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What is Admiralty &

Maritime Law?

If you or a loved one was seriously injured in an accident while working or aboard a sea vessel, or on any inland, coastal, or navigable waterway, you may have a claim based in admiralty and maritime law. If this is the case, you should speak with an experienced maritime attorney to discuss your legal options.

How Maritime Claims are Different From Other Civil Claims

If you suffered an injury in a preventable accident, you may be thinking you can file a personal injury or workers’ compensation claim. However, maritime law is quite different from personal injury law. Different rules and regulations apply that may limit the time you have to file a maritime claim.

Maritime law is comprised of a myriad of different laws including federal statutes, international treaties, contract law, and even foreign law. All of these varying laws may wind up limiting the liability and the types of damages you can pursue. This is why it makes sense to speak with an experienced maritime attorney to get a thorough assessment of your legal options.

A good example of how a claim filed pursuant to maritime law differs from a personal injury claim based upon state law is when a death occurs more than three nautical miles offshore. If this occurred, the Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA), a federal law, governs the claim rather than state law. DOSHA states that only the personal
representative of a victim who passed away is allowed to file a death claim on behalf of the surviving relatives (e.g., spouse, child, and financial dependents of the decedent at the time of death). Additionally, DOHSA only affords monetary damages for economic losses (e.g., medical bills, funeral expenses, etc.). In other words, you cannot recover for non-economic damages like pain and suffering, emotional trauma, etc. if your claim falls
under DOSHA.

Crew Member Injury and Wrongful Death Claims Subject to Contractual Limitations

Contractual limitations may apply if you file a personal injury or wrongful death claim related to an accident on a cruise ship or other vessel. For example, crew members may have unknowingly waived certain rights to filing a claim in a state court because of the limitations set forth in their employment contract. Additionally, many maritime workers wind up contracting away certain rights pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement. A common example is the requirement that an injured maritime worker must have their claim arbitrated as opposed to being decided by a judge or jury. Arbitrations can be just as complex as filing a claim pursuant to
maritime law and usually tilt in favor of the employer. Again, this is why you need an experienced maritime attorney in Florida working for you to navigate through this complex claims process.

Contact an Experienced Florida Maritime Lawyer Today

If you are a harbor worker or crew member who suffered a serious injury, you may be entitled to compensation for your harms and losses (i.e., medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, etc.). The Law Firm of Kevin A. Moore is here to help. He focuses on integrity, service and results in every case we handle. Contact Kevin today for a free, confidential case review.