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Florida Boat Accident Lawyer

Our lead trial lawyer Brett Rivkind has an international reputation for dedication and excellence. His hard work and success have been recognized extensively through awards and special recognitions.

Boat Accident Attorney


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The Law Firm of Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind P.A. has handled all aspects of cases that fall into the category of Admiralty and Maritime claims.

Admiralty and Maritime claims involve a wide variety of claims arising out of operation and navigation of boats, oil rigs, ships, cruise ships, yachts, sail boats, jet skis, personal water crafts, tankers, cargo ships, as well as almost any conceivable type of water craft that is connected to an operation on navigable waters.

The first question often faced is whether Admiralty jurisdiction attaches to the potential claim. The Law Firm of Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind P.A. can evaluate that question based on their expertise in the field of Maritime Law. There are specific requirements to consider if a claim is governed by Admiralty and Maritime Law.

It is important to determine if a claim is covered by Admiralty and Maritime Law because the substantively Admiralty and Maritime Law is very different from the different state laws that a non-maritime legal expert may believe is applicable to a claim. There is often different statute of limitations, which means different time restriction on the ability to file the lawsuit. There are also specific requirements in certain cases to put the party you are suing on notice of your claim.

Another difference in Admiralty and Maritime compared to many state laws is the law that says that if there is more than one party who is responsible for the injuries or damages, each party would be joint and severally liable, which means each would be potentially fully responsible for the damages if sued individually. This is a complex area of law and one where Maritime Law is often different than the state laws.

The time restrictions in filing a lawsuit is also very different in Maritime Law claims, including claims by passengers aboard cruise ships who assert claims against the cruise ship company arising out of different types of incidents that occur during a cruise. The different types of incidents that occur aboard cruise ships include sexual assaults, rapes, thefts, illness due to food poisoning, illness due to the Noro Virus, cancelled cruises, breach of contracts, slip and fall accidents, personal injuries, wrongful deaths, and many other claims for accidents and personal injuries aboard a cruise ship.

Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind P.A. has also handled cases involving accidents and injuries due to encounters with severe weather, including hurricanes. The firm was one of the lead Maritime attorneys in a well-known case involving a passenger cruise ship that was lost at sea during a hurricane, causing the death of the entire crew aboard the ship. The firm also represented hundreds of passengers injured when a cruise ship deliberately encountered a known storm, placing the passenger’s safety and lives at risk. Another case handled by the Law Firm of Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind P.A. involved many passengers killed as a result of a fire aboard a passenger cruise ship.

The Maritime Law may also provide for a claim for punitive damages against a Maritime Defendant for reckless indifference to the lives and safety of others.

The firm handles many recreational boating accidents involving pleasure water crafts involved in accidents on navigable waters.

Maritime Law would govern personal injury and wrongful death actions occurring on navigable waters due to collisions of vessels, including negligent operation of pleasure water crafts. The range of injuries the Law Firm of Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind P.A. have been faced with as a result of Maritime accidents include: back injuries, neck injuries, herniated discs, carpal tunnel syndrome, paralysis quadriplegia, paraplegia, head injuries, brain damage, shoulder injuries, knee injuries, stroke, heart attacks, and a wide variety of orthopedic and neurological injuries.

Many times damages are a result of the medical negligence or medical malpractice of a doctor which under Maritime Law may result in imposing liability on a Maritime Defendant. The firm has handled many medical negligence and malpractice cases arising out of Maritime torts that have occurred.

If you believe you might have suffered injuries or damages as a result of a Maritime incident, you should contact a Maritime lawyer promptly to discuss your case.

Admiralty and Maritime Law

Passengers and guests who suffer injuries on boats, jet skis, cruise ships or other types of water craft, may have their personal injury and wrongful death claims decided under the General Maritime Law of the United States, which a judge made law. Admiralty or Maritime Jurisdiction exists in the Federal Courts, and is a special grant of jurisdiction given to the Federal Courts over Admiralty and Maritime claims.

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Cruise Ship Passenger Accidents and Claims

The cruise ship industry has increased dramatically over the 30 years we have been handling cruise ship accidents and sexual assaults on board cruises. Despite the fact that over 23 million people were expected to cruise in 2016, the cruise industry still remains highly unregulated resulting in much cruise ship passenger accidents and claims.

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Cruise Ship Rape and Sexual Assault

Unfortunately, sexual assault and rape aboard cruise ships are a reality. These assaults are committed by crewmembers or other passengers. Cruise lines can be held responsible for the actions of crew members against passengers. Cruise lines also can be made to compensate for assault by a fellow passenger when the cruise line failed to provide adequate security.

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Boat & Water Sport Accidents

Florida is the sunshine state, providing much opportunity for recreation on the waterways and coastline. This also means there are more opportunities for boat injuries and fatalities. Each year, Florida has the most boat accidents in the country, with 737 reported accidents this year. Additionally, Miami-Dade had the most boating accidents compared to every other county in Florida, with 96 reported recreational boating injuries in just 2015.

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Crew Member & Seamen Claims

Working onboard ships can be very dangerous. The Maritime Law recognizes that a seaman must work under dangerous conditions, and has abolished what is called assumption of risk. This means that you cannot be denied recovery simply because you are aware of the risks of your job and the employer claims you assumed those risks by accepting the job.

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Longshoreman and HarborWorkers Injuries

Longshoremen and harbor workers who spend their working hours loading and unloading cargo from docked ships may be particularly vulnerable to serious injuries. Representation by a maritime law attorney may be vital to protect the legal rights of longshoremen who are hurt on the job.

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Personal Injury & Wrongful Death

If it is a Personal Injury case, the typical elements of damages that may be recovered by the injured person include damages for the bodily injury, disability, mental anguish, inconvenience, loss of enjoyment of life, disfigurement, physical handicap, and lost wages. The damages available under the Maritime Law are similar for Personal Injury but are different under Maritime Wrongful Death Law.

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Arbitration is one type of method of Alternative Dispute Resolution. Unlike litigation, arbitration does not take place in a court room. An arbitrator, rather than a judge or jury, decides the award, which is usually final. Additionally, in arbitrations resulting from mandatory arbitration clauses, the company selects the arbitrator.

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Real Case Results

  • $6.3 MillionBack Injury
  • $2.9 MillionCruise Ship Injury
  • $2.7 MillionCrewmember Injury
  • $2.1 MillionSlip & Fall
  • $1.2 MillionCruise Ship Injury
  • $1 MillionSeaman Back Injury
  • $980,000Cruise Ship Injury
  • $610,000Workplace Injury
  • $375,000Shoulder Injury

Real Client Testimonials

“My only regret is that I did not turn to Brett Rivkind for help sooner.”

“After struggling for more than a year to get the cruise line to take responsibility for a series of medical blunders on board that nearly killed me, I got offered a settlement within weeks of turning to acclaimed Maritime Attorney Brett Rivkind for help”

Chris, a Crew Member on a Cruise Shiptop maritime lawyer
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We serve clients nationally and internationally including, but not limited to, those in the following localities: Miami-Dade County including Coral Gables, Cutler Bay, Doral, Hialeah, Homestead, Kendall West, Miami, Tamiami, The Hammocks, and Westchester; Orange County including Orlando and Winter Park; Osceola County including Kissimmee, Poinciana, and St. Cloud; Palm Beach County including Belle Glade, Lake Worth, and West Palm Beach; and Broward County including Cooper City, Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Miramar, Pembroke Pines, Sunrise, and Weston.


Best Florida Boat Accident Lawyer