With hundreds of miles of coastline, intracoastal waterways, and access to other navigable waters, it is no surprise that Florida is the site of many accidents and related disputes under maritime and admiralty laws. Litigation concerning cruise ship and other boating accidents is common here, as are claims arising under laws such as the Jones Act, the Longshoremen and Harbor Workers Act, and the Death on the High Seas Act. At Rivkind & Margulies, we handle cases arising from all types of accidents that occur on navigable waters in and around Florida, as well as elsewhere in the United States and even in the international waters of other countries. Based in Miami, our nationally renowned cruise ship accident attorneys have decades of combined experience. We can also represent clients in accidents that occur on land, such as car crashes, slip and falls, and incidents of medical malpractice.
Lead attorney Brett Rivkind has been practicing maritime law for over 30 years. Attorney Rivkind has strong ties to the legal community in Florida. His uncle was Chief of the Immigration and Naturalization Service in Florida, and his father is the Honorable Judge Leonard Rivkind, a prominent Miami attorney who later served as both a circuit court judge and as the Chief Judge of the 11th Judicial Circuit. Attorney Rivkind began his career in maritime law at a large prominent defense firm. He worked on many high-profile cases there at both the trial and appellate levels. However, after seeing the serious problems that affect the cruise ship industry, he realized that his true passion lies in representing people who are injured at sea or have lost loved ones in tragic circumstances.
At any given time, there are many ships coming and in and out of Florida ports. Unfortunately, not every day at sea is “smooth sailing,” and accidents happen frequently as a result of negligent or reckless conduct by various parties. In order to recover compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and other losses resulting from a cruise ship accident, a victim or their family usually must be able to show that the defendant acted negligently.
Personal injury cases based on negligence may be broken down further into four basic elements: duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages. Since cruise ships are common carriers, they have a duty to exercise reasonable care for the safety of their passengers. If a victim can prove that the defendant created an unsafe or foreseeably hazardous condition, for example, they may be able to recover compensation for events such as:
Passengers who are seeking to assert claims against cruise ship companies, such as Carnival, Royal Caribbean, or Norwegian, may have a contractual obligation created through the ticket sales process to file any personal injury claims that they may have in the courts of Miami-Dade County. This makes it especially important to consult a Miami cruise ship accident lawyer.
Guests on passenger boats, ferry boats, sightseeing boats, tour boats, charter boats, or yachts may also be entitled to pursue a negligence claim against the owner of the vessel on which they were hurt, as may victims hurt due to a lack of care related to boat rentals, scuba diving, jet skis, water sports, and other activities. In some cases, a product liability action also may be appropriate if the vessel or watercraft’s design was defective or if there was a manufacturing or marketing defect that caused the harm.Legal Representation for Injured Workers at Sea
In addition to bringing personal injury and wrongful death claims on behalf of passengers of cruise ships and other boats, Rivkind & Margulies represents people who have been injured while working as crew members for major container ship and cargo companies based in the Miami area. We can also handle cruise ship crew member and seamen claims and accident cases involving people who were hurt while working on yachts, supply vessels, crew boats, and dredging boats. Some of the other cases that we can bring involve tug boat accidents, oil rig accidents, and injuries sustained by anchor handlers (or riggers) and barge repair workers.
Victims who are hurt or killed at sea have several possible ways to seek compensation. The Death on the High Seas Act (DOSHA) is a federal law that allows the spouse or dependents of a seaman killed in international waters to pursue compensation if the seaman’s death was a result of negligence or unseaworthiness. Other federal laws may also apply, including the Merchant Marine Act of 1920 (also known as the Jones Act), which protects seamen and sailors who are hurt by negligence or the unseaworthiness of a vessel engaged in cabotage, or the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, which provides disability and death benefits resulting from injuries to certain workers that occur on navigable waters.Contact a Nationally Acclaimed Cruise Ship and Boating Accident Lawyer in Miami
Since devoting his practice exclusively to maritime law in 1987, Brett Rivkind has navigated his clients through thousands of cases, including several high-profile disputes. He has handled litigation arising from a fire on a cruise ship that led to the deaths of 158 people, as well as a case involving a ship that sank at sea during Hurricane Mitch and the case of George Smith IV, who went missing during his honeymoon cruise. Attorney Rivkind’s concern and compassion for victims who are harmed at sea even led him to testify before the U.S. Congress concerning maritime safety and security. These hearings eventually led to the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act, which helped make cruise ships safer for everyone.
Attorney Rivkind has obtained record jury verdicts and arbitration awards, many in the millions of dollars, and he has won the Verdicts Hall of Fame award. He has appeared on numerous television shows (including three separate appearances on Larry King Live), been quoted by many newspapers and media sources, and been consulted by other attorneys throughout the U.S. and abroad. To put the substantial knowledge and resources of the Miami cruise ship accident attorneys at Rivkind & Margulies to work on your case, call (877) 348-1333 or (305) 374-0565, or contact us online for a free appointment. We represent people who need a boat accident lawyer in Miami, Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Jacksonville, Tampa, Key West, Brevard County, and throughout the Florida Panhandle, as well as other areas along the coastline of Florida and other states.