Clearwater Dock & Marina Accident Lawyer
Florida’s coastline is dotted with hundreds of docks and marinas. These structures make it possible for boats to be safely moored when not in active use. But just because the boats are docked, that does not mean accidents can not still occur.
Like any place that is bustling with human foot traffic, these marine spaces experience their fair share of accidents and serious injuries. And if you were injured due to someone else’s negligence, you have the legal right to seek compensation. Frank D. Butler is a Clearwater dock and marina accident lawyer with three decades of experience in representing clients who have been injured in such structures.
How Federal and State Laws Protect People Injured on Docks and Marinas
Like any premises open to the public, dock and marina owners have a legal duty to keep their properties reasonably safe for invited guests and those are lawfully present. So if a dock or marina is in a state of disrepair that leads to an injury, the owner can be held legally responsible. Some common examples of dock and marina injuries include:
- slip and fall accidents on the dock when boarding or disembarking from a boat;
- people falling into the water;
- people falling from a ladder;
- collisions between boats;
- dock or pier collapses;
- people injured by falling cargo; and
- people injured by machinery.
Some of the people most commonly injured in dock and marina accidents are seamen or longshoremen themselves. There are specific federal statutes that cover such accidents. In the case of seamen–those people who actually work on boats in some capacity–the Jones Act holds an employer liable for injuries that occur in the regular course of the seaman’s employment, even if the boat they are working on happens to be in a dock or marina. An injured seaman has three years to sue an employer under the Jones Act, which has a lower burden of proof than a traditional personal injury lawsuit filed under Florida state personal injury law.
The Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA) provides similar protections to most people who work on docks outside of a specific ship. The LHWCA acts as a substitute for traditional state workers’ compensation laws. And in fact, the LHWCA often provides more generous benefits than Florida’s worker’s compensation system.
Contact Attorney Frank D. Butler Today
Even if you are simply a civilian who is injured on a dock or marina, you are still protected by various state and federal laws. But the rules governing dock and marina accidents can be more complex than a typical personal injury claim. That is why it is essential that you work with a Clearwater dock and marine accident lawyer who specializes in maritime law and can help maximize your chances of seeking compensation from all negligent parties.
So if you have been injured while on a Florida dock or in a Florida marina, call the offices of Frank D. Butler, P.A., today at 888-BOAT-LAW to schedule an initial consultation with a member of our team.