Maritime work encompasses different jobs, from shipbuilders and seamen to offshore oil rig workers and refinery workers. It isn’t just physically demanding but also very hazardous. If you or a loved one was involved in an offshore accident, consult the experienced Hollywood maritime accident lawyers at Klotzman Law Firm.
The legal team at Klotzman Law Firm in Hollywood, Florida has experience representing people in situations similar to yours and guiding them to recovery of maximum financial compensation for their injuries and losses. Call our Hollywood personal injury lawyers at 954-915-7405 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with our lawyers.
What Does a Maritime Accident Lawyer Do?
A maritime accident lawyer specializes in the laws and regulations governing various maritime activities, such as fishing, boating, and shipping. These lawyers help clients navigate the complex legal issues that mar arise in the maritime industry, which include:
Personal Injury: Cases that involve injuries or fatalities that occur on vessels, such as boats, ships, and fishing boats are handled by maritime lawyers. They also handle cases that involve injuries occurring in ports, such as in warehouses or on docks.
Marine Insurance Disputes: Maritime lawyers also assist their clients to resolve disputes with insurance providers over coverage for maritime claims, such as ship collisions, damage to cargo, and various other marine losses.
Admiralty and Maritime Law: Cases related to maritime law, such as maritime liens, cargo disputes, as well as disputes over charter party agreements are also handled by maritime lawyers.
Environmental Issues: Maritime lawyers handles cases relating to environmental issues that may arise in the maritime industry, such as pollution, oil spills, and the disposal of hazardous waste.
Criminal Defense: Maritime lawyers defend clients that have been charged with maritime crimes such as piracy, smuggling, as well as illegal fishing.
International Law: Cases involving international law, such as disputes that may arise under the Hamburg Rules or the Hague-Visby Rules are also handled by maritime lawyers.
What Does a Maritime Lawyer Need to Know?
Maritime lawyers in Hollywood, Florida must be knowledgeable in various different legal areas to provide the best representation for clients. Admiralty law that governs transportation on navigable waters and shipping is something maritime lawyers have to understand.
Maritime lawyers must also have a working knowledge of areas such as contract law, property law, and environmental law. They should also be familiar with the rules and regulations of various shipping organizations, such as the International Maritime Organization.
Maritime lawyers should also know the maritime industry in general as well as the science behind it. The reason for this is that maritime law covers a wide range of topics, from cargo claims to navigation rules to environmental regulations.
Maritime lawyers must be capable of understanding complex information and apply it to legal issues. They must also be capable of working with clients from all parts of the world, because maritime law is an international field.
Simply put, maritime lawyers must be knowledgeable, global, and adaptable in their thinking.
The maritime accident lawyers at Klotzman Law Firm in Hollywood, Florida have represented clients in all aspects of maritime law. We have the knowledge and experience to handle even the most complex maritime legal issues. If you are facing any maritime legal issue, get in touch with us today at 954-915-7405.
Compensation Claims for a Maritime Injury
Maritime law is a complex and specialized area of law that deals with injuries that occur on navigable waters. It also covers injuries that may occur when working on docks, offshore oil rigs, and other maritime operations.
If you have been injured while working on a vessel, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Unfortunately, the process of recovering can be time-consuming and experienced, but the experienced maritime accident lawyers at Klotzman Law Firm can help you navigate the legal system and maximize your financial recovery.
Here are the different types of damages that you can pursue:
Economic damages are those that either have a value already attached to them or that calculation of such value is generally easy to determine. Examples of economic damages include but are not limited to:
Medical Expenses: Include the costs for medical examinations, treatment, therapy, appointments, and transportation to and from appointments.
Lost Wages: Include missed work due to rehabilitation, hospitalization, etc.
Loss of Earned Income: In some instances, the injury is so severe that you are unable to enjoy employment in the same area you did before the incident or accident, and you can pursue compensation for this.
Funeral Expenses: In some cases where a loved one suffered a fatality, you can seek to be reimbursed for funeral costs.
Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are those without any price tag attached to them. In fact, it’s likely that no price tag can ever truly indicate or determine the true extent of the injury or loss. They include loss of enjoyment of life, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, etc.
