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Maritime Accidents

Whether you are a passenger on a pleasure boat or cruise ship or a worker on a barge or fishing boat, if you are injured due to an accident that occurs while boating, special laws apply to your case.  Maritime laws, also referred to as “admiralty laws,” govern activities aboard water-going vessels.  These laws give special rights to injured people and place special obligations on the owners and operators of the boat. 

These special laws also mean that maritime injury cases can pose challenges for attorneys who are unfamiliar with this body of law.  The attorneys at BOWERSOX LAW FIRM have experience handling injury accident cases against private, commercial, and government-contracted boat owners and operators.

Passengers

Any passenger injured aboard a boat can make claim as if they had been injured onshore.  That’s largely where the similarity to “dry land” law ends.  A person injured in a maritime accident generally has three years from the date of the injury to file a claim, yet rules commonly contained in passenger tickets may require a suit against a cruise line to be filed within a year of the accident.  Notice requirements can be tricky and may require a “formal notice” to be filed within six months of the injury.  The majority of U.S. cruise ship tickets have additional provisions requiring that suit be filed in either Miami or Seattle.  Some of these rules make it tougher for plaintiffs to receive compensation for their injuries, while other rules require the ship owner to take special actions so that passengers are not injured while on the boat.

BOWERSOX LAW FIRM has experience representing passengers and workers injured on pleasure boats and cruise ships.  Call us for information and advice if you find yourself in this situation.  We can help.

Workers

If you are injured while working on a boat on a body of water, your best remedy to recover for lost income and injuries is to file a claim under the Jones Act.  Our attorneys are experienced in handling Jones Act claims and will assist you in assembling several categories of documents that you will need as your lawsuit progresses.  

As soon as possible after your injury, you’ll want to create a file with all the records and bills from your medical treatment, all the letters and documents you may have received from your employer, any pictures of the accident or the work area, a list of witnesses, copies of any accident reports made by your employer or other investigators, and any other documents related to the injury event or how you were treated afterwards.  Having these documents will enhance the outcome of your injury claim.

Very often, the company you work for will require you to see a company doctor.  Try to avoid giving any written or recorded statements until you have talked to a lawyer about your case, and never sign anything you don't understand.  It’s also in your interest to see an independent doctor who will examine you and report your injuries fairly.

Your company’s insurer has a vested interest in paying as little as possible for your medical care.  The treatment and follow-up care you are offered by your employer may be incomplete or inadequate, leaving you with ongoing and unresolved conditions and in need of further help.  We have rarely seen an insurer who is willing to pay for more than the minimum care required unless an attorney is representing the injured person’s needs.   

If you have been injured in a work-related boating accident, we can help.  Even if you are already receiving worker’s compensation, you may still have a claim for your injuries.   Call BOWERSOX LAW FIRM to discuss your case.


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