The city of Miami is a predominantly coastal region famous for the same. The human-made beaches are world-famous, and the docks and harbors are constantly bustling with activity. This is why the port of Miami is the 12th largest commercial port in the United States. As the largest passenger port globally, it also accounts for over 300,000 jobs and roughly $40 billion in state revenue.
So, many ships are going through the Cruise Capital daily with a substantial workforce supervising them. This leads to a high risk of sustaining an injury on the docks or offshore. If you're not able to get the necessary compensation for your claims, it's time to find a Miami maritime accident attorney.
Which Law Protects You?
To know about the laws protecting you, understand the distinction made between dock and harbor labor and seafarer labor. A seaman or seafarer can refer to the skippers and crew of a vessel on navigable water. The Jones Act protects these individuals.
If you're a land-based worker with the scope of your activities being restricted to the docks, your grievance can be addressed by the Longshore & Harbor Worker's Compensation Act. This also applies to non-maritime workers if they suffer an injury in their job, which takes place on navigable water.
If someone in your family has died in navigable waters due to negligence or unseaworthiness, it will make you a dependant survivor. You can seek damages to cover medical bills and lost support under the Death on the High Seas Act under this capacity.
Finding the Right Lawyer
This is often the trickiest part of entering litigation. Picking a good lawyer is similar to choosing a good doctor, which is easier said than done. Here are some things to keep in mind while searching for a Miami maritime accident attorney:
Search for lawyers that have experience in Miami and specialize in offshore injury claims. If you're considering a firm, ensure that the firm has a separate division for offshore injury clients.
Get in touch with the Miami Beach Bar Association. They have several referral services through which you can find lawyers with specialty areas.
Thoroughly research the lawyer you're thinking of going with. Look for client reviews, peer reviews, and overall feedback. Checking the lawyer's experience and background could save you from trouble down the road.
Make sure the lawyer is aligned with your settlement goals. If you feel that you have a chance of getting a higher settlement than originally expected at any point in the case, your lawyer should be fine with fighting the case vigorously till the end.
Avoid immediate solicitations after your accident. Many lawyers obtain police reports of accidents from the Miami PD and promptly contact the aggrieved party. They do this as they lack strong referrals from previous clients and depend on sending dozens of solicitations to parties of multiple accidents and injuries.
Almost every lawyer in Miami will not take any fees unless they recover your claims. This is known as a contingent fee. However, keep in mind that lawyer fees and court expenses are different. You may lose the case but have to pay the court fees if the lawyer does not agree to cover the same in their fees.
Serious injuries require a large number of medical reports and testimony from multiple medical witnesses. These considerably increase court expenses, and if your lawyer does not have a decent financial backing, they may have to drop the case midway.
The Miami Beach Bar Association is well-versed with maritime and offshore injury laws. Still, your best bet is often to go with private firms that have a significant record of clearing personal injury cases.