No family wants to receive the news that their family member was seriously injured or killed while working on a ship. Unfortunately, many families must cope with the injury or tragic loss of a loved one because a vessel owner or operator acted negligently. Consequently, many families understandably turn to the courts to seek justice and compensation for a family member’s injuries or death. If you were injured or lost a loved one that was working as a seaman in Florida, you should contact a skilled Florida seaman injury and wrongful death attorney as soon as possible.
The committed legal team at Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A., want to listen to the details of your case so we can determine your legal options to pursue compensation on behalf of your loved one. We understand that this is a difficult time for your family, let us fight with you in this legal endeavor. If you want to make an appointment for a free consultation, call our firm at (866) 386-1762. We can also be reached online.
Common Accidents Resulting in Seaman Injuries and Wrongful Deaths in Florida
Individuals employed as a seaman often have to place themselves in working conditions that can quickly turn hazardous. However, this does not mean that a seaman cannot pursue damages when they are the victim of an accident while about a vessel. The following are some prevalent sources of seaman injuries and deaths that can lead to a lawsuit in Florida.
It is expected that the captain of a boat and any other crewmembers in charge of navigation will steer the boat with caution. However, if a captain is not careful when operating a boat, they could end up in a collision with one or more vessels. When this happens, seamen aboard the vessel could be seriously or fatally injured because of a number of hazards like falls from high areas or falling debris.
The workers of a vessel should go to great lengths to make sure that a seaman does not fall overboard. There are several hazards that could lead to serious injuries or death for a seaman. For example, if the seaman was struck by a vessel after falling overboard, they could sustain a possibly fatal head injury.
There are many other common causes of seaman injuries and deaths:
- Lack of oxygen in enclosed areas
- Heavy machinery accidents
- Slip and falls
This is not an exhaustive list. If you wish to know more about lawsuits for an injury or wrongful death in Florida waters, you should bring your concerns to an experienced Florida seaman injury and wrongful death attorney.
Filing a Seaman Wrongful Death Claim in Florida
If your loved one died in an accident at sea, you may be eligible to seek damages by filing a lawsuit parties responsible for their wrongful death. However, you should first contact an experienced maritime lawyer that is familiar with how wrongful death cases are litigated.
A wrongful death lawsuit can be filed against a person or entity whose negligent or intentional acts are responsible for the death of another person. For example, if the owner of a boat failed to properly maintain the vessel and the result was a fire that killed a seaman, the seaman’s family can file a claim against the owner of the boat.
You should also be aware that there are multiple laws that must be considered when filing a wrongful death case on behalf of a seaman.
The Jones Act
The Jones Act permits the surviving spouse and other family members of a seaman to pursue damages against an employer that is responsible for the death of the seaman. It is important to note that the decedent must have performed a considerable amount of work as a seaman in order for a surviving family member to file a lawsuit against their employer.
Death on High Seas Act
The Death on High Seas Act (DOHSA) is triggered when a seaman is killed on a vessel at least three miles away from the shoreline. Similar to the Jones Act, surviving spouses, children, and dependents can pursue a claim against a negligent employer. However, a potential plaintiff may need to meet other requirements of the Jones Act before they can proceed with a lawsuit under DOHSA.
Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
The family of a seaman can also file a wrongful death claim under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA). Specifically, the beneficiaries of the decedent must pursue their claim within 30 days of the death of the decedent.
If you need assistance filing a wrongful death claim after the passing of your loved one, our firm is here for you. You should waste no time in pursuing your wrongful death lawsuit.
Consult with Our Experienced Florida Seaman Injury & Wrongful Death Attorney Today
Whether you were injured in your position as a seaman or you lost a member of your family in a sea accident, you should consider working with an experienced Florida seaman injury and wrongful death attorney. Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A., would be honored to offer you our legal services to resolve your prospective wrongful death claim. Call (866) 386-1762 and speak to a member of our law office to make a free consultation. Potential clients can also schedule their free consultation online.