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Common Maritime Accident Questions

Introduction to Maritime and Admiralty Law

If you are injured on the ocean while sailing on a vessel, employed on a ship, or working in certain offshore jobs, your injury claim may be covered by maritime or admiralty law. Maritime law is a unique area of law with which many attorneys are unfamiliar. At Gerson & Schwartz, we have represented personal injury clients from around the country in a variety of maritime accident and injury claims and lawsuits against all major cruise lines as well as other types of vessels. If you were injured while at sea, you need help from an experienced Florida maritime attorney to evaluate your legal claim.

What is Admiralty or Maritime Law?

Maritime law is a compilation of federal, international, and common law that covers most legal matters that occur on the ocean as well as many other types of activities that take place on land but have relationship to traditional maritime activities. Maritime and admiralty law can cover accident and injuries at sea, such as crewmember accidents, and passenger injuries that occur on a ship or at sea. Thought the terms are similar, admiralty law is also a set of rules which govern jurisdictional issues as applied to ship accidents, injuries, crimes, and business contracts that take place on oceans, seas, and body of waters such as lakes and rivers.

Both the law of admiralty and maritime law rules decide are both procedural and substantive legal rights and may limit and determine legal rights and remedies for injured passengers and crew member injury cases. These laws can affect how, when, when and where a lawsuit is filed and also may limit the type of financial compensation that may be available.

Maritime Injury Lawyers in Florida Ready to Help You

If you are an injured passenger or crew, your legal rights may differ. Some basic questions our maritime lawyers will analyze include the name of the ship, review of your employment contract, how you were injured, the extent of your injuries, amount of medical bill medical treatment you may or may not have received. Other legal factors include where exactly the accident occurred, whether it occurred in state or international waters to what contracts and agreements were in effect at the time of the injury. Injured crew members cases are usually governed by a collective bargaining agreement, or crew member agreement. While injured ship passengers rights and set forth in the terms and conditions in a cruise ship passenger contract.

Who is Responsible for Injuries at Sea?

Most maritime accident and personal cases are not straight forward. At Gerson & Schwartz our firm has over four decades of experience helping injured crew members and passengers at sea. We can evaluate your maritime injury claim for free. Generally speaking, injured passengers need to prove some sort of negligence by the cruise ship in order for them to be legally responsible. Any ship employees or agent can be negligent for failing to act reasonably under the circumstances. Where a maritime lawsuit is filed can depend on number of different factors our lawyers are trained to evaluate. Where to file a lawsuit may also depend on the geographical location of where the person or entity legally responsible was injured

In a crew member injury case, a ship owner may be liable if a vessel is unseaworthy, or if a crew member is injured due to the some negligence of the cruise line during the course of his or her employment. Examples of an unseaworthy vessel can range from failing to have proper safety policies and procedures to defective ship equipment.

Additionally, ship owners like Carnival Cruise Lines, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Disney Cruise Lines, Regent Seven Seas, Costa Cruises and many other cruise lines can be liable to injured cruise ship passengers who are hurt due to negligence. Common examples including slip, spills, trip and falls, gangway accidents, negligent cleaning practices, accidents due to dangerous surfaces, accidents on tender boats, excursions even cruise ship crime like rape, sexual assault.

Maritime Personal Injury Lawsuits and Litigation in Florida

Maritime law gives courts in the United States the power to hear personal injury cases (known as jurisdiction) even when a passenger or crew member is injured in international or foreign waters. Some injured crewmembers may be required to have their legal claims decided in arbitration.

Other unique aspects to maritime law claims may limit the amount of money that can be recovered in the event accidents at sea which occur or result in the loss of life. Also known As the Death On High Seas Act, (DOSHA) is a law that dates back to 1920 and bars crewmembers family members from recovering amounts for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering in the event of death claims at sea.

While most personal injury cases may be heard in American state courts, admiralty law is very different than state personal injury laws. The laws and rules governing these cases will not be the same as the rules governing personal injury cases on land. For these reasons it is important to engage an experienced maritime injury attorney to evaluate your legal claim.