Defendants often try to minimize such damages. That it is why it is so important to work with an experienced maritime accident lawyer who can identify such attempts and counter them. At Klotzman Law Firm in Hollywood, Florida, that’s exactly what we do.
If your injury was the result of extreme negligence or egregious willful misconduct, you may be eligible to pursue punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended to provide relief to victims of egregious accidents or incidents, act as a deterrent for future repeat behavior, and punish the wrongdoer.
If you are involved in an offshore accident, you should consult the experienced Hollywood maritime accident lawyers at Klotzman Law Firm. We have represented clients in all types of maritime personal injury claims and can build a strong case on your behalf and get you the maximum compensation possible. Call us today at 954-915-7405 to schedule a consultation with our lawyers.
What Is the Jones Act and Who Is Covered?
It is a federal law under which certain rights for seamen injured while working on a vessel are established. The act requires vessel owners to provider their crews with a safe working environment and that they be compensated for any injuries suffered as a result of their work.
The act also allows seamen to sue their employers if they feel that their working conditions are unsafe or if their injuries are the result of employer negligence. The Jones Act also provides protections for seamen that are illegally detained by their employers.
The Jones Act is therefore an important law the provides essential protections for workers in the maritime industry to ensure that they work in safe and fair conditions. To be covered under the Jones Act, you must qualify as a seaman.
A seaman is any person that’s employed on a vessel or fleet of vessels, and their duties must contribute to the navigation or operation of the vessel. This may include tasks such as piloting, repairs, maintenance, and other similar activities. Furthermore, seamen must spend at least 30 percent of their time working on board the vessel to qualify for coverage.
Under the Jones Act, seamen have the right to sue their employer for “unseaworthiness”, if they suffer injury during their employment, and it also requires employers to provide workers’ compensation for injured seamen.
Common Causes of Maritime Injury
Maritime accidents and injuries can be debilitating, severe, and/or deadly. There are numerous ways that a maritime worker can be injured. Some of the most common causes of maritime injuries include the following:
Extreme weather can pose a serios danger to maritime workers. Lightning, high winds, and waves, can all lead to injuries that range from minor to catastrophic, and perhaps even fatal.
Slip and Fall Accidents
Crew members can easily injure themselves or even fall overboard after slipping on the decks of a vessel. A seaman that falls overboard may suffer drowning, hypothermia, crush injuries from falling between vessels, or even lacerations and amputations from propellers.
Slips on decks account for up to 43 percent of all the reported maritime injuries. Slippery floors and cluttered walkways can easily lead to fractured and broken bones, spinal cord damage, head injuries, and other kinds of injuries.
Drowning is always a serious risk while out at sea. In fact, drowning is the third leading cause of unintentional injury. Workers on a vessel who fall into the navigable waterways are very vulnerable to drowning.
Maritime injuries can occur when heavy cargo is being either loaded or unloaded. Maritime employees can be hurt by heavy machinery and equipment, workplace motor vehicle injuries, falling from a dock, pier, or ship, or even being crushed between shipping containers.
Fires and Explosions
If there’s an explosion caused by volatile substances on board a vessel or the vessel catches fire, maritime workers usually have little to no time to react. Vessels often sink, taking any medical supplies and facilities with them to the bottom of the ocean. Crew members are often left stranded until help arrives, enduring dehydration, severe burns, and other environmental hazards.
Exposure to Hazardous Materials
Maritime workers may be exposed to harmful fumes, chemicals, and other hazardous materials in environments such as offshore drilling platforms, containerships, and others. Unfortunately, this exposure can cause burn injuries, respiratory problems, scarring and disfigurement, etc.
Machinery and Equipment Accidents
Maritime vessels can be massive and involve a wide variety of heavy equipment and machinery. Commercial fishing boas are also known to cause crush injuries and amputations due to issues with the hazardous equipment that these vessels usually have on board.
Violent assaults are rare of maritime vessels, but they can still happen. If you suffered serious injuries that may fall under maritime protection laws, you should seek immediate assistance from an experienced maritime accident lawyer such as those at Klotzman Law Firm in Hollywood, FL.
