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Florida Boat Accident Lawyer / Clearwater Boat Accident Lawyer

Clearwater Boating Accident Lawyer

Accidents can occur at any place at any time. This includes while you are on a boat. At first, you may not think where you were injured matters all that much. All you know is that you are now faced with a stack of medical bills and someone else is to blame.

But accidents that happen aboard sailing vessels or on the water often involve a much different set of laws than, say, a car crash on land. That is why it is essential to work with an Clearwater boating accident lawyer who specializes in such cases. Attorney Frank D. Butler is an experienced Florida maritime lawyer who has been representing boating accident victims for more than 25 years. He can help you in seeking compensation following an injury on board a cruise ship, boat, jet ski, or other watercraft.

How Are Boating Accidents Different?

Many people think that all personal injury law is the same. That is to say, there is no difference between dealing with an accident on a boat versus an accident while riding in a car. But the reality is that the law governing such accidents differ in a number of key ways.

The main reason for this is something called maritime law. When you are injured in a car accident by a negligent driver, you normally file a lawsuit in state court under Florida personal injury law. This is a body of common law based on statutes passed by the Florida legislature and interpreted by its courts.

But most boating accidents fall under federal jurisdiction. The United States Constitution gives federal courts the authority to hear any cases involving “admiralty and maritime jurisdiction.” In plain terms, this means that if your personal injury claim occurred upon any interstate navigable waters of the United States, your case will likely have to be heard in federal court. This includes but is not limited to:

  • accidents injuring passengers on cruise ships, boats, and other watercraft;
  • accidents injuring seamen, i.e., people employed to work on boats;
  • accidents injuring other maritime employees, such as dock and shipyard workers.

Because of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction, a boating accident case is often decided using a federal statute as opposed to the common law that governs Florida state personal injury claims. For instance, if someone is accidentally killed while on a cruise ship, the family must seek damages under a federal statute, the Death on the High Seas Act, as opposed to Florida’s wrongful death law.

Contact Attorney Frank D. Butler Today

Many Florida lawyers handle personal injury claims. But only a few have the extensive knowledge, skill, and experience to manage a case involving maritime cases. If you or someone that you love has been injured while on the water, it is in your best interests to work with a Clearwater boating accident attorney who understands this area of the law intimately. Contact Frank D. Butler, P.A., at 888-BOAT-LAW today to schedule an initial consultation.

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