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Maritime Injury Claims: Why the Right Attorney Matters

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Maritime law governs accidents, disputes, and torts that occur on navigable waters. Most people do not realize that a completely different set of laws apply to boat accidents, passenger claims from cruise ships, and boat collisions that occur on navigable waters. Accordingly, a lawyer with a significant focus on injury claims related to maritime activities is essential for proper representation. Maritime law encompasses laws and regulations that protect workers and passengers at sea, including Jones Act seaman and Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation employees. The Jones Act and Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act provide mechanisms for compensation in the event of injury.

Due to the complexity of maritime and admiralty law, navigating injury claims requires attorneys with deep knowledge of these specific laws and an understanding of the maritime industry. Here’s why the right maritime attorney matters:

1. Understanding the Complexities of Maritime Law

Maritime law goes beyond typical personal injury law. It’s a complex web of federal statutes, international treaties like the Limitation of Liability Act, Death on the High Seas Act, Jones Act, the International Convention on Salvage, along with many other treaties, congressional acts, statutes, and case law. The Florida Supreme Court stated, “Federal Maritime Law is an amalgamation of federal legislation, federal common law, and state maritime law.” The maritime law and its remedies can vary depending on the location of the incident, the nationalities involved, and the flag of vessel. An experienced maritime attorney in Florida has a deep understanding of these nuances and can effectively represent your interests within this intricate legal framework.

2. Board Certified in Admiralty and Maritime Law

Anthony J. Cuva is Board Certified by the Florida Bar in Admiralty and Maritime Law and has been since 1999. Mr. Cuva is also recognized as a Proctor in Admiralty by the Maritime Law Association of the United States. The Florida Bar thoroughly evaluates all board-certified lawyers for credibility and expertise in a particular are of law, and professionalism and ethics in the practice of law. Our slogan is “Evaluated for Professionalism, Tested for Expertise.” Established by the Florida Supreme Courts, board certification is conferred upon lawyers by the most credible and highest authority over the state’s legal community. The Florida Bar. Board certification is Florida’s official, independent determination of a lawyer’s expertise to practice in a specialty field of law. It is the gold standard for Florida lawyers, representing a recognition by a lawyer’s peers that they have attained a level of professional expertise in their chosen fields. Board-certified lawyers undergo a rigorous peer-review process that assesses competence in a specialty field, as well as professionalism and ethics in the practice of law.

3. Jones Act and Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act Claims

The Jones Act provides seamen (broadly defined as those who contribute to the operation and function of a vessel) with broad rights to sue employers for negligence-based injuries. This means the burden of proof is lower for seamen compared to typical land-based injury claims. Additionally, longshore workers who are injured on docks or while loading/unloading vessels have compensation rights under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA). These legal complexities require a skilled attorney who can build a strong defense strategy to minimize shipowners’ liability. They will analyse the specific details of the accident, the role of the injured worker, and potential contributing factors to build a case that protects your company’s interests.

4. Thorough Investigations are Key to Optimal Outcomes

Conducting a thorough investigation of the accident scene, witness statements, and relevant logs is crucial to identify factors that may have contributed to the injury. Your maritime lawyer in Florida will use their experience to gather evidence, analyse medical records, and interview witnesses to understand the full picture of the incident. This comprehensive approach allows them to negotiate fair settlements with injured parties or their representatives.

5. Protecting Your Rights in International Cases with Global Expertise

Maritime accidents can involve foreign vessels, international waters, or workers of different nationalities. These scenarios add layers of complexity due to jurisdictional issues and potentially conflicting maritime laws. An attorney with experience can navigate these international issues and cases effectively. They understand the intricacies of international maritime law and can ensure your company’s rights are protected throughout the legal process.

6. Experience with Regulatory Issues Ensures Compliance and Minimizes Risk

The U.S. Coast Guard and other agencies enforce strict safety regulations to protect workers and the environment at sea. Following these regulations is crucial for shipowners. Your maritime accident attorney can guide you through investigations and potential regulatory actions following an accident. They can help ensure compliance with relevant regulations, minimizing the risk of fines, penalties, or license suspensions.

7. Preserving Vessel Reputation Through Discreet Management

Maritime casualties, regardless of fault, can damage a company’s reputation and impact customer confidence. The right attorney can help manage the legal process discreetly and minimize public exposure. They can work with media relations professionals to craft a communication strategy that protects your company’s image while ensuring transparency with relevant authorities.

Choosing the Right Maritime Attorney

When selecting a maritime law attorney, several key attributes should guide your decision to ensure that you are well-represented and have the best chance for a favorable outcome.

Experience and Track Record

The first attribute to consider is the attorney’s experience and track record in handling maritime injury cases. Look for an attorney who not only focuses in maritime law but also has a proven history of successful outcomes in cases similar to yours.

Communication and Accessibility

Effective communication and accessibility are paramount when dealing with the complexities of maritime injury claims. You want an attorney who is responsive to your inquiries, clearly explains the legal processes involved, and regularly updates you on the progress of your case.

Resources and Reputation

Finally, the reputation and resources of the law firm behind the maritime injury lawyers are crucial. A reputable firm with a strong presence in the maritime law sector often indicates a high level of experience and success in handling such cases. Additionally, a well-resourced firm will have access to the necessary tools, technology, and network of experts to thoroughly investigate and litigate your case.

Turkel Cuva Barrios: Your Trusted Maritime Law Advocates

At Turkel Cuva Barrios, we understand the tumultuous journey that follows a maritime accident. Facing the complexities of maritime law alone can be daunting and could potentially jeopardize your success. That’s why we stand ready to guide and support you, ensuring that your rights are protected. Reach out to us to explore your options and embark on the path to justice with a firm that has your back.