Boating has long been a crucial part of both the economy and culture of Florida. But both recreational boating and working in the maritime industry come with great risks. Accidents and injuries are a constant danger, especially if someone else is needlessly careless and negligent out on the water.
Morgan & Morgan’s boating & maritime attorneys have decades of experience handling cases, and have had great success securing compensation for their clients. Whether it’s a recreational boating accident or an on-the-job injury on ships and docks, our attorneys in Ocala have a deep understanding of the specifics of local Florida boating laws, and we use our vast resources to give our clients the edge they need in a personal injury case. In doing this, we have gotten our clients nationwide millions of dollars in compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a maritime or boating accident, you may be entitled to compensation. To learn more about your legal options, contact us by completing our case review form at no cost.
Recreational Boating Accidents
Negligence in boating can occur on a simple boating trip out on the lake, as well as on passenger ships such as cruise ships. Morgan & Morgan attorneys have an excellent understanding of Florida’s specific laws and statutes of careless operations of a boat that can help determine whether you can file a lawsuit, who you can file it against, and who has jurisdiction.
There are a wide variety of forms of negligence that can cause a boating accident, and an investigation and subsequent lawsuit could potentially prove someone acted negligently, causing your injury. These accidents and negligent acts include:
- Navigating in bad/inclement weather;
- Hitting a bad wave or wake at excessive speed;
- Failure to carry proper safety equipment on board the ship;
- Overcrowding and/or overloading;
- Failure to pay attention to surrounding boats;
- Failure to follow the “rules of the road” as per Florida law;
- Collisions with boats or fixed objects; or
- Operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
In addition, there are some cases where faulty equipment caused an accident, and you may be able to file a third-party lawsuit against the manufacturer.
Jones Act & Workers’ Compensation
There are protections for maritime industry workers in the event of boating accidents that those workers need to know, should they be the victim of an accident.
The Jones Act is meant to protect sailors and seamen on ships that have been deemed “unseaworthy.” For a vessel to be seaworthy, it must be, among other things, reasonably fit for use and equipped with appropriate, working safety gear. Sailors and seamen working aboard a ship are entitled to immediate medical treatment should an injury occur, and if that ship was in poor working conditions or didn’t have proper safety equipment, you may be able to file a claim under the Jones Act to allege that the ship was not seaworthy.
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) helps protect longshoremen and other maritime workers in the event of an injury. Medical care, disability compensation, and death benefits may be awarded to the worker and their family if they were injured doing any number of longshore jobs (loading and unloading, building and repairing, etc.).
Claims regarding maritime injury, however, can be complex and frustrating at times. Having an attorney go through the steps of filing and, if need be, appealing your claim can go a long way. Morgan & Morgan attorneys have thorough understandings of these acts and how to navigate through the claims processes.
Jet Ski Accidents
In addition to boating and maritime injuries, our Ocala attorneys are also well-equipped to take on jet ski injuries. Jet ski injuries have the potential to be far more severe, due to the exposed nature of the rider. Some forms of negligently operating a jet ski include:
- Operating with inexperience;
- Operating at too high a speed;
- Operating through inclement weather;
- Operating with restricted vision; or
- Operating under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
In many other cases, jet ski injury lawsuits have been filed against the manufacturer of the jet ski, as a defective product was responsible for the accident and subsequent injury.
Contact Morgan & Morgan Today
You could be owed compensation for your boating injury, whether you are a sailor, dock worker, or recreational boater. Don’t hesitate to contact us as soon as possible to learn more about your case. Fill out or free, no-obligation case evaluation form.