Common Maritime Injury Claims Our Attorneys Handle Include:

  • Crew Member Accident Claims
  • Rape and Sexual Assault
  • Injuries Due to Defective Ship Equipment
  • Cruise Ship Medical Malpractice
  • Failure to Diagnose a Severe Injury
  • Failure to Provide Prompt Medical Treatment
  • Accidents Due to Lifting and Pulling
  • Slip and Fall Accidents
  • Trip and Fall Injuries
  • Slippery Surfaces
  • Failing to Provide Safety Equipment
  • Failing to Monitor High Traffic Areas for Hazardous Conditions
Florida Maritime Injury Attorneys Representing Injured Passengers and Crew Members.

Like other personal injury cases, an injured person wishing to sue a ship owner or cruise line must file a claim within a certain amount of time. This is known as the statute of limitations. In most cases, personal injury cases in maritime law have a statute of limitations that lasts three years. However, it is important to note that in passenger injury cases, many cruise lines require ticketed passengers to sign a carriage contract when they purchase their cruise tickets that reduce these deadlines year. Failure to act within that time frame may result in your claim being time barred. Some exceptions to these rules may apply involving injured minors.

For A Free Consultation With an Experienced Maritime Attorney in Florida Call
(877) 475-2905 or Contact Us Online

Where you're an injured crew member or passenger it is extremely important to contact a Florida maritime attorney as soon as possible after an injury on a cruise ship or other vessel. Don't wait for your claim is time barred. If you miss these deadlines, you will likely barred from ever filing lawsuit for a maritime injury or cruise ship claim and may not be able to recover compensation for your injury.

At Gerson & Schwartz, P.A., our maritime accident and injury attorneys are located in Miami Florida. Our firm offer free initial consultations and will speak with you about your case for free. There are also no upfront costs to get started. And you only pay us if we collect money on your behalf. For more information about how we can help, contact one of our maritime accident lawyers in Florida by calling the law offices of Gerson and Schwartz today by calling (877) 475-2905 or contact us online.

Client Reviews

I am a lawyer in Massachusetts. I had a case to refer against a cruise line in Florida and did my homework on which firm to represent the client. Let me take the guessing out of it for you. Call this law firm and sign up. Brandon Parrelli, Google User
A big shout out to Nick Gerson & Schwartz for helping me navigate my care after a fall against a major cruise ship. They took care of me all along the way and saw me through such a very hard time. I highly recommend their firm if you are looking for a firm that truly cares about you. 5 Stars all the way! Janna Wright, Google User
Mr Nick Gerson has been extremely attentive (even on weekends!) and has been more than willing to take time to answer all my questions. His receptionist (Suzanne) and paralegal (Carla) are courteous, friendly and highly efficient in all matters. Mr Gerson's diligence lead to a very quick resolution of my case. I am more than pleased to recommend you seek him as your attorney. You will not regret you did!! G.I.B.
Mr. Gerson and all his team gave to my case the careful and professional attention it needed from the beginning to end. Unfortunately, a year ago I was involved in a car accident on the victim side. I have appreciation for the good service that was given to me and my situation. Thanks. Cales & Mr. Hyde (Carlos Andrés García Jiménez), Google User
Gerson & Schwartz did an excellent job with my case! Nick Gerson was my primary contact throughout the process and I was overly pleased with his level of professionalism and commitment. Thanks again to the firm for both winning my case and handling it with the upmost respect. Read the full review » Jhlechia Ervin
Phil is the best attorney! The staff is very helpful and were always kind and understanding. Especially during a PIP claim which can be very frustrating. I am so lucky that I found Gerson & Schwartz to resolve my case, I truly believe there could have been no better outcome. Romina Frascarelli, Google User
Excellent attorneys, they leave no stone unturned in any case and get max value. Jon Zepnick, Google User
I hired Gerson & Schwartz, PA for a personal injury/slip and fall case. Phil Gerson, Nick Gerson, and Ed Schwartz were awesome! They were very professional, supportive, and informative through the whole process. I was amazed at how much time and effort they put into presenting my case. They fought hard for me and I am very happy with the outcome. I love these guys and would highly recommend them to anyone looking for an attorney who will look out for your best interest and fight hard for what you deserve. Deb Betts, Google User