Quality Representation for Boating Accident Victims
Although accidents involving automotive vehicles are more commonly in the public eye, thousands of people are seriously injured each year in maritime accidents. In 2009 alone, 736 people died in recreational boating accidents while 3,358 injuries were reported. These statistics, of course, do not account for the thousands of injuries and deaths that occur each year on commercial fishing boats, oil rigs, marine cranes, barges, cargo hauling vessels, and in shipyards. Maritime accidents are tragically common, and all too often, the victims of such accidents are not to blame.
At the law firm of Proner & Proner in New York, maritime lawyer Mitchell Proner has built his career on providing aggressive, skilled representation to personal injury victims and their families. As the lead attorney for victims of the Costa Concordia cruise ship disaster, he has emerged as one of the preeminent advocates for people injured in maritime accidents throughout the world. His network of maritime attorneys spans the country and has unrivaled collective experience in handling all types of boat accident cases, from those arising from pleasure craft collisions to those involving intoxicated drivers.
If you have been injured in a boating accident, or if a member of your family has been injured or killed in such an accident, we urge you to contact New York maritime lawyer Mitchell Proner today for an evaluation of your case. Mr. Proner would be pleased to consider your prospective claim and advise you of your legal rights and options.
What Is Maritime Law?
Maritime, or admiralty, law refers to the set of laws governing ships and other sea vessels, workers or passengers who occupy these vessels, commerce that occurs on or through these vessels, and accidents and other incidents that occur on the sea. From private yachts to offshore oil rigs, any seafaring vehicle or off-land piece of property is subject to the codes and regulations of maritime law. In general, maritime laws were established to protect the rights of those who might otherwise not have been afforded legal protection when the open seas fell outside the jurisdiction of the federal government.
Maritime law extends the right to file personal injury claims to cruise ship passengers in cases in which the captain, crew, or owners of the cruise line can be shown to have acted negligently. As with all personal injury claims, those involving maritime law must be filed within a given period of time, known as the statute of limitations. In most instances, the statute of limitations is determined by the cruise line, as laid forth in a contract signed by the passenger when he or she purchases a cruise ticket. This is why it is essential for victims of cruise ship accidents to seek legal advice as soon as possible after sustaining an injury, as their right to file a claim will be forfeited once the statute of limitations expires.
As with any personal injury or wrongful death case, multiple parties – including the ship’s owner, captain, crew, medical staff, and other employees – may be held liable for injuries depending on the circumstances surrounding the case.
The Jones Act
Perhaps the best known and most important of all maritime laws is the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, better known as the Jones Act. This act extended the right to all United States seamen to seek compensation for injuries that occurred at sea due to the negligent actions of the owner of a vessel, the captain, the crew, or any other party whose behavior contributed to the injuries. These seamen could also seek damages if they were injured due to a boat, ship, or other seafaring vessel being unseaworthy. Prior to 1920, American seamen had no legal recourse to compensation for personal injuries that occurred in international waters.
Employees on commercial ships and other seafaring vessels are protected under the Jones Act, which states that they are eligible to the same legal protections as workers on land, even if they are injured in international waters. United States sea workers are, under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. If they are injured due to the negligence of their employers or co-workers, inadequate safety precautions, or the unseaworthiness of a vessel, they can pursue compensation in a court of law.
Contact Our Maritime Lawyer Today
If you have any questions about maritime law or you would like to schedule a consultation with maritime accident lawyer Mitchell Proner at his New York office, please contact Proner & Proner today.