Clearwater Admiralty Law Lawyer
Have you been injured in an accident that occurred while on a boat or in a maritime setting, such as a dock or marina? If you plan to seek legal compensation for your injuries, your case may fall under what is known as admiralty law. This is a highly specialized area of law that in many respects diverges from traditional principles of personal injury law in Florida.
A qualified Clearwater admiralty law attorney can provide you with skilled representation in these types of cases. Attorney Frank D. Butler has nearly 30 years of experience representing victims of boating, cruise ship, and other watercraft accidents. He and his team understand the complexities involved in pursuing a claim under admiralty law, and they will make every effort to obtain a favorable outcome in your case.
What Is Admiralty Law?
Admiralty law–also referred to as maritime law–is a body of the United States and international law that applies to contracts, torts, and other legal issues that arise on navigable waters, such as the oceans or rivers. Admiralty law frequently comes into play when dealing with accidents involving watercraft, including crashes between ships or even a passenger or crew member who is injured aboard a vessel.
In the United States, federal courts typically hear cases brought under admiralty law. This differs from most personal injury claims, which are normally filed and heard in a state court. However, there are admiralty law cases that can be heard in state court as well.
Also unlike state personal injury claims, which tend to rely on common law, admiralty law incorporates a number of specific federal statutes that cover certain situations. Some of the federal admiralty laws we assist clients with include:
- Death on the High Seas Act. This is a wrongful death statute that allows the spouse, child, or dependent family member of a seaman or passenger killed aboard a ship in international waters to sue the owner or operator of that vessel.
- Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act. This statute provides benefits similar to Florida worker’s compensation to people who work in maritime jobs but are not actually part of a vessel’s crew.
- Merchant Marine Act of 1920. Commonly referred to as the Jones Act, this law gives seamen–members of a vessel’s crew–the right to sue their employer for injuries that occur in the course of their employment.
The important thing to keep in mind is that even if you do not work on a boat or in a maritime job, admiralty law can still affect your personal injury case. Many passengers injured in cruise ship accidents, for example, may have the rights to recovery impacted by certain provisions of maritime law. That is why it is important to work with an attorney who specializes in this field.
Contact Attorney Frank D. Butler Today
If you have been injured in any accident on a ship or watercraft, or in a maritime-adjacent area like a dock or marina, and you need to speak with a skilled Clearwater admiralty law attorney, contact the offices of Frank D. Butler, P.A., today to schedule an initial consultation.