By being aware of the common causes of maritime injury, workers can take the right steps to protect themselves from such hazards. Following workplace safety procedures, wearing proper safety gear, and being alert to possible hazards can all help reduce the risk of serious injury.
Maritime Injuries: Protect Your Rights Under the Law
If you suffer from a maritime injury, you should choose the right lawyer to represent you. After all, Florida has numerous maritime accident lawyers advertising their services. However, Klotzman Law Firm is unmatched in terms of dedication, reputation, and prowess.
Never compromise your legal rights by foregoing representation. We know all the tactics that insurance companies use that give little regard to the health and well-being of the injured employees. Your employers and their insurer are only interested in paying out the least amount of compensation possible, regardless of the extent of your injuries or even your expenses.
Still, you should always remember that:
- You have the right to seek treatment from the doctor of your choosing.
- You are entitled to medical benefits even if you don’t sign the paperwork that insurance adjusters file.
- You are not obligated to accept the settlement offer made by the insurance company.
- You are not required to provide the insurance adjuster a recorded statement regarding the accident.
Injuries resulting from maritime accidents can range from life-changing to inconvenient, to life ending. In many situations, victims are entitled to financial compensation with the assistance of a maritime accident lawyer such as Klotzman Law Firm in Hollywood, Florida.
What Should I Do After a Maritime Injury?
The complex and ever-changing nature of maritime law can make it incredibly difficult to know what steps to take after a maritime injury. So, here are the steps that you need to take after a maritime injury since maritime accidents can be serious:
Seek Medical Attention
The first step you need to take is seek proper and immediate medical attention for your injuries no matter how minor you think they might be. Seeking medical attention helps establish that your injuries were related to the maritime accident and can be valuable evidence when pursuing compensation.
Report the Accident
You should also report the accident to a supervisor or captain. It is important that you do this for 2 reasons. First, they need to be alerted of the accident so that they can steps to ensure it doesn’t happen again. Second, they will likely have to file an accident report.
If you can, make sure that you document everything that happened as well as any concerns or questions you might have. Even if what happened doesn’t make complete sense since you haven’t fully recovered, it is still important to document all your memories.
Sometimes your memory heals as your body heals and new details become clear. Document those memories as they transpire. Details you should note when documenting your memories include the equipment that you or anyone else was using and persons present when you were injured.
You need to gather certain documents or evidence that can be grouped into two: the circumstances of the accident or incident and the consequences of the accident. Evidence you should gather include the ship’s logs, medical records, third-party statements or interviews, incident reports, etc.
Hire a Lawyer
Maritime law is very complex and trying to pursue a matter alone or with an inexperienced lawyer means that you risk making serious mistakes and missing critical deadlines. Unfortunately, missing the deadline for filing a claim or lawsuit means that you have to forfeit compensation owed to you.
Our experienced maritime accident lawyer in Hollywood, Florida at Klotzman Law Firm can help you understand your legal options and rights and can start gathering the evidence required to build a strong claim. Call us today at 954-915-7405 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.
You should always avoid talking to anyone associated with the at-fault party. For instance, you should avoid speaking to your employer, your employer’s insurance provider, or your employer’s attorney unless on a very basic level. Doing so can easily harm your case.
One the same note, you should generally avoid signing any paperwork before seeking legal assistance. Maritime workers often make the mistake of assuming that their employers, employers’ insurance providers, and employers’ lawyers are looking out for their best interests, but this is hardly ever the case.
Your employer, employer’s insurance carrier, and employer’s attorney prioritize their interests as their and consider your compensation as a risk to their interests. Whatever you say to them, they can use against you to either devalue or completely deny your claim.
Only your legal representative should speak to these parties!
Contact Klotzman Law Firm Today!
Maritime law is complicated and full-time maritime accident lawyers are few. If you or a loved one was involved in a maritime accident, you may be entitled to compensation under the law. However, you shouldn’t go it alone or guess what benefits you are entitled to.
The Hollywood maritime accident lawyers at Klotzman Law Firm are skilled advocates who will help you recover the compensation you are entitled to. Call us today at 954-915-7405 to schedule a free consultation where we can discuss the options available to you. We look forward to hearing from you!