Located on the Tampa Bay coast, St. Petersburg is among the best places for boating in Florida. It is an ideal destination for all kinds of boating activities, and even competitive regattas that draw sailors from around the world.
However, because St. Petersburg is such a popular boating destination there is an increased risk of getting into a boating accident. Pinellas County ranked fifth among all counties in Florida for boating accidents in 2015, with 46 accidents reported resulting in $219,600 in damages, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Division of Law Enforcement’s annual reporting on boating accidents in Florida.
If you are ever in a boat accident in St. Petersburg don’t let your case be handled by just any attorney. At Morgan & Morgan, the boat accident attorneys in our St. Petersburg office are well-versed in maritime laws and have established themselves as accomplished negotiators and litigators who have recovered substantial awards on behalf of their clients.
To learn about your available legal options, please complete our case review form today.
What Will A St. Petersburg Attorney Do to Help?
Whether you were injured on the job or during a recreational boating outing on Tampa Bay, your attorney will conduct an in-depth investigation into the accident for evidence of another’s negligence. Once your attorney completes the investigation, he or she will create a claim that best supports your pursuit of compensation.
Your attorney will use this claim as leverage in negotiations, as a foundation in filing a formal lawsuit, and at trial as evidence in support of your case. Maritime and boat accident lawsuits can be complicated and must be handled properly; retaining an experienced St. Petersburg attorney as soon as possible after an accident can help simplify the process of pursuing and successfully collecting compensation for your losses.
St. Petersburg Recreational Boating Accidents
Recreational boating accidents can result from the negligent operation or maintenance of the vessel. Our St. Petersburg attorneys handle boating cases stemming from another’s negligence in:
- Hitting a big wave or wake at an excessive speed;
- Deciding to navigate in bad weather;
- Making contact with propellers;
- Operating the boat the influence of drugs or alcohol;
- Failing to carry safety equipment on board;
- Causing collisions with other boats or fixed object(s);
- Failing to know and follow the rules as required by Florida state law;
- Overcrowding and/or overloading the vessel; and
- Failing to pay attention to surrounding watercrafts and individuals.
Work-Related Maritime Accidents
Traditionally, on-the-job injuries are covered under an employer’s workers compensation benefits; however, maritime workers are not covered by on-shore workers’ compensation regulations. To protect maritime workers, special laws, including the Jones Act, have been enacted to assist a worker’s recovery of compensation for work-related injuries.
Created specifically for maritime workers, the Jones Act creates its own version of workers’ compensation for offshore workers. It provides workers the right to recover compensation—maintenance and cure—immediately following an injury, regardless of fault. Under the Jones Act, employers are required to compensate their injured workers for medical care related to the injury and provide a daily stipend during recovery.
Workers are entitled to safe working environment on a seaworthy vessel.
The Jones Act also creates the right for an injured offshore worker to pursue additional compensation through a negligence claim against their employer. Workers are entitled to a safe working environment on a seaworthy vessel.
If these requirements are neglected or disregarded and an injury results, the injured party may be able to bring a lawsuit against their employer and/or the vessel’s owner. If a third party contributed to the injury, the injured party may not be able to file a claim under the Jones Act; however, victims may be able to sue a third party responsible for their injuries.
An experienced St. Petersburg maritime attorney will be able to help determine which claims you are eligible file, against whom these claims can be filed, and the amount and type of compensation you may be owed.
What is My St. Petersburg Maritime Claim Worth?
Each boating accident or maritime injury case is different. The type and amount of damages you may receive will depend on the nature, location, and cause of the accident; the type of boat(s) or vessel(s) involved; the severity of the injury sustained; and whether you contributed to the accident.
If your case is successful, compensation may be available for medical bills and expenses, lost wages, loss of future earning capacity, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of intimacy, pain and suffering, and funeral costs. To learn more about your available options and how a St. Petersburg maritime attorney may be able to help, please complete our free case review form.