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Home > Maritime & Admiralty Law

Miami Maritime & Admiralty Lawyer

A special body of law comes into play whenever an accident or injury occurs on a vessel in navigable waters, including accidents and injuries onboard cruise ships. Maritime and admiralty law looks at federal, state and international laws to determine who is at fault and what type of recovery is available after an injury aboard a cruise ship, yacht or sailing vessel, or recreational watercraft such as jet skis. Miami personal injury attorney Brandon L. Chase is a former lawyer for a maritime defense law firm with in-depth knowledge of how cruise lines defend actions and approach claims for injury or assault. The Law Offices of Brandon L. Chase helps marine workers, tourists and passengers recover compensation for personal injury on all manner of nautical vessels, from jet skis to yachts and cruise ships, including shore excursion accidents, and for all manner of injury, from slip and fall and food poisoning to sexual assaults and boating collisions and accidents. Learn more below about some of the main types of boating accidents and injuries and the laws that apply, and contact the Law Offices of Brandon L. Chase for immediate assistance after a cruise ship or boating accident off the coast of Miami or in Florida waters anywhere. Click on any topic heading for additional information.

Jones Act & Crewmember Claims

The Jones Act, also known as the Merchant Marine Protection and Relief Act, provides seamen and longshoremen with compensation to cover medical costs and wage loss after an injury incurred while working on a maritime vessel. When the employer’s negligence can be proven as the cause of the accident or injury, compensation for pain and suffering and other legal damages are recoverable as well.

Recreational Vessel Accidents

Piloting a yacht safely requires skill and experience, yet Florida law is noticeably silent when it comes to any requirements for boat operators to demonstrate proficiency or maturity. Anyone born after 1988 must take a boating education course to legally operate a vessel or personal watercraft (PWC), such as a jet ski, but this course can be taken in a classroom or online and doesn’t actually require any firsthand experience operating a vessel or PWC. There is no minimum age requirement to operate a boat, and the minimum age for a PWC is 14. Further, a boating education is not required if the operator is accompanied by an adult who has taken a course.

Negligent operators can be held fully liable for the injuries they cause by their negligence. The Law Offices of Brandon L. Chase helps recreational boating accident victims recover compensation for falls, collisions and injuries caused by negligent boat owners and operators, defective equipment, negligent rental companies and other responsible parties.

Cruise Ship Personal Injury

Cruise ships charge a small fortune for the privilege of taking a cruise, and they go out of their way to market an experience where a guest’s every comfort is attended to. Under this thin veneer, however, one can find accidents waiting to happen at every corner with slippery decks, low ceilings and doorways, obstructions on decks and more. In addition to slip and fall or trip and fall accidents, guests have taken ill due to food-borne pathogens and negligent cleaning of living quarters and common areas.

One of the most appalling injuries that can occur on a cruise ship is a sexual assault from a crewmember or another guest. Cruise ship operators are aware of this danger and go to great lengths to keep the fact of onboard sexual assaults quiet and hidden from public view. Ship owners should feel a special sense of duty toward their well-paying guests who are in a sense captives on their vessel, and they should be held liable for accidents and injuries which occur because they failed to take appropriate measures for passenger safety.

Death on the High Seas Act

Once one has left American soil, it can be difficult to know where to turn if a loved one is injured or worse due to the negligence of the carrier or another. Congress has enacted special protections for these instances; the Death on the High Seas Act specifically allows bereaved family members to obtain compensation after the loss of a loved one in or over open waters, whether on a nautical vessel or in an aircraft accident. Miami maritime and admiralty lawyer Brandon L. Chase understands the intricacies of applying this federal law to a wrongful death accident caused by a commercial aviation accident or ship owner’s negligence, including the impact of complex issues such as contributory negligence, the presence of a foreign cause of action, and when the law does and does not apply.

Shore Excursion Accidents

Cruise lines roll shore excursions into their vacation packages and market them as a highlight and added benefit of taking their cruise, but when it comes time to taking responsibility for the safety of their passengers on these day trips, they quickly distance themselves from the excursions and act as though they had no part in it. Cruise lines have a duty to exercise reasonable care in selecting and supervising these excursions, and they can and should be held responsible for accidents that occur due to negligence or an unreasonable disregard for participants’ safety.

Get Help after a Miami, Florida Maritime Accident or Injury

Maritime injuries require special expertise and experience from an attorney who has handled these claims successfully over a number of years. For help after a slip or trip and fall, collision, assault or other injury as a crewmember or passenger on board a vessel in Florida navigable waters and beyond, call the Law Offices of Brandon L. Chase at 305-677-2228 for a free case evaluation with an experienced and successful Miami maritime and admiralty law attorney.

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