Did you or a family member sustain injuries in a maritime accident off the shores of Clearwater, FL? You may be entitled to recover compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. An experienced Clearwater maritime accident lawyer at Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers can help you fight to recover the maximum compensation available.
Our lawyers have over 50 years of combined experience. We’ve used that experience to recover over $100 million in settlements and verdicts for our clients over the years.
To learn more about how a lawyer can help, contact our law offices in Clearwater, Florida, at (727) 787-2500 for a free consultation today.
How Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help After a Maritime Accident in Clearwater
After an injury, it can be tough to know who was responsible and how much you’re entitled to receive. Maritime accident claims often involve federal, state, and maritime laws. That can make your case even more complex. The skill of your experienced Clearwater personal injury lawyer can make all the difference in the world.
At Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers, our lawyers have been recognized with a Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Rating and a 10 Avvo rating.
When you hire our team, we will:
- Investigate to establish causation and prove liability
- Identify all responsible parties
- Determine which laws apply in your case
- Defend you if you’re blamed for causing the accident
- Hire experts and specialists when needed
- Handle all negotiations with the insurance companies
Our personal injury law firm has the resources you’ll need to build a strong case and fight for fair compensation. To learn more about how a Clearwater personal injury attorney can help you recover the maximum compensation you deserve, call for a free consultation today.
Overview of Florida Maritime Laws
Maritime laws typically apply in cases where the accident occurs at sea or if the accident involves maritime workers.
Most of the time, United States federal courts have jurisdiction over maritime accidents. However, depending on the facts, you may be entitled to choose to seek damages in either state or federal court. That can make maritime accident cases more complex than your traditional car accident claim.
Maritime laws often apply in cases involving injured:
- Cruise ship workers
- Cruise ship passengers
- Ferry passengers
- Ship repairmen
- Ship crew members
- Commercial fishermen
- Harbor workers
- Long liners
- Ferry passengers
- Yacht passengers
Our lawyers at Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers know the laws that apply in your case inside and out. We’ll do everything possible to maximize your compensation award. If you were injured on a cruise ship or vessel at sea and suspect someone else was responsible, give us a quick call today to learn more about your legal rights and options.
Jones Act Claims
The Jones Act is similar to state-level workers’ compensation systems. The law gives injured workers the right to pursue compensation from their at-fault employer. You may have a valid Jones Act claim if your employer’s negligence contributed in any way to your accident and injuries.
The Jones Act provides benefits for workers whose primary place of work is on a vessel, including cruise ship workers and crew members.
Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act is a federal law that covers workers who primarily work on docks, piers, terminals, or shipyards. Similar to state-level workers’ compensation programs, you won’t have to prove negligence to recover benefits. However, those benefits are limited to economic damages, such as medical bills and lost wages during your recovery.
What Is My Clearwater Maritime Accident Case Worth?
The value of your case depends on any number of factors. When a victim’s injuries are more severe, the value of their personal injury case tends to be higher. That said, many different things will influence your case value.
Some of the primary factors that will play a role in assessing your damages are:
- The cost of your medical treatment
- The maritime laws that apply in your case
- How the injury impacts your lifestyle
- Your emotional and physical suffering
- The identity of the responsible party
If you were injured while working aboard a vessel, your damages may be limited to your economic losses. In other cases, your physical and emotional suffering and damage to your quality of life may increase your case value.
What Types of Damages Are Available to Maritime Accident Victims in Clearwater?
The damages awarded to injured maritime workers are called “maintenance and cure.” Maintenance and cure covers your living expenses and medical bills while you recover. Injured parties who are entitled to maintenance and cure can recover those damages until they’ve recovered from their injuries or until your doctor determines that they’ve reached maximum medical improvement.
Depending on the facts, additional types of damages may be available.
Examples of the types of compensation that may be available in your personal injury case include:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning potential
- Physical therapy
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Diminished quality of life
- Physical disfigurement and scarring
- Anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues
- Loss of consortium
Do you have questions about your legal rights after an accident? Call our Clearwater maritime accident attorneys for a free case review today.
Can I Recover Damages If I’m Being Blamed for a Maritime Accident in Florida?
Pure comparative fault laws apply in Florida. If you aren’t covered under a no-fault law, your compensation will be reduced to account for your share of fault after an accident. However, you won’t lose your right to compensation entirely unless you are 100% to blame for the accident.
We’ll Fight To Recover Compensation for All of Your Maritime Accident Injuries
Our lawyers at Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers often represent clients who have sustained:
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue damage
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Head and neck injuries
- Back injuries
- Organ damage
- Catastrophic injuries
We can also help you file a wrongful death lawsuit if you lost a loved one in a fatal accident at sea.
What Causes Most Maritime Accidents in Clearwater, Florida?
Some of the most common causes of maritime accidents include:
- Inadequate employee training
- Lack of supervision
- Lack of proper safety protection
- Communication failures
- Fires and Explosions
- Drug or alcohol use
- Equipment failures
- Defective or unsafe machinery, tools, or equipment
- General unseaworthiness
- Failure to follow federal safety rules and regulations
- Fatigued workers
- Exposure to toxic chemicals or hazardous materials
You deserve to know what caused your injury. Identifying the cause of the accident can also be key to making sure you’re getting the full compensation you deserve. To get the legal advice you deserve, give our lawyers in Clearwater and St. Petersburg a quick call today.
We Handle All Types of Maritime Accident Cases in Clearwater
At Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers, we handle all types of maritime injury claims in Clearwater, including those involving:
- Personal watercraft accidents
- Commercial fishing accidents
- Cruise ship injuries
- Crane accidents
- Charter boat accidents
- Cargo ship accidents
- Accidents on the docks or boatyard
- Navy accidents
- Barge accidents
- Tugboat accidents
- Tanker accidents
- Shipyard accidents
- Deck accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Explosions and fires
- Basket transfer accidents
- Commercial fishing accidents
- Offshore drilling accidents
Every injury claim is unique. Our lawyers will carefully investigate to find out why you were injured and who was responsible.
How Do I Prove Negligence After a Maritime Accident in Florida?
Ship owners, cruise lines, and other employers are required to maintain their vessels in seaworthy condition. When a vessel is unseaworthy and someone is injured, the at-fault parties can be held liable for negligence.
To prove negligence, you must have evidence to establish:
- A legal duty of care
- Breach of the duty of care
In other words, you must show that the responsible party’s mistake was the direct cause of your accident and injuries. Keep in mind, however, that you won’t have to prove negligence under many laws that provide workers’ compensation benefits.
How Long Do I Have To File a Lawsuit After a Maritime Accident in Florida?
Under Florida personal injury laws, you have four years to file a personal injury lawsuit. The four-year clock starts running on the date of your accident. Under The Jones Act, you have only three years to file your claim. In either case, you could lose your right to compensation if you wait too long.
Different deadlines may apply in your case. Depending on the facts and the identity of the responsible party, you could have even less time to take legal action. For example, in fatal maritime accident cases, you only have two years to act. That’s why we also recommend speaking with a lawyer who understands the rules sooner rather than later.
Contact a Clearwater Maritime Accident Lawyer for a Free Consultation
Were you injured at sea near Pinellas County? Recovering fair compensation for your injuries can be a complicated process. Our lawyers at Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers are here to help in any way we can. To learn more, schedule a free consultation with an experienced Clearwater maritime accident lawyer today.