation claims, in that dock workers injured must navigate a more complex process.
Experienced maritime attorneys are knowledgeable in how the LHWCA works and the procedures necessary to successfully recover compensation for injured dock workers.
Along with protecting maritime workers, our attorneys in Kissimmee also handle recreational boating accident cases. In 2015 alone, there were 4,157 reported recreational boating accidents, resulting in 626 deaths and 2,613 injuries, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.
These recreational boating accidents may be caused by negligence such as:
- Hitting a big wave at an excessive speed;
- Choosing to navigate in bad weather;
- Operating the boat under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
- Failing to carry safety equipment on board;
- Causing collisions with other boats or fixed object(s);
- Overcrowding and overloading the vessel; and
- Failing to pay attention to other watercrafts and individuals.
How Can a Kissimmee Maritime Attorney Help?
Maritime law is complex. When compensation for injuries incurred on the job is on the line, rely on our experienced attorneys at Morgan & Morgan, who are well acquainted with the laws and regulations that surround maritime law.
If you have been injured on the job as a maritime worker or hurt in a recreational boating accident due to the negligence of another, our attorneys want to help. Fill out our free, no-risk case evaluation form today to see how our attorneys may be able to assist you.