Tampa Boat Accident Lawyers
Protecting Maritime Cruise Ship Passengers
Being out on the water can bring both the feelings of freedom and being trapped, especially if you were a victim of personal injury on a cruise ship. The Tampa Boat Accident Lawyers protect the rights of maritime passengers and crew while helping them obtain the maximum payout of their case.
The Tampa Boat Accident Lawyers at Morgenstern & Herd, PLLC, focus on boating accidents, particularly personal watercraft injury and litigation on behalf of injured cruise line passengers. Maritime and Admiralty law in Florida applies law to events that occur on navigable waters that include oceans, large lakes, or rivers used for commercial shipping.
There are special maritime laws that apply to cruise ships. The statute of limitations of when you must file a lawsuit against a cruise line is usually one year, as opposed to three years for other maritime matters. Morgenstern & Herd, PA have the experience and knowledge of the law to build a solid case on your behalf and will seek full compensation for your injuries.
Helping Crew Members with Jones Act Negligence Claims
According to a section of federal law known as the Jones Act, a seaman injured during employment may be entitled to file suit against his or her employer. The Tampa Boat Accident Lawyers of Morgenstern & Herd, PLLC can represent you on your Jones Act claim to determine if there was employer negligence, co-worker negligence, products liability, or if your ship was unseaworthy due to defects or conditions.
Our Tampa Boat Accident Lawyers understand the complications of the Jones Act. They will fight to recover compensation for:
Protecting Longshore Workers with Section 905(b) Claims Against Vessel Owners
The Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA) protects longshoremen and maritime workers who are not considered “seamen.” Oftentimes longshoremen and non-seamen are injured while working on vessels with dangerous conditions: ladders, hatches, decks, etc. The Tampa Boat Accident Lawyers at Morgenstern & Herd, PLLC will represent you on your claim for damages from injuries arising from these various conditions.
Frequently Asked Questions About Boat and Cruise Line Injury Claims
What Should I do if I was Injured on a Cruise Ship?
The first thing that’s important is to characterize the type of boat on which the accident happened. For example, you go out on a Carnival Cruise or Holland America Cruise and there’s an injury that’s suffered while you’re one of these commercial cruise lines. Part of your ticket that you obtain before going on the ship has certain provisions clearly set forth within your ticket, and these tickets are usually multi-page. If you look through your ticket either before or after an injury, you’ll find out that these tickets provide that generally you have to give written notice of your injury usually within 180 days of the date of the injury setting forth specifically what happened and your treatment.
If your claim cannot be resolved amicably, that suit has to be filed in a particular location that is also set forth in the ticket. For example, on a Carnival Cruise line, suit has to be filed in Miami, usually in federal court. For Holland America as an example, suit has to be filed in Seattle in federal court. Even though you may be taking a cruise out of Tampa, your suit actually has to be filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida in Miami.
The same rules apply to cruise ship slip and falls, which you have to prove some negligence on the part of the cruise line. It’s very important when an accident does happen on a cruise ship that you take photographs of what caused you to fall. Make a mental note. Get names of witnesses, both individual innocent bystanders who might also be passengers, get the names of any crew members that came to your assistance, that cleaned up anything. Make sure you get their names.
See an attorney after you return because you need to get the facts together, the individuals together, and witnesses. In addition to that, you’ll need that attorney to be able to put together a complaint in the particular venue where suit has to be filed. Normally that statute of limitations is four years, but on a cruise ship, the statute of limitations is one year. A lot of people think it’s just a standard slip and fall case and they will not file within the one-year-statute of limitations or they won’t give the 180-day written notice which will jeopardize and sometimes block you from filing a claim for a fall on a cruise ship.
What Should I do if I was Injured on a Boat?
With respect to an injury on a small pleasure boat, the first question one has to ask would be is this accident an accident that’s subject to maritime or admiralty jurisdiction? That’s going to first concern itself with whether or not that boat was on a navigable water, a water on which commercial transactions, traffic, interstate commerce can be conducted. If there’s a small lake, admiralty and maritime jurisdiction will likely not apply, and that case can be filed in the state court. However, if the accident happens on a navigable water, one capable of interstate commerce, then you’re going to have admiralty or maritime jurisdiction, and you’ll find yourself very likely in federal court.
You’re going to need to prove the negligence. Sometimes you can prove, the unseaworthiness of the vessel, but you’re going to need to take photographs, make notes, get witnesses’ information, get crew members’ information, get a copy of your report.
Do I Have to Give the Cruise Line Notice of Injury?
- If you are injured on a cruise, the first thing you should do is seek appropriate medical care. Secondly you should report your injury to onboard board personnel, they would generally make out an accident report. You should try to get a copy of that report if at all possible. When you return, you should contact an attorney who is competent and qualified to handle cruise ship injury cases. Normally, a formal written notice needs to be given to the cruise line within 180 days of your injury and if your claim cannot be amicably resolved, suit must be filed generally within 1 year of the date of injury.
Where Do I File a Claim Against a Cruise Line
- If you’re injured while on a cruise, you will be provided a very detailed ticket. It provides important information about where your claim has to be filed and in what time limit it has to be filed. Generally the tickets for the various cruise lines say that you need to provide a written notice letter within approximately 180 days after your injury. That suit must be filed within 1 year of your injury and specifically set forth where your claim needs to be filed.
I was Attacked by a Crew Member on a Cruise Ship, Do I have a Claim?
- If you are attacked by a member of the crew, you first want to make sure you’re in a position of safety, you’re going to want to get any necessary medical attention, and you’re going to want to report the attack to the cruise line officials. You will also need to notify the appropriate civilian law enforcement personnel so when you return to United States to report it to the local police, it can be properly investigated and prosecuted.
Experienced Tampa Boat Accident Lawyers
If you or a loved one has been injured on a cruise ship or out on a boat in Florida, contact the experienced Tampa Boat Accident Lawyer at Morgenstern & Herd, PLLC today to set up a free consultation.